With your knee replacement surgery successful, it's time for process of recovery and rehab. As much as you'll need to prepared yourself physically to get back to form, you'll need to be ready mentally for the road that lies ahead. However, with these nine tips from our Home Health Services team and the aid of your physicians and therapists, you'll be back on your feet and feeling good in due time.
- Mentally prepare to move ASAP. With the help of a physical therapist, you’ll begin standing and walking with a mobility aid to help build muscle and adjust your body to the new knee.
- Follow your prescribed exercise regime. It’s imperative to perform the movements and walk the specified distances that your doctor designed for your specific body and its recovery.
- Take your time and aim for impeccable form. Bending and sitting need your focus so you can equally distribute weight and prevent painful twists. When turning direction, take extra care to step with your feet instead of twisting at the knee, as this may increase pain.
- Eat as clean as you can. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and natural protein can help rebuild muscle, strengthen your immune system, and increase the efficacy of your prescription medication. Ask your doctor about supplements and vitamins to add extra healing from within.
- Ask questions, if there is anything you don’t understand and repeat back important instructions, so that you are sure you understand. Make sure that the person driving you home from the hospital attends the discharge instruction session. Two sets of ears are better than one.
- Walking is important, but nothing takes the place of bending the knee. Do that often and repeatedly.
- Watch for - and understand - the signs of infection: increased pain or swelling, redness around the incision, increased drainage from the incision, increased body temperature, or streaks of red coming from the incision. Any of these should be reported to the surgeon’s office immediately.
- Wash your hands often, especially if you will be touching your operated leg. And remind caregivers to do the same.
- Take your pain medicine as prescribed. Do not try to “tough it out”. After major surgery, the most important thing is to keep moving. Our bodies are smart and don’t like to hurt, so if you don’t take the medication, you will move less, putting you at risk for blood clots, pneumonia, and a poor outcome from the surgery.
If you need assistance with joint recovery or rehabilitation, the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group’s Home Health Services team is happy to help you through the process. You can contact us by calling 410-288-8100 or toll free at 800-288-8864.