With modern arthroscopic technology, patients can expect recovery after knee surgery to be quick with fast return to routine activities.
Immediately after surgery, your surgeon will ask you to start moving the joint. A continuous passive motion (CPM) machine may be recommended to keep your knee in continuous motion and prevent the build-up of scar tissue that can cause problems with knee mobility.
You may be encouraged to stand and bear weight on the knee a few hours after surgery. Within the first 24 hours you will encouraged to start walking with the aid of an assistive device under the watchful eye of a physical therapist. You will be taught exercises to strengthen the muscles that surround and support your knee. An occupational therapist will show you how to perform routine activities such as getting in and out of a bed, transferring to a commode, bathing, dressing, and changing your bandage.
Your knee should become stronger over the next few days and your doctor will start reducing the dose of your pain medication. You can expect to be discharged within 1-4 days if you can bend your knee to at least 90 degrees as well as walk, dress, and bathe yourself with minimal reliance on assistive devices.
For the first 3 weeks after surgery, your surgeon may recommend continued use the CPM machine. You will have less pain with movement, increased strength, and less need for pain medications and assistive devices. You will be able to go for longer walks and easily perform activities of daily living. Expect to return
A month after surgery, you will notice dramatic improvement into your knee range of motion and strength with continued physical therapy. You will be able to begin weaning yourself from your assistive device and regain your independence.
Two months after surgery, you should be able to perform routine activities such as house cleaning and shopping without pain. How well your knee works in the future will depend on your commitment to exercise and following a healthy lifestyle.
At 3 months, you should have full range of motion and experience no pain with most activities. High impact activities such as running, basketball, and football are best avoided in favor of low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or biking to preserve the life of the implant. You should remain in touch with your surgeon or medical team and begin new activities only after receiving clearance from them.
The Joint Replacement Specialists at Newport Care Medical Group located in Newport Beach, California, offer advanced joint replacement procedures to help you reclaim your active lifestyle. Call us today for an appointment.