Effective tips to recover from knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement (also known as arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that helps in relieving knee pain. It is effective in resurfacing a knee damaged by arthritis or a severe knee injury. Though, non-surgical treatments can be performed in the initial stages, there are certain situations where knee surgery is the necessary.
The patients tend to encounter a few challenges and pain in the recovery process. It is important to know that the post-surgery treatment is as important as the surgery itself, says Dr Ashwani Maichand, a Delhi-based orthopaedist. Listed below are some of the important dos and don’ts to help you in the recovery process:
Do take post-surgery treatment seriously
A knee surgery requires proper rehabilitation. Thus, it becomes important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, once you return home after the surgery. You need to adopt the exercise regime recommended by your physical therapist, even if it causes a little discomfort initially. Majority of your recovery process depends on your willingness to work hard in physical therapy and rehab. Along with it, taking the prescribed medicines and getting plenty of sleep is equally important.
Use ice and heat pack
Swelling after a knee surgery usually lasts for three to six months. Dr Ashwani Maichand recommends using an ice pack three to four times a day, during the initial days following the surgery. It is highly effective in relieving the pain, stiffness and relaxing the muscles. You can consult your doctor in case this procedure proves ineffective.
Don’t consume alcohol and tobacco
Maintaining sound health helps in speeding up the healing process after surgery. You need to avoid ill-habits like smoking as it shrinks your blood vessels and slows down the recovery process. Consumption of alcohol should also avoided in case you are taking a blood thinner or narcotic pain medication, warns Dr Ashwani Maichand.
Don’t put unnecessary stress on your knee
Patients are advised to avoid putting much of stress on their knee, after a knee surgery. You don’t have to lift heavy objects. However, you can start participating in low-impact activities like walking, swimming or peddling a stationary bike (only after consulting your doctor). You can seek help from a physical therapist for learning how to do these movements safely.
Don’t lose hope
Remember, the complete recovery cannot happen overnight. It takes quite some time and a lot of patience to heal. Also, different people progress at different rates and need their own time to recover. Thus, you don’t have to lose hope and keep working hard till the time you heal.