What to expect after your knee replacement surgery?

So, you have had your knee replacement surgery and now you are spending a lot of time thinking about your recovery. Questions like “when can I return to work or regular activities?”, “What are the do’s and don’ts after the surgery?’’ and “What lifestyle should I follow after my knee surgery?’ And so on. We at CureConsult understand your need to get the right information on surgery, recovery, lifestyle after surgery and complications, and we are going to offer you some ‘must-know” info (including complications) on what to expect after your knee replacement surgery

Pain and Swelling: Every person and every joint is different. Hence, it is important that you carefully monitor your pain right after your surgery. You may experience mild to severe pain after the surgery. You may also experience moderate to severe swelling in the first few days or weeks after knee transplant surgery. Sometimes, swelling may last for 3 to 6 months. Your doctor may advise you to wear stockings and apply ice to help reduce swelling and pain. Also, notify your doctor if you experience severe pain and swelling as it could be signs of blood clots.

Weight management and exercises: Gaining weight after knee replacement surgery is common as your overall physical activity is limited during the first few months of recovery. Keeping your weight down will help you get the most out of your knee implant surgery. It will also reduce your chances of needing revisions to your artificial knee or a replacement for your other knee. Low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming and golfing will help you manage your weight and stay fit. However, it is also important to eat healthy, by not paying attention to your calorie intake you can increase weight very fast. 

Resuming Sexual Activity: One of the most common concerns after knee replacement is dislocation. This can also turn into a medical emergency requiring you to return to the hospital. Most of the people reported knee pain, loss of motion and inability to kneel during sexual intercourse after the surgery. You should avoid extreme flexing of the knee during intercourse and to go slow and stop if you experience pain. Most surgeons advise their patients to avoid sexual activity for four-five weeks after knee surgery. Make sure you have a detailed discussion with your surgeon about sexual relations after the total knee replacement procedure. 

Reassessing Diet: Food plays an important role in your recovery and healing of surgical wounds. Eating the right foods after knee surgery can provide the right amount of protein required for skin healing around your wound and can prevent complications, such as constipation and high blood glucose. Constipation after surgery can increase pain and your chances of returning to the hospital during the recovery period. Make sure you incorporate protein and Vitamin C in your meals to allow your bones and muscles to rebuild and make your immune system strong enough to fight off infection.

Clothing and Wound Care: Caring for your wound is an important part of your recovery process to prevent infection and permanent scarring. Your doctor will advise you to wear long dresses and long pants in the initial days after surgery to protect wounds. Additionally, you must keep it clean and dry. Your surgeon will remove the dressing in your follow-up sessions. Follow any instructions your knee surgeon gives you for caring for your incision after the surgery. In case there’s swelling and foul-smelling drainage from the would contact your doctor immediately. 

Travel: Most of the knee doctors don’t recommend long flights for two-three months after knee replacement surgery as your knees may swell due to cabin pressure. In case you have to travel, be sure to get up and walk around a bit once an hour to help prevent blood clots from developing. Wear clothing that makes it easy to show your knee incision to security agents at the airport. 

Life after knee replacement surgery is not a cakewalk. Always keep a watch on your artificial joint and avoid activities that can impact your knee for worse. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about activities and your body. He/she can help guide you to better understand your life — and lifestyle — after knee replacement surgery.

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