Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement with These 5 Tips

After you get your new knee, you might be looking forward to getting back to those daily walks, but recovering from knee replacement surgery can take time. While everyone’s recovery timeline is different, it may take six months to a year before you can fully enjoy all the benefits your knee replacement has to offer.

Raj K. Sinha, MD, PhD at STAR Ortho wants you to know that there are steps you can take to speed up your recovery and get back to doing the things you love faster.

1. Get into shape before surgery

Of course, you won’t be running a marathon before you get your new knee, but strengthening your leg muscles before surgery may help speed up your recovery. Dr. Sinha can provide you with an exercise routine that fits your health and surgical needs, and you should start your workouts several weeks before your surgery to get the most benefits.

Good nutrition before surgery also helps improve recovery by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to manage the stress of the surgery and rebuild tissue. Dr. Sinha recommends a diet filled with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein such as chicken, fish, beans, and lean red meat. You may also want to consider a multivitamin, if you’re not already taking one, to optimize your nutritional status.

2. Reduce risk of injury at home

Tripping on your throw rug in your hallway after knee replacement surgery may cause damage and require treatment or delay your recovery. To reduce the risk of injury, Dr. Sinha recommends you prepare your home to make it safer when you return from the hospital.

You should take the following steps:

Those first few days after surgery may be the most critical and you may want to have a family member or friend available to help you with daily tasks to reduce the risk of a fall or injury.

3. Participate in physical therapy

Physical therapy may be one of the most important pieces of your recovery process from knee replacement surgery. Your physical therapist teaches you how to use your assistive device, such as a walker or cane, and creates an exercise program to improve strength and mobility in the leg with your new knee.

Driving yourself to physical therapy isn’t an option for the first 3-6 weeks after your knee replacement surgery, so the therapist may come to your house or you may need to have someone drive you to therapy. Dr. Sinha will create the best treatment plan that fits your individualized needs.

4. Exercise at home

You may be participating in physical therapy several times a week, but in order to gain the most strength and mobility in your knee, you need to continue the exercises at home as recommended by your therapist. Limiting your at-home workouts may cause your knee to stiffen and delay your recovery.

If the pain is making it too hard for you to do your at-home exercises, Dr. Sinha may be able to make recommendations to help reduce inflammation and pain, such as a change in medication or icing your knee before you start your exercise.

5. Consider your alternatives

Total knee replacement may be the standard when it comes to getting a new knee, but it’s not the only option. Dr. Sinha is a leading orthopedist who offers a number of knee replacement options, including partial and custom knee replacements. Designing a surgical plan that best fits your needs may also help speed up your recovery.

For expert orthopedic care and joint replacement, call STAR Ortho or use the online booking button to schedule an appointment.

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