As we age, our body undergoes numerous changes, and the weakening of bone strength is one of them. The knees are one of the most common joints to suffer from age-related degeneration. Knee pain because of osteoarthritis affects the performance in daily chores and activities.
Not all patients having osteoarthritis need knee replacement surgery. The surgeons only recommend surgery in severe conditions, such as unbearable pain, difficulty walking indoors, long-time sitting, and little to no effect of the medications on relieving ailments. The artificial knee replacement procedure can alleviate these symptoms. Although it functions just like a normal knee, an artificial knee does have certain limitations, such as kneeling, jumping, high-intensity sports, or heavy weight lifting from the ground.
Lifestyle modifications after surgery
Recovery after knee replacement surgery is not a challenging task. Family support and proper guidance from the doctors’ team can accelerate the journey to recovery. After surgery, an accurate recovery and rehabilitation process is crucial so you can accommodate the repaired knee joint and return to the daily routine. The orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist play a critical role in the recovery process. Within a few weeks or months, you will be able to regain the proper functioning of joints and strengthen muscles. The following are some changes a doctor suggests after the knee replacement surgery:
- Weight management: Since our knees support the entire body’s weight, maintaining a healthy weight results in a few stresses on the knee. After surgery, an increase in weight can lead to a fastening of the wear and tear process of joints or breakage of the artificial surface. So, it is crucial to maintain a healthy weight. You can consult a dietician and physiotherapist for needful.
- Exercise regularly: Maintaining a daily exercise routine advised by your orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist is crucial for better recovery. Missing or escaping exercises can put you in jeopardy and delay your recovery. Following a daily routine is sometimes very depressing and requires loads of determination, but you can take help from family or friends for motivation.
- Essential pre-preparation: A simple preparation at home before surgery can help smooth recovery, such as:
- Changing room on ground floor
- The bed position that is not too high or low from the ground
- An accessible bedside commode or urinal, if the bathroom is far
- A walker or crutches at an easily approachable distance, preferably near the bed
- Icepack for the knee
- Pillows for raising operated leg
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Remove items from the room that can cause a fall
- Medications and wound care: Proper wound handling can decrease the risk of infection and faster healing. Take all the medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. The daily medical dispenser or an alarm can also be beneficial. Along with medications, a healthy balanced diet can also help relieve pain and discomfort.
- Accommodate yourself with changes: For some people, recovery takes more time, while some heal sooner. You can set some short-term goals in starting and increase their level following for better recovery. You have to be prepared internally that the recovery is a long journey, so be patient and only focus on regaining strength.
- Follow-up appointments: For the person who underwent knee replacement surgery, the doctors suggest:
- First, visit after two to three weeks for a wound checkup.
- The second follow-up visit after six weeks evaluates your recovery.
- Third, a follow-up visit after 3-6 months evaluates the healing progress.
- One-year follow-up: After a year, the replaced joint is at the point of full recovery, and on follow-up, the doctors assess the joint recuperation rate.
- After that, annual follow-up visits for five to ten years
With time, you may be able to resume everyday activities. Exercises and diet management after surgery may improve the quality of life, and you can enjoy your work without feeling pain and discomfort.