Knee replacement surgery is performed as the last resolve to treat severe knee injuries and discomforts. Undergoing a knee surgery can be a daunting task at any point of time; however every single day, there are many who are either recommended or operated with knee replacements to land expected results.
Knee replacement surgery, medically termed as Arthroplasty is an orthopedic procedure performed to replace damaged and worn out tissues with artificial joints. Adults of any age can undergo this medical procedure unlike the common belief that individuals within a certain age group alone can expect desired results. Experts are of the belief that a replaced knee joint can show magical difference in your day to day activities; only when it is taken proper care off properly.
Similar to any other surgery, arthroplasty also has a number of preparatory guidelines as well as post surgery rules to be followed. However, unfortunately, most of us remain ignorant about these essential pieces of information and tend to neglect them conveniently; only to complicate an otherwise successful operated artificial knee joint. Therefore, if you or anyone you love is scheduled for a major knee operation, this post related to after care – post knee replacement surgery may come handy.
How long is the hospital stay?
There are different types of knee replacement surgeries performed to suit variety of conditions. And depending upon the type of surgery opted for, your hospital stay may vary. In general, an otherwise healthy person is required to spend 3-7 days under expert supervision in hospital. During this period, your doctors and nurses will help you in using the parallel bars for moving and walking for short distances. This takes place just the next day after operation which is then followed by crutches, walkers and canes according to personal requirements or comfort.
How long will I use the supports to walk?
External assistance needs to be used until the new joints are accustomed to carry the entire body weight. It is essential to remember that no attempts can be made to walk or move freely without support until advised by your orthopedic surgeon to avoid any form of complication.
In general, 6 weeks post surgery a person may walk and move about comfortably without support. However, this again varies depending upon individual recovery rates, body weight, and how religiously one follows the doctor’s advice post surgery. Driving, bending, squatting or other forms of exercises involving the treated knee needs to be avoided for around 3 or more months and so. Opting for a physical therapy can greatly accelerate the recovery procedure, thus bringing you closer to normal life and day to day activities.
How long is the physiotherapy needed?
Undergoing regular physiotherapy is mandatory for all individuals who opt for knee replacement surgeries. Most reputed orthopedic hospitals in India appoint physiotherapists for a week or so for accosting patients to their respective homes soon after they are discharged. You may also choose an outpatient physical therapy center according to your convenience; however, make sure that your therapist knows about your case in and out.
Physiotherapy is usually recommended for around 14 days; however, it can be continued for as long as you may need and has no time restrictions. Apart from the surgery, minor bone and muscle issues find physical therapy beneficial, and it is because of this reason that many orthopedic surgeons recommend senior adults a regular session of physiotherapy for better blood circulation, bone and muscle interaction.
It must be noted that rehabilitation is a relative term, and mostly depends on your own health status and mental strength. Therefore, timely visit to your doctor is very essential to track your improvements or to determine any complication that may have developed.
What are the changes needed to be made back home?
- At home, the highest risk to your newly operated knee is that of sudden falls and trips. Therefore, make sure that there are no rugs, slippery floors or enthusiastic pets that can contribute in complicating the situation.
- Climbing stairs need to be avoided completely so as to prevent sudden twists and jerks.
- Efforts must be taken to keep your leg straight while sleeping.
- Abstaining from stressful sexual activities is but essential to promote a healthy recovery.
- Straight back chairs and not recliners bring about better results for knee replacement surgeries.
Is it safe to undergo a knee replacement surgery?
Finally, the million dollar question of is it safe to undergo this surgery is what gives multiple sleepless nights to many who are scheduled for arthroplasty. Experts suggest that knee surgeries are absolutely safe to opt for and most of its outcomes depend on how well the procedure is performed and the post surgery care. However, any form of discomfort and unusual developments need to be reported immediately to your doctor. Some of the complications that may arise are:
- Infection of the wound
- Bleeding into the joints
- Damage of nerves closer to the joint
- Blood clot formation is one of the most common complications that is seen amongst patients. This however can be prevented by use of anticoagulants, medicated stockings, walking and exercising as directed by surgeon.
- Unexpected extension of the scar tissue restricting movement of the knee
- Numbness in and around the scar
- Allergic reactions
Knee replacement surgeries have become very common in India and delivers expected results in most cases. A replaced knee lasts for around 15-20 years if not put under extreme stressful conditions. However, if proper care during the recovery period and thereafter is not prioritized, results may be too short.
Knees are one of the most vital parts of our body. Therefore, taking good care of your joints when there is still time can save you all hassle of first suffering from restricted movements and then a surgery to replace worn out joints to continue with day to day activities. However, if you have already landed yourself to this situation where a surgery is unavoidable, do not follow to take care of your operated knees henceforth.