Working in collaboration with joint care experts who have pioneered in specialized knee replacement procedures and orthopedic specialists of national and international repute, Texas Medical Concierge offers a comprehensive program with personalized care, excellent outcomes and superior satisfaction. We describe here, in a nutshell, the most important aspects of post-operative care after you have undergone a successful knee replacement surgery. Access to information about knee replacement surgery and a strong support network plays an important role in bringing you back on your feet!
Pre- Surgery Advice
Before the knee replacement surgery, the joints adjacent to the diseased knee (i.e. hip and ankle joints) are carefully examined. Since the nearby joint may become more painful if it is abnormal, it is not advisable to replace a knee joint that is adjacent to a severely damaged joint. In this case, the knee replacement surgery may not yield major improvement in function of the leg. Thus, critical examination prior to surgery is crucial to ensure optimal outcome and recovery from the surgery.
Continuous Passive Motion
Your physical therapist (PT) will acquaint you with a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. The machine is attached to the operated leg and it keeps your knee in motion. The goal is to improve circulation of blood in the knee, prevent stiffness and the buildup of scar tissuethat can result from being immobile. The machine constantly moves the knee through various degrees of range of motion for hours while you relax.
Wearing a compression stocking (tight pressure stockings) will put pressure on your legs after your surgery. This helps blood flow through your blood vessels to help prevent blood clots. Formation of blood clots in your leg veins blocks the blood flow, called as deep vein thrombosis. These clots can further enter heart or brain blood vessels resulting in a cardiac arrest or stroke, respectively.
A physical therapist will help you with simple exercises such as knee bending, sit-stand-sit exercises, straight leg raises, and heel slides. You may also be asked to do leg stretching, squatting, and ankle bending and stretching. You may need to begin a walking program, or use an exercise bicycle. These exercises not only help your knee heal but they also assist in strengthening the bones and muscles around your knee joint.
To control the swelling, pain and redness around your prosthetic knee(s), you may put crushed ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Place this over your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as long as you need it. Maintaining an elevated position for your leg also aids in relieving the pain. (Note of caution: Do not sleep with the ice pack on your knee as doing this may cause frostbite!)
Assistive Equipment to help you walk:
It is vital to familiarize yourself with the supportive equipment and accessories that will assist you to walk after the knee replacement surgery. These include a shoe lift, knee brace, crutch, cane, and a walker, to name a few. Learn how to choose and use the crutch, a cane or a walker from an expert and avoid placing excessive stress on your “new” knee.
Medical treatment & Medication:
The replaced joints may be at risk for infection by bacteria and other microorganism introduced by any invasive procedures such as surgery, dental or gum procedures, urological and endoscopic procedures, as well as from infections elsewhere in the body. If you have undergone a joint replacement surgery, you should alert your doctors and dentists regarding the artificial joint. This will help your doctor to typically prescribe antibiotics before, during, and immediately after any elective procedures, in order to prevent infection of the replaced joint.
If you’ve stayed on your exercise and rehab schedule you should notice a dramatic improvement in your knee after 4-6 weeks of the knee replacement surgery. In three months time, you will be walking on the road to recovery. As time goes on, pain should subside and, mostly, after a year you should feel at or very near 100 percent. Of course, every person is different and recovery periods can vary, depending on a number of factors.
At Texas Medical Concierge, taking care of YOU is our priority. Our membership benefits for Jasmine, Lotus and Orchid comprises of advising you on the best physicians and institutes to suit your needs. Through our Orchid Membership, we deliver services such as, personalized appointment scheduling (along with Appointment reminders), preferential appointments with super specialty doctors, to name a few. Following a knee replacement surgery, we encourage you to stay in touch with your medical team and have periodical check-ups to ensure that the knee is continuing to work properly.