Tips for Faster Recovery from Knee SurgerySEMGeeks
While knee surgery is generally safe, it is still a major surgery that involves a recovery period. Overall, it usually takes about two to three months to make a full recovery from knee surgery, depending on the type you had. Some people need a full six months to recover, especially if they’ve had a full knee replacement.
Keep in mind that everyone heals at their own pace, and your body will have its own unique recovery period. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to speed up the recovery process and bounce back stronger.
Prepare Your Home
First and foremost, get your home ready for when you return home. If your loved ones are asking how to help, this is a great way for them to be involved. Stock your home with groceries, clear pathways for your mobility devices and remove any tripping hazards like cords or clutter. Also pick up a comfortable pair of indoor walking shoes.
It’s also a smart idea to set up ‘stations’ around your home. If you’ll be spending your days in the family room near the TV, set up a small table with accessible items, such as a water bottle, TV remote, books and magazines and phone charger. This way, you’ll have everything you need within arm’s reach.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Always follow your surgeon’s and doctor’s advice. They are experts, and they know what recovery looks like and requires. If they prescribe medication, take it as directed. If they tell you to rest, keep off your feet. Not heeding your doctor’s advice can compromise your recovery and add days or weeks onto the healing period.
Fortunately, your doctor’s orders should be straightforward and easy to follow. They’ll include things like practicing RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, as well as short daily exercises. You’ll also be asked to avoid certain activities such as driving and housework for several weeks after your surgery.
Walk Once You’re Allowed
Part of bouncing back from a surgical procedure is getting your body moving. Expect to do some form of physical therapy two to three times a week for up to six weeks as your body recovers. Your doctor will also likely recommend going for a walk several times a day. Walking improves circulation, which minimizes swelling and brings oxygen to your knee.
As you move around, the goal is to get your blood pumping. You don’t want to put a lot of pressure on your knee. You’ll need to walk with your mobility device, but don’t worry. Walking with a cane or walker is still enough to get your circulation moving.
Practice Good Self-Care
During your recovery period, you should also be practicing good self-care. Make sure to get plenty of rest and eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Your body has been through a lot, and it needs vitamins and minerals to repair itself. Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products.
Now is also a good time to catch up on your favorite TV shows or books. Don’t be afraid to take some naps during the day as well. If your body is telling you that you need shut-eye, listen to it. Sleep is essential for recovery.
It takes time to recover from knee surgery, so be patient and follow your doctor’s orders in the meantime. You’ll need to balance rest with light mobility, as the two work together to speed up healing times and ensure a successful recovery. To learn more about managing pain after knee surgery, request an appointment at Jersey Rehab today.