In knee replacement surgeries, the ends of the damaged thigh, lower leg bones, and kneecaps are capped with artificial surfaces lined with plastic and metal. Before, doctors replace the entire surface at the ends of the thigh and lower leg bones. Nowadays, it is now popular to replace just the inner or outer knee surfaces, depending on the location of the damage. Doctors usually put together knee joint components to the bones with cement. After the procedure, though, you may be interested on the recovery time for double knee replacement.
How Long Is the Recovery Period?
There is no specific amount of downtime in total knee replacement surgeries. For most of the patients who have no complications or other health issues, the main part of the recovery is done after eight weeks. Recovery depends not only on the success of the surgery but also on the patient's ability and willingness to follow post-surgical rehabilitation procedures and doctor's orders.
A few hours after the surgery, one will be hooked to intravenous antibiotics. Medications in controlling pain and preventing blood clots will also be given. It is not alarming to have an upset stomach or to be constipated after surgery; this could be effects of anesthesia. Bandages, urinary catheter, and a compression pump may be present. Simple breathing exercises may be advised to help prevent congestion in the lungs. One should also learn to move the feet up and down to flex the muscles and maintain proper blood circulation.
Recovery in the Hospital
The patient will be advised to stay in the hospital for three to five days. Patients are already advised to stand up a day after the surgery. They are even allowed to walk with a walker and crutches if they can already bear weight on their knees. A few days after, exercises are recommended to strengthen the leg muscles.
Rehabilitation is intensive after a total knee replacement. The main goal of rehab is to make sure that the patient can bend the knees at least ninety-degrees to do walking, climbing stairs, sitting and getting up from chairs, getting in and out of the car, and other daily activities. A factor that affects a patient's ability to bend after surgery is the extent of bending the patient can do before surgery.
Recovery at Home
When the patient is sent home for recovery, he or she must be following a graduated walking program with a physical therapist. This is done from simple walking to climbing the stairs. Strength building exercises should also be followed religiously every day. If soreness in the affected area is noted, a cold pack can be applied, and a decrease in the activity is recommended. However, activities should not be stopped completely.
Riding on a stationary bicycle is also recommended to strengthen leg muscles and improve knee bending. Swimming is also good after knee surgery, but this can be done after sutures and staples are removed.
Physical ability and fitness of the patient, as well as commitment to the exercise program, are the main factors affecting recovery period. Once recovery is complete, some activities may not be allowed anymore like those that involve running, jumping, and landing hard on the knee or both knees.
While there have been great advances in medical technology, a successful outcome is determined by the patient's attitude and willingness to do the necessary therapy. Based on their experience, many doctors have somewhat low expectations for recovery and may not be very encouraging. It is up to the patient to find and follow an exercise program that has already shown proven results. Equally important is finding a trainer or mentor who has a positive attitude toward recovery from knee surgery and who can teach anyone the same mindset. Believing it can be done and working with someone who has already achieved the desired results is the key to returning to normal activities and remaining free from pain.