More and more people are having joint replacement surgeries these days, and enjoying increased mobility and relief from knee pain well into their later years. If you’ve made the decision to have a knee replacement, among the keys to a successful procedure is knowing how to handle your post-surgery recovery. Here is advice from the experts at Smith & Nephew, a leading developer of advanced medical devices for healthcare, including the new VERILAST Knee Technology for knee replacements that last longer than the typical replacement—for as long as 30 years, based on simulated tests.
What Do You Do After Knee Replacement Surgery?
More than 400,000 knee replacements are performed in the United States every year, and it’s important to learn how to stay active after knee replacement surgery.
Regular physical activity helps people regain strength, flexibility and endurance after knee replacement surgery. Working with a physical therapist is important, but the amount of work the patient puts toward physical rehab on his or her own is equally crucial. Patients can typically begin working with a physical therapist as early as one or two days following the procedure. Therapists will outline exercises for you to practice and detail the techniques required for daily activity.
Before leaving the hospital, doctors will help patients learn to perform everyday activities like getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom and getting in and out of a car with their new knees. These techniques will help return the patient to their everyday life, while not damaging the knee replacement as it heals.
During any approved activity, it’s important to remember:
- Do not engage in activities that will produce pain in your knee, even if it occurs after completing the activity. Be mindful to adjust the intensity of your exercise accordingly so you will stay within a comfortable range.
- Don’t jar the knee.
- Don’t place the knee in the extremes of your range of motion.
- Don’t participate in any exercise that has been restricted by your doctor.
- Always check with your doctor before engaging in an exercise for the first time. Find out which are high-risk exercises or not recommended as part of your exercise plan.
Knee replacement surgery is intended to relieve knee pain and improve knee function. But there are potential risks with knee replacement surgery such as loosening, fracture, dislocation, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Talk to your doctor about all these possibilities so that you can decrease their likelihood.
Special cautions like not performing high impact activities such as running unless your surgeon tells you the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if you do not follow your surgeon’s limitations on activity level. Early failure can happen if you do not guard your knee joint from overloading due to activity level, failure to control body weight or accidents such as falls.
Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you. For more information about Smith & Nephew’s LEGION® Cruciate Retaining Knee made with VERILAST® Knee Technology, talk to your doctor, log on to www.RediscoverYourGo.com or call 888-825-2062.