TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT- RECOVERY PERIOD
Updated: May 24, 2022
POOJA VYAS, PT
Recovery is not a race; we all recover at our own pace. Just keep putting in your best, one day at a time.
TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
In a total knee replacement, only the surface of the bones that connect and form your knee joint are replaced with metal and/or plastic implants.
After your surgery, usually the hospital stay is for 3 days and when you leave the hospital, you should be able to move around with a walker.
You might have bandages, stitches, staples, skin glue or tape strips around the surgical site.
Having mild to moderate pain and swelling months after surgery is quite normal.
DAY 1- Within 24 hours of your surgery, your Physiotherapist will help you to stand up and move around using walker.
Your PT will teach you how to do bed mobility exercises, how to move in and out of bed, sit at the edge of the bed, doing exercises while lying down and sitting.
Work on bending and straightening your knee.
(To restore movement in your knee and leg, your surgeon may use a knee support that slowly moves your knee while you are in bed. The device is called a continuous passive motion (CPM) exercise machine)
DAY 2- Your PT will work with you to walk a short distance using a walker and even try climbing a couple of steps.
PT will work on bending your knee (at least by 10 degrees) and straightening your knee full
WEEK 1- By week 1 you should be able to walk short distances in your home using walker or crutches, and when you are ready you can start using a cane. You will have reduced pain and would be advised to do regular EXERCISES prescribed by your PT.
When using a CANE, remember to hold the cane in the hand OPPOSITE to you brand new knee!!
WEEK 3- If you still have stitches or staples, your doctor will remove them. You should now be able to bend your knee (knee flexion) to at least 70 degrees and 90 degrees is preferred range. You should be able to extend your knee fully and walk for at least 10 minutes or more.
Week 4-6 -You will be able start walking on you OWN.
Most people return to work after 4 to 6 weeks, some return after 3 months or longer depending on their recovery and work requirements.
Many people start driving after 4 to 6 weeks, but it is always advised to gain clearance from your surgeon first.
WEEK 6-12. Your doctor might see you again and would check you knee flexion (bending) and knee extension (straightening).
Everyone is different and you do not need to worry if you are not getting these ranges right away.
110 degrees of knee flexion is required for daily activities of living
At 6 weeks, post TKR your ideal goal is to achieve-
KNEE FLEXION- 115 degrees and KNEE EXTENSION-0 Degrees
Keep doing your exercises, focus on increasing your strength and mobility
Replacement, T. K. (n.d.). Retrieved from OrthoInfo: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/total-knee-replacement