With regard to knee-replacement surgery, the impact of the surgery is one step in the process. Another important issue is the rehabilitation therapy you will undergo. It is as influential for the success of the treatment as much as the surgery itself.
Here are some ideas to help you recover faster after knee-replacement surgery:
Pay serious attention to your recovery and rehab: It is important not to let your routine languish. Buy CPM machine or hire it and use it as per the recommendation of your doctor and do all the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist. CPM stands for Continuous Passive Motion machine. Take note to go to all follow up sessions with your doctor and attend all physical therapy sessions in spite of all other problems you face. Take all your medications regularly and do not stop, unless recommended by your doctor.
Enhance your flexion and extension: Bend and keep your leg as straight as possible. One way to enhance extension is to lie down and place a rolled towel beneath your ankle in a lying down position, keeping your leg a straight as you can. As for flexion, you can sit on a chair and bend your knee back (keeping your leg curled underneath the seat of the chair). Also, you must consult your therapist whether to continue use of CPM machine.
Lower any adverse stress on your knee: Avoid lifting heavy objects that will cause stress on your knee or damage the artificial leg. Also take care while facing different direction to turn your whole body and avoid twisting your knee. Take care while bending, kneeling and sitting. Consult your physical therapist on the right way to perform these movements efficiently and safely.
Consume recommended vitamins and supplements: Consult your doctor on vitamins and supplements. As per a study, 43% of patients scheduled for knee surgery lacked sufficient amount of vitamin D. Even majority of patients consumed iron tablets to help boost blood count after surgery. You may even want supplements to help aid muscle recovery.
Don compression stockings: If the doctor so recommends, wear compression stockings after surgery and keep them on during night or when you are lying down. This helps reduce chances of blood clots. Continue wearing them till doctor asks you to stop.
Hot and Cold therapy: Applying cold to your knee can help reduce pain and inflammation. It is most useful in the initial days after surgery or during any flare-up of pain. After the decline of initial swelling, you can use hot and cold compress alternatively which relaxes muscles and alleviates stiffness.
Stop smoking or alcohol consumption: Avoid consumption of alcohol if you are taking blood thinning medication (like Warfarin) and any pain medication containing narcotics. Cut back on or stop smoking. Smoking causes your blood vessels to shrink which slows down the healing process. High blood oxygen levels and consequent faster healing is achieved by healthier lungs.
Watch the Pounds: It is vital to maintain your weight low. Extra pressure is impacted on your new knee if you don’t watch your weight and can slow down recovery.
These are some of the points to keep in mind while recovering from knee-replacement surgery.