rehabilitation-after-knee-joint-replacement-surgery-los-angelesThe long-term success of knee replacement surgery, one of the most effective treatments for severe joint degeneration, heavily depends on a patient’s commitment to the recovery process. Proper post-operative care and adherence to a physical rehabilitation program is crucial to ensure a timely and successful recovery as well as a successful knee replacement rehabilitation procedure.

The Joint Surgery Center of Excellence offers a team of renowned orthopedic surgeons committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for every patient. We take the time to coordinate with excellent physical therapists and helping to design individualized post-operative rehabilitation plans specific to each patient, which translates to improved recovery and exceptional patient satisfaction.

To schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon, please contact us by calling (888) 318-2842.

Post-Operative Instructions

After a knee replacement procedure, whether total or partial, it is critical to take proper care of the knee to help prevent complications. Our orthopedic surgeons have compiled a series of post-operative guidelines that will help to maintain the integrity of the joint implant and achieve the best long-term results.

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Follow-Up Appointments With Your Surgeon

It is extremely important for patients who have had knee replacement surgery to attend all of the follow up appointments made with their surgeon. Missing even one appointment could lead to significant deviation from the proper procedures designed to ensure a successful surgical recovery and return to activity.

A week or two after knee replacement surgery, an x-ray will be taken of the post-operative knee to ensure proper alignment of the implant. This is necessary to make sure the prosthetic parts implanted into the knee are still in good position and have not slipped out of place in any way. This x-ray may be repeated along the way, at several intervals spaced out after surgery, so that there is good indication that things are healing well and the bones remain in good shape.

Pain Relief & Medication

After knee replacement surgery, patients will be given a prescription for pain medication that will help make you more comfortable during the initial recovery process. Patients may also be given a blood thinning medication to help prevent the formation of a blood clot, which is a rare complication of knee replacement surgery if all of the proper protocols are followed.

Once home, and the initial pain from the surgery has begun to diminish, patients typically transition to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication such as Advil/Motrin/Aleve. Elevating the leg and icing the knee several times a day, as many as possible, for intervals of 30 minutes, will help to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Dressing and Incision Care

It is important to allow the surgical incision to heal fully in order to prevent infection. Patients are advised not to take a bath or submerge the knee in water until instructed to do so by their surgeon. Shortly after surgery, the patient may be given compression stockings to help with circulation. These should be worn throughout the day to help decrease swelling in the knee.

Knee Activity Post Replacement

After knee replacement surgery, knee mobility is strongly encouraged. The post-surgical knee will be able to bear full weight and should be exercised by short walks 2-3 times daily. Patients should increase activity levels in small increments but take care not to overdo it if they are experiencing significant pain. Physical therapy rehabilitation begins shortly after surgery, and it’s designed to decrease pain, restore range of motion to the knee, and build strength in the leg muscles.

Patients may be able to drive one to two weeks after surgery, provided that they are not still taking pain medications. If the knee replacement was performed on the right side, it is even more important to ensure good control of the leg, as well as improved muscle strength, before attempting to drive.

Knee Replacement Rehabilitation Timeline

Near to full recovery of the knee is typically achieved at around 3-4 months after surgery, provided that the patient has worked hard and not only made a strong commitment to attending physical therapy sessions, but also in their daily home exercise program. Rehabilitation is not easy, but it is very possible for the majority of dedicated patients to make great recoveries after knee replacement and become free of the chronic and severe pain resulting from joint degeneration.

Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgeon

The Joint Surgery Center of Excellence houses a team of highly skilled orthopedic surgeons specializing in knee replacement surgery. Our expert knee surgeons are well trained in the most advanced knee replacement procedures and are leaders in the field of joint preservation. The unparalleled technical expertise of our surgeons, combined with our state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Los Angeles, help to ensure the best results and optimal recovery for our patients.

For more information on rehabilitation or to schedule a consultation with one of our renowned orthopedic surgeons, contact us at (888) 318-2842.

Next, read about hip joint replacement surgery.