If you are experiencing problems in your knee, then your orthopedist may recommend knee replacement therapy. This type of joint replacement can reduce pain and restore most of your knee's function. However, you must do a few things during the healing process in order for the new joint to work correctly. Here are some things you should do after knee replacement surgery to help the joint heal.
Get Up and Move
Your doctor and physical therapist will help you get up and walk as soon as you are fully awake from your surgery. Doing this helps you begin the healing process. The therapist will guide you through exercises and show you how to use assistive devices. You won't be doing too much, at first, but you must be able to stand and be relatively mobile before you can be released from the hospital.
Do Your Exercises
You will likely need physical therapy for at least a few months after leaving the hospital. Joint replacement therapy strengthens and stabilizes the knee and reduces inflammation. Make sure you also do your exercises at home on your own. Failure to properly rehabilitate the joint replacement may result in slower healing.
Use Your Aids
Don't be afraid to use any assistive aids to help take the pressure off your knees. Walkers, crutches, and canes all reduce the amount of pressure on your knee. These devices also reduce the risk of falling and damaging the joint. Continue using them until your knee stabilizes and the pain lessens to a bearable level.
Change How You Exercise
If you were active before knee surgery, then you will be able to be active afterward, provided you have done your rehabilitation exercises. However, you may need to make a few changes if your previous exercise regimen puts a lot of pressure on your knees. You should also avoid activities that have a high risk of falling.
Activities that involve jumping, tight turns, and running are generally not recommended. Also, avoid doing deep knee squats and other leg exercises with heavy weights. Opt for higher repetitions at a lower weight instead. While it is possible to still do these things, you could be reducing the life of your replacement knee.
On top of everything, follow up with your doctor's appointments to correct any healing problems. If you feel increased pain, fever, or general malaise, inform your doctor or therapist right away. Most people can resume most activities within 6 months to a year under normal circumstances. For more information about knee replacement, or joint replacements in general, then contact an orthopedist.