Knee surgery is a relatively common procedure, and success rates are normally quite high following this type of surgery. Knee surgery may be performed for a variety of reasons, including a traumatic injury to the knee or natural disease processes such as arthritis. Knee surgery recovery begins in the hospital immediately after the procedure and continues for several weeks. During knee surgery recovery, the patient will be instructed on the proper use of prescription medications, exercise, and lifestyle modifications that will aid in the recovery period.
The process of knee surgery recovery begins immediately following the procedure. In most cases, the patient will stay in the hospital for several days following surgery. During this time, the medical staff will monitor the patient closely for signs of complications, such as infection or blood clots. The affected leg will need to be kept elevated as much as possible during this stage of recovery to promote healing and improve blood circulation.
A physical therapist will usually visit the patient in the hospital to discuss the importance of proper stretching and exercise during knee surgery recovery. The patient will be given a gentle exercise routine that should be continued after release from the hospital. Ice packs may be applied to the affected knee several times per day to help reduce pain and swelling.
Supportive mobility devices are often used as a part of knee surgery recovery. Many patients find that a walker is very helpful during the recovery period. This helps the patient get around while providing stability and security while the knee is weak. Some patients may graduate to the use of a cane before attempting to walk without assistance.
Complete knee surgery recovery may take several weeks, although pain medications may not be needed for the entire recovery period. Prescription pain medications may be used just after the surgery. Within a few days or a couple of weeks, many patients are able to switch to over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
The patient may need to visit the doctor's office several times during knee surgery recovery. The doctor will monitor the patient's progress and medication needs and make changes or recommendations as needed. Any questions or concerns about the healing process should be discussed with the doctor during these visits. If problems occur between visits to the doctor, the patient should call the doctor's office for advice.