Knee replacement surgery may be a fairly routine operation these days, but it can still be a very stressful time for you if you are currently on the waiting list.
Preparing for knee replacement surgery well, not only helps you to feel more in control and reduce your nerves. It can also make a huge difference to your recovery time after knee replacement surgery and enable you to get back to doing the things you love quickly!
In this blog, you'll learn more about your upcoming total knee replacement surgery and discover several ways our patients have prepared to make post-surgery recovery much easier, and faster.
How Long Does Total Knee Replacement Surgery Take?
Knee replacement surgery typically lasts up to three hours and involves the removal and replacement of a damaged knee joint, usually with an implant or a prosthesis.
The same can be said for a partial knee replacement surgery where a section of the damaged knee joint is replaced, although this procedure usually only takes 90 minutes.
Knee replacement surgery is becoming more common, so this is a fairly routine operation, however, there is always an inherent risk in any surgery.
Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery Time
Recovery time for knee replacement surgery varies from person to person, but on average, our post-surgery patients should recover within four to six weeks.
There are a lot of factors that influence your recovery time, such as age, medical history, nutrition, pre-surgery activity levels and other lifestyle factors.
However, we know everyone's definition of recovery is different.
Some people are happy with being able to walk freely and take care of themselves in later life. For them, they may feel that they have recovered to their desired standard within six weeks.
Other people want much more capacity - to be able to exercise lots, stay very active and have a busy social calendar. For these people, a full recovery may take far longer.
If you are the latter, then your recovery will naturally take longer, but our physical therapy team have worked with lots of knee replacement patients and helped them maximise the speed of their recovery so they can get back to doing what they love.
What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
After knee replacement surgery, you will typically spend up to 5 days in hospital. Once you can get around on your new knee safely and you have some exercises to do to strengthen the muscles around your knee, the hospital should discharge you.
Initially, the hospital will give you short term painkillers to get your pain under control.
However, we know using painkillers is something people wish to avoid, and natural pain relief is something our physical therapy team can help with in the longer term.
Once you've been discharged, the next stage will be using a walking frame or crutches for additional support and stability when walking and starting an exercise program designed to increase the strength, and mobility of your knee.
In our experience, the standard of post knee replacement surgery care is poor, and leaves many people frustrated as they aren't able to achieve the results they'd hoped that the surgery would provide.
For you, this is a major operation, and you’ll be dealing with pain, discomfort and inconvenience, so it can be extremely annoying when you feel like you aren’t receiving the help you need.
That's why a lot of knee replacement patients visit us - to help them get a full recovery so they can get back to doing the things that they love - which they can't do alone, or without expert support.
If you are worried about your upcoming knee replacement surgery, don't suffer in silence. Reach out to our physical therapy team and take charge of your health by calling us on 859-303-6393.
Preparing For Knee Replacement Surgery
Being prepared for total knee replacement surgery can help alleviate anxiety and some of your worries, while also making it much easier for you to recover.
First of all, you need to consider how you will get to, and from hospital.
After knee replacement surgery, you will not be able to drive, and walking will be a challenge. So ensuring you have a relative or friend to collect you from the hospital can make the journey home a much easier (and less stressful) experience.
Another thing to consider is your home care afterwards. With knee replacement surgery, you'll struggle in the early stages of recovery to prepare food, maintain your personal hygiene and get around the house.
Having a relative or friend visit regularly, or even stay with you at your home while you recover, can make things much easier for you, and help with the more challenging tasks.
Finally, before you go into hospital, consider the layout of your home and think about how you will manage after surgery.
Making sure that things that you need are within reach, not too high, or too low. You don’t want to risk falling and damaging your knee or causing any other injuries.
Finally, check that you are able to move around with a walking frame or crutches unobstructed and without a risk of falling or tripping can reduce the risk of a potentially dangerous fall.
What I Wish I Knew Before Hip Replacement Surgery
In our Lexington clinic, patients who come to us often share things that they wish they'd known before knee replacement surgery.
In the vast majority of cases, standard aftercare for knee replacement surgery is simply not good enough.
And one of the most common wishes for people after surgery is that they’d made sure they had the right support for their recovery.
Standard aftercare is rushed. It's not detailed enough. It's not custom made enough.
This means your recovery is much slower, meaning that your pain lasts longer after surgery, and you aren't able to get back to work, to your hobbies, or take care of your usual responsibilities at home.
After surgery, if you want to get back on your feet quickly, here's what you should do according to our past patients.
Be Proactive With Your Surgery Preparation
We are currently offering a limited number of free pre-surgery screenings where you can speak to a member of our team and get tailored advice on how you can prepare effectively to massively reduce your recovery time.
As well as lifestyle and home advice, we can also help you identify ways you can prepare your body - by fixing existing injuries, strengthening your muscles, and improve your balance and coordination, you drastically increase your chances of a full recovery, at a much faster rate.
Arrange Your Recovery Plan Before Surgery
As well as helping you prepare for surgery, you can discover proven strategies for natural post-surgery pain relief, and the best ways to improve your strength so you can get back to moving without a walking frame or crutches quickly.
Once you're back on your feet, our team can then help you achieve a full recovery so you can live pain-free and doing the things you love.
Other Free Resources To Help You Stay Active, Healthy and Pain-Free
Read Our Blog - 9 Ways To Stay Healthy And Reduce Your Fall Risk
Read Our Blog - How To Improve Balance