For many people, total knee replacement surgery is a welcome alternative to what may have been years of knee pain, limited mobility, and an all-around decrease in quality of life. But knee replacement is a major surgery, only to be used as a remedy after all other non-surgical options have been exhausted, and may involve a good amount of post-surgery rehabilitation. And ultimately, a great deal of the success of the surgery is in our hands.
So what are some things we can do to make sure we do everything we can to support the process? Here are some pre-surgery tips from WebMd:
(for the complete list see the article “Knee and Hip Replacement for OA: The Facts” on www.WebMD.com)
Learn as much about the procedure and rehabilitation as possible. Be specific.
Get in shape
Upper body strength is extremely important if crutches or a walker will be used after the surgery. Allina Health has a list of suggested exercises, complete with diagrams. (http://www.allinahealth.org/ac/patiented.nsf/page/knee_exercises)
Smoking can slow down wound healing and recovery time.
Find out about the rehab exercises, and if possible start doing them before the surgery.
Prepare your home and arrange for post-op help
If your bedroom’s on the second floor, a first floor sleeping arrangement might be a good idea. Make sure all trip hazards such as throw rugs are put away, and hallways are clear and able to accommodate crutches or a walker. Ask a neighbor for help walking the dog, or better yet, find someone who could stay with you for a while after the surgery.
Healthline offers the following post-operative advice for a successful recovery & rehab:
- Follow the doctor’s and physical therapist’s orders; take medicine as prescribed, go to all follow-up appointments and physical therapy sessions, do the recommended exercises.
- Avoid unnecessary stress on the knee.
- If compression stockings are recommended, wear them as directed and for as long as directed. They can help prevent blood clots.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. The alcohol can interact badly with certain medicines, and smoking, as mentioned earlier, can slow down the healing process.
- Stay positive. The recovery process may be stressful and even painful at times. According to Healthline, some experts believe that as much as 50% of a successful knee replacement is due to the patient’s attitude and willingness to do what’s required during rehab.
To read the entire Healthline article, go to http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/total-knee-replacement-surgery-success#12.
Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff WriterSharing is Caring!