Giving up some of your precious time to heal from your knee replacement is not a walk in the park. Though it’s not fun, it’s the reality for so many of us. And, once you wrap your head around what you need to do, being positive and diving into recovery can help you feel more in control. Keep reading to learn more about knee replacement surgery, and what to expect after your surgery.
How long will it be before I can walk around?
Healing and recovering from a knee replacement will differ for everyone. It depends on your activity level, your overall health, and your willpower. You may be able to start walking around soon after the surgery, maybe even the following day. You will need a frame or crutches to walk, but being able to get up and moving will likely make you feel more in control of your healing.
You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal relaxing activities around six weeks after surgery. It may take up to three months for residual pain and swelling to resolve itself. Even though you may feel much better, it can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear. Your new knee will continue to recover up to two years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and exercise will help restore muscle tone.
Looking after your new knee will require a few things. You will want to:
- Continue taking any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage pain and swelling
- Avoid putting a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping since it can result in a permanently bent knee
- Avoid twisting at your knee
- Wear supportive outdoor shoes
- Avoiding kneeling on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
- Raise your leg when sitting and use ice packs to help with swelling
- Use your walking aids with the goal of gradually decreasing the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
- Keep exercising to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
- Avoid sitting with your legs crossed for six weeks after your operation
If you want to learn more about how we can help you get back to your normal self, give us a call at (713) 986-5640 or to schedule a consultation today.