If your doctor has recommended knee replacement surgery, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect for your recovery. Everyone’s healing process is different, and it could take anywhere from a few months to a year to achieve full recovery from a knee replacement. But still, there are some things that everyone should keep in mind if they plan to undergo the surgery. Take a look below at 6 things you should know about recovering from knee replacement surgery.
#1. You will not recover overnight
Although there are many minor surgeries that you can expect to recover from quickly, knee replacement surgery is not one of them. It is major surgery that requires anesthesia and involves the cutting away of damaged bone and cartilage. The healing process from knee replacement surgery takes time. It’s important that you plan for ample time for rest and follow your doctor’s instructions for lifestyle modifications in order to minimize the risk of injury while you recover.
#2. You will need to prepare your home for your return
When you return home from your knee replacement surgery, it is important that the floor is clear of clutter, area rugs, and power cords. For a few weeks, you will likely be tired and vulnerable to falls. Placing your essential items (medications, phone, television remote, books, crossword puzzles, and tissues) near your bed will help reduce the risk of accident and injury.
#3. Physical therapy is key
Your physical therapy program will begin with passive exercises shortly after your surgery to help improve your range of motion and prevent circulation problems. Within a day or so, your physical therapist will assist you in transferring in and out of bed and standing with the use of a walker. On your return home, you will be given exercises to perform on your own between physical therapy sessions. It is important that you participate in physical therapy to help you build strength, prevent complications, and achieve full recovery.
#4. “Toughing it out” could backfire
Pain medication is an important part of knee replacement recovery. While you may think you are being strong by not taking your pain medication, doing so could backfire by making it more difficult for you to perform your essential physical therapy exercises. If you are not comfortable with the pain medication you have been prescribed, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
#5. You may need some extra help
After knee replacement surgery, the best thing you can do for yourself (besides following your doctor’s instructions) is to give yourself ample time to rest. This could mean asking your family members to take over your chores for a few weeks so you can focus on healing. Or if you live alone, you may want to consider asking a friend to stay with you or hiring a caretaker to cook, clean, and assist you in getting up and down the stairs if you have them.
#6. A skilled nursing facility might be the quickest, safest way to full recovery
Many patients who undergo knee replacement surgery are not quite ready to return home after their hospital stay. In these cases, a skilled nursing facility provides a safe, therapeutic environment for short-term rehabilitation and a range of services that facilitate a quick recovery. In addition to 24-hour skilled nursing care, knee replacement patients receive physical therapy services, assistance with the tasks of daily living, nutritious meals, and the opportunity to participate in community events and activities. The goal of rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility is to help get patients back to their personal best so they can return home in the shortest time possible.
At Bella Vista, we’re committed to your full recovery
If you’re looking for a 5-star skilled nursing facility where you can receive quality, compassionate care while you transition from hospital to home, you’ve come to the right place. At Bella Vista Health Center in San Diego, our dedicated staff puts patients and their loved ones first, and our top-notch rehabilitation services will help you recover quickly so you can get back to living your best life. Come see us in Lemon Grove today!