Activities after knee arthroplasty If you are candidate for surgery, you probably expect your life to change and to be without any pain after the surgery. You should know that that change will not happen through the night. Good result can be provided not only from the surgeon but you have to participate actively in the process of your recovery too. You can do most of the activities as before, but you should avoid those activities that stress your knee.
Your knee is the biggest ankle in your body. After the surgery most important is early mobilization and activities. But your muscles will be weakened because of fewer activities before the surgery as a result of great pains. Therefore it is important to start your mobilization as a process of rehabilitation as soon as possible. Your doctor and therapeutist will give you special directions for wound care, pain control, diet, and exercises. The therapeutist will visit you day after the surgery and will explain you how to stand by the bed, how to walk or how to use your new knee while you lie on the bed, how you should move your feet more frequently in order to provide better circulation in your legs. Durability of your hospital stay will depend from your condition and recovery period.
Before you leave the hospital you have to perform following activities: - Standing from and lying on the bed by you; - Bending your knee as much as you can; - Straighten your knee as much as you can; - Learn to walk with the underarm support on the flat floor, up and down stairs; - You have to know all exercises that you should practice at home. Your knee after the dismissal from the hospital may be still swollen. To reduce the swell you should position your leg on higher level on a pillow, wear elastic socks and cold compresses. (15-20 minutes a day)
A C T IVITIES AT HOME At the beginning you may need help from other persons at home. Following advices will help you in your recovery at home: - Displace your furniture in order to provide free space for you to walk on crutches freely. - Remove all cables and rugs from the floor to prevent you from stumbling down. - Position one shower chair in your bathroom, support for hands on the walls and position your lounge at a higher level. - Use supportive devices with long handle for putting on your shoes, catching objects from the floor etc.
Basic advices for wound care: - The wound should be clean and dry all around - Avoid baths before wound is totally healed or sutures are removed. - Inform your doctor in case your wound become red or leaks. - Inform your doctor in case you have high body temperature above 38ºC. - The swell on your knee may last from 3-6 months after the surgery. - Pain under the knee, chest pain, having problems with breathing can be signs of thromboembolism, so if you notice one of these symptoms please inform your doctor. - Take your prescribed therapy on time and regularly. - Take care of your body weight.
B A C K T O EV ER Y D A Y A C T I V I T I ES
When ����������������������������������������������� you’ll be at home you should stay active. You’ll experience significant improvement in your recovery. - Repeat all exercises learned in hospital. - You can drive a car after 6-8 weeks after the surgery, or earlier if you agree with your doctor. - Sexual activities are aloud when you’ll be prepared. - You can sleep on your back on both sides of your body or on your stomach. - Returning on your work depends from the type of
work you do. Earliest period for returning to your job is from 6-8 weeks after the surgery. - Walk as you can, but remember that walking can not replace exercising. From other activities, swimming is recommended (when wound will be healed and sutures removed). You should avoid all activities that will additionally burden the knee like playing tennis, football, skiing, jogging… Do not lift load heavier than 20 kg.