Recovering from total knee replacement surgery can take months or longer before the patient is back to pre-injury condition or better. The recovery process is a two-stage process—surgery recovery and then rehabilitation. The first twelve months after surgery are the most important to the process of a full recovery and patients must listen to what their doctors recommend for treatment from rest to knee surgery therapy.
Recovery Process for Knee Surgery
Knee surgery therapy starts almost immediately after knee surgery. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses will immediately start helping to begin the recovery process. Patients will learn how to get up and down from sitting or lying down, use an assistive device for walking, how to change their bandages and safely bath. Patients may also need to use a continuous passive motion machine in the hospital and even at home that will move your knee joint slowly providing knee surgery therapy.
Most patients will be in the hospital for one to three days after surgery and then be discharged home with detailed instructions and future appointments for knee surgery therapy and checkups. Some patients may need to transition to a rehabilitation facility before going home depending on their ability and post-surgery recovery.
Most patients will start to see an improvement during four to six weeks after the surgery. Keeping to the knee surgery therapy exercise and rehab schedule will help you to ensure you are ready to begin going on longer walks and regaining independence.
By the end of week eleven many patients will be able to ride a stationary bike, do a variety of leg and knee exercises, and walk up and down steps. By the end of the twelfth week, patients should be able to run, play sports, and go back to living life as normal. However, it is important to remember that some patients will have a longer recovery period and rehabilitation might be slower depending on age, ability, and other conditions. Making your knee stronger than it was pre-injury can take up to six months, even for the healthiest patients.
If you are looking for a place to complete your knee surgery therapy, call Atlantic Coast Physical Medicine at 843-868-3311.