The knee replacement surgery is considered a major surgical procedure and it is important for the patient to religiously follow the direction given by the expert orthopedic surgeon for effective knee replacement surgery recovery. The knee has to bear a great amount of weight and hence, a properly designed physical therapy is to be followed right after the knee surgery in order to ensure mobility and movement restoration to the affected knee joint.
Arthroplasty involves the replacement of knee-joint cartilage with the prosthesis that is made of plastics and special metals. It also involves a stay in the hospital for around three to seven days after the surgery is done. Most of the hospitals are said to not discharge the patient having the replacement knee surgery, until they are able to walk with the help of crutches. The knee rehabilitation therapy is said to commence right after the surgery and continues for some months. This forms one of the vital key to recovery. Since it takes a long time of around three weeks to bear any weight on the knee, patients need home assistance. They can also avail rehabilitation centers that provides with this service. The leg at this point of time needs to be kept elevated and ice packs to be used to minimize swelling.
Knee replacement surgery recovery varies in time and procedures from patient to patient depending on their health condition and other factors. It is necessary to walk with a crutch for the first 3-4 weeks. Then a cane is recommended for 2-3 weeks. It takes around 6 months to a year for complete healing of the knee joint. But you need to follow the knee exercises and the rehabilitation program religiously for faster recovery. Over a period of time, with proper exercises, the patient would be able to bend the knee. Patients would be in a position to return back to their jobs after six weeks of surgery. And on completion of twelve weeks after the surgery, it would be possible to return back to normal activities once again with the pain on the affected knee completely disappeared.
However, it must be borne in mind to the patients who have undergone such knee replacements not to undertake any activity that includes sporting, leisure or jobs that require extreme physical work of the knee, as it might result in injury and aggravate the problem once again. Some of the recommended activities for a person who have undergone the surgery includes golf, swimming, water aerobics, dancing, cross country skiing, cycling, desk work, using training-machines like the exercise bikes and cross trainers. Some of the activities that can be undertaken, but with some precaution are gentle downhill skiing, gentle tennis, hiking, and jobs involving driving, standing, walking and does not require heavy-lifting. While the activities that need to be avoided totally are running, jogging, impact exercises, sports like football, squash and basketball, lifting and heavy labor. With regular exercises the patient can once again regain normalcy.