The protective cartilage that covers the ends of bones often wears down when people age. This condition is referred to as osteoarthritis and can result in painful joints, which may make it difficult to walk or climb up and down stairs. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and your condition is steadily worsening, your doctor may have mentioned knee replacement surgery. Be aware of what to expect with this type of surgery, including the recovery phase.
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is often referred to as knee arthroplasty. The surgery consists of reshaping affected bones by securing metal or plastic parts over the ends of them. The procedure is an invasive one that requires a patient to remain in a hospital for a couple nights. Just like with any other major surgery, you will be sedated during the process. This will allow your surgeon to perform their job, without any concern about you moving during the procedure.
If you were previously experiencing pain that was excruciating and that resulted in your putting off physical activities, you will endure a similar type of pain during the initial part of the recovery phase. This is normal, and you do not have anything to be concerned about. The pain will lessen gradually and should not be an issue after several weeks have elapsed.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Most patients who undergo knee replacement surgery will begin a treatment regimen right away. Don't be surprised if your doctor requests that you get out of bed the morning that follows the surgery. It will be difficult to walk at first, and you may need to use a walker. It is important to follow the physical therapy guidelines that you are provided with, since doing so will assist with improving your range of motion.
You may be released from the hospital after a couple days, but you may be referred to a physical therapy center. An inpatient center will provide accommodations for resting and exercise. Your doctor will check on your status regularly to ensure that your mobiity is improving.
During your stay, you may be prescribed pain medication, which will help ease the discomfort that you are experiencing. After you are released from the physical therapy center, you can return to your home. A home health aide may be assigned to you so that you can continue to receive assistance with mobility, grooming, and meal preparation.Share