What Happens During Total Knee Replacement?
First, a personal-sized/customized total knee replacement is designed using three-dimensional CAT scan constructed models. Once that is ready, your surgery will be scheduled.
For most patients, the surgery is performed using a spinal anesthetic. Your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and blood oxygen are also monitored during the surgery. Then, the doctor removes any excessive hair at the surgical site and makes an incision in your knee.
Next, the damaged surfaces are removed on the resurfacing of the joint with the prosthesis. The cemented prosthesis, which is the most common, is attached to the bone using surgical cement. Afterward, the incision is closed with surgical staples or stitches. Finally, the doctor may place an incision on the area to remove the fluid.
What is Recovery like for Total Knee Replacement?
Recovery time varies depending on the individual and the type of surgery.
- Most patients can resume normal activities within six weeks. For example, you can resume driving within 3 to 6 weeks. However, full recovery from knee replacement surgery may take 4 to 6 months.
- Activity Restrictions
- You'll be given a list of common restrictions during recovery. The restrictions include:
- 1. No driving: pain medications and stiffness will affect your ability to operate your vehicle.
- 2. No swimming: immersing the wound in water will increase infection risk.
- 3. Do not carry heavy loads: Extra weight will put stress on the knee and is not advisable.
- Physical Therapy
- Doctors usually prescribe outpatient physical therapy after discharge. The physical therapist will teach you:
- 1. Knee strengthening exercises
- 2. How to use walking devices
- 3. Knee exercises to reduce scar tissue and encourage motion