Following Your Surgery
Following Your Surgery
Your doctor will work with you to determine how soon you will be able to bend and move your knee. Typically, this will be the same day as your surgery.
During your hospital stay, you’ll begin rehabilitation (rehab) therapy. Rehabilitation starts within a few hours after surgery and continues for three months or longer. During this time, you will learn how to safely use your new knee joint and return to your normal activities. The goals of rehab are to:
- Improve your muscle strength
- Increase the movement in your knee joint
- Protect your new knee joint
- Return to most of your normal activities
Leaving the Hospital Following Knee Replacement
Your doctor will help you decide the best place for you to continue recovering after you leave the hospital. This may be at home or in a rehab center. A rehab center is similar to a hospital—you stay there day and night and are cared for by doctors, nurses, and therapists until you become well enough to go home. If your doctor wants you to go home, therapy will continue there as well.
Possible Complications After Knee Replacement
One of the potential complications following knee replacement surgery is infection. To help reduce future risk of infection, people with knee replacements are often told to take antibiotics when undergoing medical or dental procedures, including simple teeth cleanings. These routine precautions will be required for up to several years after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
Another potential complication, Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT), occurs when blood in the large veins of the leg forms blood clots within the veins, which could potentially travel to the lungs and cut off the blood supply to a portion of the lung. This is called a pulmonary embolism. There are many ways to reduce the risk of DVT, but probably the most effective is getting you moving as soon as possible after surgery.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The performance of knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level, and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee replacement is right for you.