Do’s and Don’ts after knee replacement surgery

Knee replacements, often called knee arthroplasty, are common surgeries typically suggested for people who have serious knee problems that may result in pain and limit their functions. Some of the common knee problems that require knee replacement are as follows:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis
  • Avascular Necrosis
  • Knee Deformities
  • Previous Knee Surgeries That Have Failed
  • Tumors
  • Knee Infections
  • Trauma

Knee replacement surgery can change a person’s life since it enables them to resume their regular activities without worrying about pain or limitations. Every year, thousands of people in India undergo either total knee replacement surgery or partial knee replacement with advanced techniques and implants. These knee replacements might last around 20 years or more.

After knee replacement surgery, rehabilitation plays a dominant role in a quick recovery. Based on the type of surgery and pace of recovery, most patients can go home in three days or even earlier following the surgery. While going home, every patient will be instructed on how to follow specific safety measures once they get home, like diet and exercise recommendations, to maximize the advantages of their knee surgery and avoid any possible complications. 

Some Dos and Don’ts for patients who have had knee surgery include the following:

Do’s after knee replacement

To relieve post-surgery swelling, elevate the operated knee just above the heart level while lying down to improve blood circulation. 

Physical therapy plays an important role in the successful recovery from a knee replacement surgery, so closely follow the instructions of your therapist. He will design an exercise plan that is precisely tailored to improve strength and mobility in the operating knee joint.

Some patients will be at risk of deep vein thrombosis and knee stiffness, which can be prevented with simple exercises like ankle pumps and quadriceps.

Swelling and inflammation are common after knee surgery, and they can be managed through icing or hot packs. They can help to reduce pain, swelling, and even edema.

Most patients are encouraged to walk on the next day of their knee surgery, while some are helped to walk on the same day of their surgery. This is to avoid swelling and stiffness. However, patients need to start walking regularly as part of their physical activity after discharge with the help of crutches. Walking helps to improve blood circulation and the functions of the prosthetic knee.

While walking and doing exercise, it is important to use supportive equipment like a walker or any other tools to prevent injury from falls. 

A balanced and healthy diet that contains rich fibers, liquids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins required for your body is important to heal quickly and encourage recovery. 

Patients who are overweight should stick to a diet regimen suggested by their surgeon and nutritionist to lose weight.

Make your home environment easier for you to move around by removing any objects or furniture that might make you slip and fall. 

Sleeping in a comfortable position is highly important to prevent any pain or discomfort. Try to sleep on your back as much as possible, or if you sleep sideways, place a pillow between your legs. This will help the operated knee joint get proper support while you rest.

The surgical site is prone to infection. So you should follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully, and if you observe any signs like redness, excessive swelling, discharge of pus from the incision, fever, etc., consult your surgeon promptly.

Don’ts after a knee replacement

Don’t involve yourself in any activities that require your leg to twist or require forceful movement, especially during the initial days after surgery. For example, crossing your legs puts undue stress on the new knee joint, causing pain and discomfort.

Keep your incision clean and dry, and don’t let the area around the incision get too wet or dirty. If you observe any discharge or redness, report it to your surgeon.

Don’t push yourself too hard while doing physical exercises. Bending or straightening your operated knee might be accompanied by pain or other complications. Instead, increase the pace of your exercise slowly, as suggested by your therapist.

Don’t engage in high-impact activities/sports like running/jogging, or jumping for a few weeks to months during the recovery period from knee replacement surgery. These activities may slow down your recovery process or cause damage or injury.

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.

Don’t ignore medication; take it as instructed by the surgeon. 

Don’t skip follow-up appointments because these visits are very important to track your recovery progress. 

Dr. Ajay Tiwari, one of the top knee replacement surgeons in Hyderabad, says that knee replacement surgeries become highly successful if there is good coordination between the surgeon and the therapist during rehabilitation. If you are having any knee problems, call +91 98499 82203 and book your appointment. After a thorough evaluation of your knee problem and general health condition, he will implement a treatment plan based on your needs. He is an expert in performing both PKR and TKR.


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