Knee replacement surgery is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic operations in Australia with a very high success rate.
I perform about 100 knee replacements every year.
This article is designed to provide an insight into what you can expect following a knee replacement. And it will also bedetailing what you can do to maximise your recovery.
Once you have decided that a knee replacement is your best treatment option my team will help you pick a date for surgery.
Pre-hab is worthwhile. We encourage all our patients to try to stay as fit and healthy as possible. Good muscle strength before your operation often equates to a fast rehab.
So in the week before your knee replacement surgery Hollywood Hospital will contact you for an pre-admission assessment. This is an opportunity for our team to ensure there are no medical problems that may compromise your recovery. Andalso for you to ask any questions.
You will be admitted on the day of surgery , usually at 0630 am.
After the operation you will be transferred back to the ward. The nursing staff will keep a close watch over you. Theyensure that you are comfortable and able to sleep off the anaesthetic peacefully.
Day 1 after the operation is a big day. Your leg will be x-rayed and a blood test performed.
The physiotherapists will stand you out of bed and ,if you feel up to it , you can start do some gentle walking. Most of your drips and catheters will come out today so you can have a shower.
With each day your knee should become more comfortable. And you will begin to walk greater distances. Normally after 2 days you are taking just a few tablets for pain.
The physiotherapy team will assist you walking. A physiotherapist will help with some simple leg exercises after knee replacement surgery.
During the first couple of weeks following knee replacement surgery it is vital that you do not overwork the knee. I advise to do only what you are comfortable with. Definitely do not push through any discomfort.
We let you go home when you are safe, comfortable and confident of being able to look after yourself. On average my patients spend 4 nights in hospital.
When you leave hospital you will have enough medications to control any discomfort till your next appointment. This is usually within 1 week of your discharge.
There is no urgency with regards to exercising the knee. It is important to let the swelling subside before beginning strengthening exercises.
Most patients make steady gradual improvements in all aspects of their knee function in the months following kneereplacement surgery.
By 2 weeks most patients are only taking occasional pain relief. By 5 weeks not using any walking aids such as a crutch or stick. The majority of patients are driving by 4-6 weeks.
It is important to remember that my job is not just performing your knee replacement surgery. Ialso coordinate and advise you on your ongoing rehabilitation.
As always, my goal is for you to achieve the best possible outcome in symptom relief. And finallyimprovement of function in the shortest time possible. Contact me for an appointment.