How to Recover Fastest after Knee Replacement Surgery?

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How to Recover Fastest After Knee Replacement Surgery? 

Almost 50 percent of all Americans will go through knee arthritis eventually during the span of their life. Knee replacement is designed to alleviate pain and reestablish mobility in the knee after severe damage due to arthritis or injury. While recovery may seem never-ending, there are a few essential things you can do to make for a faster and easier recovery. 

Keeping your knee straight 

While it can be tempting to sit back and prop your feet up after surgery, keeping your knee straight after surgery and resting is essential. Never place a pillow directly under the knee. To support joint healing, keep your leg straight in front of you while sitting or lying down with no knee bending. Avoid squatting and kneeling to allow recovery; your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to increase mobility. 

Getting back on your feet

Following your knee replacement, your physical therapist will teach you how to walk using crutches or a walker as your knee is healing to help with balance during the first few weeks of recovery. While full recovery usually lasts six months to a year, most people walk again independently within 4 to 8 weeks after surgery. Walking is essential to healing as it improves circulation, prevents blood clots, and delivers critical nutrients to your knee. And though it is crucial to get moving again, it is equally important to ensure you give your knee enough rest. For proper healing, you must balance movement and rest after knee replacement surgery.

 Physical Therapy 

You will have to participate in physical therapy to make sure you fully recover from knee replacement surgery. Most of the time, following surgery, you will attend a physical therapy appointment where you will do the exercises recommended by your doctor, under a certified physical therapist who will monitor your knee and ensure proper healing. Although you may begin to feel much better, you must continue with physical therapy as it is your best bet for a speedy recovery. It is also essential to engage in physical activity different from the exercises you learn in physical therapy to help your muscles grow stronger and heal faster. Exercise can include walking, swimming, and extending and bending your knee while sitting. However, you never want to overdo it and cause a setback. Always ask your doctor what activities are safe for you.

Pain Management

Following your knee replacement, it is inevitable that you will go through varying severity of pain. That said, one can take a course of action to make your pain more manageable. Your doctor will determine a specific recovery plan and explain it to you before leaving the hospital. Your health care team will also provide you with different medications to reduce pain and swelling. It is essential that you only take medication as prescribed by your doctor. Using ice is also a great way to provide pain relief during the rehabilitation process. Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time and take at least a 40-minute break between. Even though it is expected that you will feel pain and discomfort after your knee replacement, an effective pain management plan can notably help with pain and speed up recovery.

Featured Clinician: Anthony Maritato, PT 

FEATURED CLINICIAN: Anthony Maritato, PT Anthony Maritato, PT, MSPT, is a licensed physical therapist and co-founder of Total Therapy Solutions, a private practice outpatient physical therapy business that focuses on

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