Knee replacement is a major surgery and it can be scary even if you’ve had other surgeries in the past. But if you’re at the point where you and your doctor have decided to go forward then you know that ultimately it’s going to be the best choice for you in the long run. More than 600,000 total knee replacements take place in the U.S every year. If you’re planning on being one of them here is some information to keep in mind.
In order to prep you for your surgery your doctor may go through any medications you’re currently on and suggest you reduce or cut them completely if possible. You might also be instructed to reduce smoking and drinking. It’s also a good idea to keep healthy as best as you can. Coming down with a cold or the flu prior to surgery might complicate matters or potentially delay your surgery date. Make sure you’re drinking fluids and washing your hands regularly to reduce the chance of infection.
Another thing your doctor might suggest is doing exercises before your surgery. This may seem strange if they’re just going to operate on it anyway, but it does help. If you strengthen the knee prior to surgery it helps with overall recovery. Here are some examples of exercises they may ask you to get started on before your surgery.
Your post-surgery recovery time depends on a lot of different factors. Your body needs time to heal, so rest is important. Make sure you know where you will be recovering in your house, ideally a ground-level floor or a floor that has a soft surface and access to a bathroom. Some doctors do suggest that you start moving (ambulating) soon after surgery by doing light activity or walking with a walker. Ambulation improves blood flow and speeds wound healing in certain cases.
If you have any questions at all make sure you talk with your doctor. They want you to get better and they’ll work with you to make sure that happens. Keep your eye on the long-term goal and soon the recovery portion will be behind you and you can move forward stronger than ever.