7 Replacement Knee Surgery Aftercare Tips
Knee replacement surgeryis a complex procedure for people with severe knee injuries and suffering from arthritis.
Our knees are one of the most important parts of the body. We can walk properly when our knees function fluidly. Jumping is not very painful because the knees absorb the shock. And most importantly, can you imagine playing football without knees?
But many people obtain knee injuries. When we trip from running, we always scrape our knees. Many athletes hurt their knees as well. These injuries may need knee replacement surgery.
Knee Replacement Surgery Aftercare Tips
Our knees are composed of tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, soft tissues and bones.
As mentioned, knee injuries and severe arthritis may require knee replacement surgery.
Arthritis is a condition where the joints and cartilage in between the bones start to wear out due to age and existing diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. When the joints and cartilage thin and wear out, bones, specifically the lower leg bones and upper leg bones, begin to grind to each other.
This grinding and rubbing causes excruciating pain when walking or climbing stairs.
On the other hand, severe injuries, such as fractures, torn cartilage, and knee meniscus tear, may leave irreversible damage to the knees.
Both conditions may need knee replacement surgery.
What happens in knee replacement surgery?
In a knee replacement, the damaged parts of the upper and lower leg bones due to grinding or a fracture will be removed and replaced with a perfect-fit metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthesis. A plastic space will protect the knee joints and reduce friction.
AFTERCARE TIP #1: Avoid wetting the incision
As much as possible, avoid wetting your affected knees when bathing. Sometimes, surgeons use waterproof dressing, but if yours is not, adhere to this rule.
You can shower a week after your knee replacement surgery, but avoid taking too long. Don’t soak your incision until the incision is entirely healed.
You can wait until a month or two before soaking your incision. It is the same instructions for people who had ACL surgery in Singapore.
AFTERCARE TIP #2: Rest
After getting home from the hospital, the patient may feel exhausted and sleepy. Let the patient and newly operated knee rest.
The best sleeping position after your knee replacement surgery is on your back. Make sure the legs are straight and not bent. Propping the feet or leg on piles of pillows for elevation will help reduce the swelling. The knees should be at or above the level’s heart to improve blood circulation.
Remember, never place a pillow below the affected knees. Place the pillow underneath the legs or feet.
AFTERCARE TIP#3: Walk and movement
Right after the surgery, your surgeon or physical therapist will encourage you two stand, walk, and climb with your new knees. It will reduce the risk of infection after yourknee replacement surgery in Singapore. It will also test the flexion of your new prosthesis.
The patient must be able to stand on their own, walk with or without assistive devices, climb a flight of stairs, use the bathroom, and dress.
It is safe to walk around the house, such as going to the bathroom, bedroom, and garden. Climbing stair steps is also possible, but be gentle on the first try.
These activities will be the patient’s preparation for their return to the old life.
AFTERCARE TIP #4: Medication
Your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. They may also prescribe Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain medication to reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation. These may also be the same medication you receive fora shoulder slap tear.
It also depends on your surgeon whether you can take maintenance medication and other drugs for your existing disease. Consult your doctor for more information about your medication plan.
AFTERCARE TIP #5: Assistive devices
Besides medication, your surgeon may also recommend using assistive devices, including crutches, walkers, and canes. You can use them to move around, especially if the surgery site is still swelling after the knee replacement surgery.
Assistive devices also reduce the risk of falling, slipping, and other accidents that could reopen and injure the operated knee. However, you can be free from these crutches and walkers a month or two after your surgery.
It is better to ask your doctor when you can get rid of the assistive devices.
AFTERCARE TIP #6: Rehabilitation
Right after the surgery, the patient will be up for rehabilitation. They will meet with their physical therapist and begin a series of exercises. These exercises start from walking for short distances, climbing stairs, and knee-strengthening movements.
Physiotherapists will design rehabilitation plans for the patient based on their health condition, risks, and healing progress. Patients can attend rehabilitation therapies at centres, but they can also do it at home with the assistance of a physical therapist.
The goal of physical therapy is to improve knee mobility, gain strength, and improve balance. Physical therapies are also useful for a frozen shoulder in Singapore.
AFTERCARE TIP #7: Complications
The patient must be vigilant of the complications ofknee replacement surgery. It includes bleeding and infection, which can be dangerous.
The symptoms of infections are persistent pain, swelling and redness in the affected area, pus or discharge in the incision area, foul odour coming from the wound, delayed healing of the wound, and fever.
It is crucial for the patient to properly change their wound dressing regularly and take antibiotics as instructed to lower the risk of infection.
Once these signs appear, consult a doctor immediately.
Proper care tips after knee replacement surgery ensure the success of the treatment. Most importantly, the patient will be able to walk, run, cycle, climb, and jump without wincing in pain.
Take post-surgery care seriously for improved quality of life in the future.
Advanced Orthopaedic and Sports Centre
Do you need treatment for shoulder slap tear, knee meniscus tear, andfrozen shoulder in Singapore? Get these treatments at Advanced Orthopaedic and Sports Centre. Visit the Advanced Orthopaedic and Sports Centre today.
The author, Dr. David K Simson is a trained radiation oncologist specializing in advanced radiation techniques such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) / Rapid Arc, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). He is also experienced in interstitial, intracavitary, and intraluminal brachytherapy.