Whether you’re an athlete, an active individual, or an everyday person, a debilitating knee injury or condition can greatly impact your life. Fortunately, knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure that helps you regain function and mobility. It can put you on the road to recovery so you can get back to enjoying an active lifestyle.
About Knee Replacement Surgery
When your knees are damaged due to a condition or injury, your doctor may suggest surgery. Knee replacement surgery, also known as total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged joint surfaces of the knee with artificial implants. It is a common orthopedic surgery performed on people with severe arthritis, which can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the knee.
Why Do People Have Knee Replacement Surgery?
This process is typically recommended for people with severe knee conditions and without relief from other treatments. It can help relieve pain and improve function in the knee joint. After surgery, most people can walk, climb stairs, and participate in other activities.
Here are some conditions that knee replacement surgery can help treat:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the knee
- Bone tumors of the knee
- Severe knee deformities
Your Recovery Timeline
During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and replaces it with artificial parts made of metal and plastic. The new joint allows the knee to move more smoothly and painlessly.
Recovery after knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Most people can go home from the hospital within a few days of surgery. However, it may take several weeks or months to fully recover and regain full strength and range of motion in the knee.
Lifestyle Adjustments After Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a very successful surgery. Most people who have knee replacement surgery experience significant pain relief and improved function in their knee joints. But immediately after surgery, you will likely experience some pain, swelling, and stiffness in your knee. As the joint heals, you can gradually increase your activity level.
What differences can you expect in your life after a successful knee replacement surgery?
What’s Different: Living With Your New Knee
One of the biggest challenges of living with a new knee is managing your expectations. It’s important to remember that your new knee is not a perfect joint. It won’t feel exactly like your old knee did. You may also experience some occasional pain and stiffness and have to relearn how to move and use your knee after surgery. This is normal, especially in the early months of recovery.
However, most people who have knee replacement surgery are able to return to all of the activities they enjoyed before surgery over time. The pros of living with a new knee far outweigh the challenges. After surgery, most people benefit from pain relief and improved function in their knee joints. This can lead to a better quality of life overall.
Staying Active and Getting Rest
In the short term, it’s important to balance rest and activity. You’ll need to give your knee time to heal, but you also need to keep moving to prevent muscle atrophy and blood clots. Listen to your healthcare team about how much rest and activity you need.
Some good activities for the early stages of recovery include walking, swimming, and other exercises. Physical therapists can help you determine a proper balance of physical activity and rest to strengthen and protect your knee from injury.
Eating a Healthy Diet For a Healthy Weight
Eating a healthy diet is important for people recovering from knee surgery. Eating nutritious foods and proper, balanced meals will help your body heal and reduce inflammation. It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts extra stress on your knees and can lead to reinjury or a knee condition.
Managing Your Pain and Discomfort
You may experience some pain and discomfort after knee surgery. This is normal, and there are several things you can do to manage it. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication and other pain management strategies. This can include:
- Applying ice to your knee
- Elevating your leg
- Wearing a compression bandage
- Taking warm baths or showers
- Using a heating pad or hot water bottle
Knee Replacement Surgery in Ohio
Need knee replacement surgery near you in Westlake and Avon? The Northeast Ohio Orthopaedic Associates can help you. We have a team of highly credible and trustworthy joint replacement surgeons who are dedicated to providing you with the best care for your joint condition. We also offer ancillary services, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, to help you recover fully.