Whether you have a sports injury or you’re suffering from knee pain because of old age, knee replacement surgery may be something you face during your lifetime. The thought of knee surgery can be nerve-wracking, but if you’re well-educated on what to expect from the process and the road to recovery, you may feel more at ease. Lexington, KY’s Lexington Orthopaedic Associates, a qualified orthopedic surgeon can help set your expectations for the recovery process.
While a full recovery from knee replacement surgery is very possible, returning to maximum strength and endurance can take up to a year. Here is some more information from Lexington’s team on what recovery from knee replacement surgery entails:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy usually begins almost immediately after knee replacement surgery since it’s essential to begin using your new joint as quickly as possible. The length and style of the therapy you need depends on your specific condition and circumstances, but the typical duration is about three months. Physical therapy will aim to strengthen your muscles, so you can go back to your normal life sooner rather than later.
- Driving After Surgery: Your orthopedic doctor may clear you to drive four to six weeks after your knee replacement surgery. Depending on your condition, and oftentimes, if the surgery has been done on the left leg, doctors will allow driving to resume even sooner than four weeks. Be aware of your lagged reaction times, and don’t drive if you’re on narcotics.
- Returning To Work: When you return to work after knee replacement surgery is heavily dependent on the nature of your work. If your office environment is largely sedentary, most doctors will approve a return to work six to eight weeks after your surgery. However, if your job requires a lot of activity, it may take a few months before you can return.
- Other Restrictions: During the first four to six weeks after surgery, limits will be placed on soaking baths, traveling, vigorous exercise, heavy lifting, and anything else requiring more pressure on your knee than what’s safe.
With the right type of physical therapy, you should feel much better after three months and be back to normal within a year of knee replacement surgery. However, it is recommended for you to check in with your orthopedic doctor for regular follow-up visits.
For more information on knee replacement surgery, or to access an orthopedic surgeon, contact Lexington Orthopaedic Associates by calling (859) 277-5703, or visit the website.