Do’s and Don’ts After A Knee Replacement Surgery
The most exciting thing after having knee replacement surgery is that you will be able to redo the activities you love. After long suffering from hurting knees, you finally took the right decision, exploring your treatment options to eliminate your knee pain by replacing your damaged joints.
Of course, knee replacement is not the only option. You might have tried other options like strengthening your knees with exercises, physical therapy and relieving your pain through steroid injections — yet they may not provide permanent relief.
After a joint replacement surgery, the recovery path is quite challenging in its own ways like pain, stiffness, and various other difficulties. Once you overcome the obstacles, you will have the new knee as good as the natural. Though you find it hard, a successful recovery provides you to a better life. As a top orthopaedic knee replacement surgeon, Dr Ajay Kumar Tiwari shares his top tips to follow after a knee replacement to help you achieve the best outcomes and enjoy your life to the fullest.
“Do’s” after a knee replacement surgery:
Take rehabilitation seriously
After you return to home post-surgery, it’s crucial to follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. This involves doing exercise suggested by your physical therapist – initially, and you may feel a little uncomfortable. In the recovery process, you may experience slight pain or other problems. Remember that specialists say 50% of positive results depend on your willingness to recover by working hard during physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Don’t neglect your doctor’s post-surgical instructions like taking medications on time, getting plenty of rest, which helps heal your knee correctly. The recovery will be worth your effort.
Use support during initial steps.
Walking aids like crutches or frames are used for a reason, they help to take off the weight from your operated knee and provide balance, and eases your pain too. So use them while you move around after surgery.
Ice & heat therapy
Orthopaedic researchers say that after a knee surgery swelling might last around three to six months post-surgery. Using an ice pack around the surgical site is recommended for 3 to 4 times a day for the first few days to reduce swelling and pain.
Once the swelling has reduced, you can ice and heat packs alternatively to relax your muscles & ease stiffness. If ice therapy doesn’t help to reduce your swelling talk to your surgeon or physical therapist immediately.
The healthy you!
The healthy your body, the faster and better will be the healing after surgery. The successful knee-replacement surgery mostly depends upon your physical and mental fitness.
Good nutrition is vital to recovering post-surgery. A well-balanced diet helps you to recover quickly and make you feel best. What you eat always influences your well-being. Protein plays a crucial role in healing. Take protein-rich foods like fish, meat, eggs, soy milk, nuts, peanut butter, milk and other dairy products. Also, eat foods rich in C vitamin, which absorbs the iron from the foods you consume.
And finally, increase your muscle strength in legs and also improve the blood flow by doing low-impact exercises like walking, swimming etc. but only after your doctor advises to do so.
“Dont’s” after a knee replacement surgery:
Stop stressing your knee.
Don’t lift heavy objects, and don’t twist your knee while turning to another direction; make sure to turn the entire body. Be careful while bending, kneeling and sitting, it’s better to discuss with your physical therapist and learn how to do such activities safely.
Avoid other surgical procedures during recovery.
Consult your doctor if you need under any other surgical procedures, particularly on your bladder or intestines because they might cause infection to your healing knee.
Avoid playing high impact sports.
Even the pain and swelling are controlled, don’t involve playing high impact sports or activities that require regular twisting. First, become fit and rebuild strength in your muscles. Once your physician gives the green signal, you can start playing.
Don’t smoke and drink.
Cut back or stop smoking because the nicotine in tobacco shrinks your blood vessels and delays the healing process. Avoid alcohol consumption, if you take blood thinners or narcotic pain medications. Maintain an average weight, as extra weight creates more pressure on your operated knee and can slow down your healing and the entire recovery process.
Don’t skip appointments.
After discharge, you will be asked to visit your doctor weeks after the surgery. You will be screened, and your recovery is monitored during post-surgical consultation. If you feel any discomfort, you can discuss with your doctor during this consultation. Your appointments are essential for faster and healthy recovery.
Knee replacement surgery is a slow and steady process. Anything too much is harmful to recovery. It’s all about discovering the right balance. Follow the instructions of your surgeon, therapist, and you heal at the right pace. To know more information or have any knee problems, consult Dr. Ajay Kumar Tiwari, one of the best orthopaedic doctors in Hyderabad. He specially trained in performing knee replacement surgeries effectively and safely.