What Not to Do After Knee Replacement?

A knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty is a surgical method to restore the functions of the knee and minimize pain by replacing the joint of the knee with a prosthetic implant. The surgery aims to help restore the mobility of the knees and improve the quality of life. A person with damaged or degenerated knees because of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis may need knee arthroplasty when non-invasive methods don’t work. Usually, the elderly patient are recommended knee replacement, but it doesn’t mean it is uncommon in the younger population. The post-surgery period plays a crucial role in the success of the procedure. The patient should be extremely careful about restrictions as they may affect the replacement and can cause complications. This article lines up things to avoid after a knee replacement surgery and also some tips to speed up recovery.

The primary goal of knee replacement surgery is to relieve symptoms such as pain, restore mobility and functionality of the joint and allow the patient to perform day-to-day activities without. It is tempting to get back to the usual routine as early as possible, but there are certain exercises and activities which the patient should avoid during the recovery phase.

Activities With High Falling Risk

After a knee replacement surgery, factors such as loss of strength, limited range of motion, and affected balance increases the risk of falling. An incidence of fall may cause severe damage to the prosthesis or negatively impact the healing process. According to a study conducted in the year, 2018, around 17.2 percent of a group of 134 people who have had knee replacement surgery encountered an incident of fall within 6 months. About two-thirds of the fall happened while walking. The patient should make some lifestyle changes to avoid falling while walking. One can follow the upcoming tips to avoid the risk of falling:

Making use of 

  • A handrail while climbing and down the stairs
  • A rubber mat or shower chair while taking a bath
  • sitting down to wearing shorts or pants
  • Keeping the floor clear to avoid the risk of tripping.
  • Avoiding slippery surfaces such as mud, ice, or wet grass.

Prolonged Sitting

Sitting continuously for a prolonged time after the surgery increases the risk of blood clot development. The risk is particularly high in the first two weeks of the surgery. Sitting for a prolonged time can also hinder fluid drainage in the lower leg and worsens swelling. According to knee replacement experts, it is not advisable to sit for more than 45 to 60 minutes continuously during the first 7 to 10 days after the surgery. If the patient has to sit for a prolonged time, it is better to prop the legs on a chair and avoid hanging the legs.

Bearing Too Much Weight Shortly After the Surgery

Following a knee replacement, a lot of people use a walker, crutches, or other assistive devices to walk. Most surgeons suggest early-weight bearing and also getting out of bed for some kind of movement as soon as the surgery gets over. In the first few days after the surgery, walking even using a device requires the assistance of a nurse or a physiotherapist. The patient should avoid using stairs until they are approved to do so by the surgeon or the physical therapist. Also while using the stairs, lead with the leg that didn’t get the surgery.

Running and Jumping

The pressure exerted on the knee is three times more than the pressure exerted on the foot while walking. In the case of jumping, one can understand that the pressure will be multitudes higher. Performing severe running and jumping activities during the recovery phase delays healing or may even permanently damage the prosthesis. Surgeons strongly disagree with participation in high-impact activities even after a short period after recovery.

Avoid High Impact Sports

While recovering from knee anaplasty, it is best to refrain from high-impact sports or sports activities that involve sudden twisting or jerking of the knee. Some common high-impact sports activities include:

  • soccer
  • football
  • rugby
  • skiing
  • basketball
  • hockey
  • gymnastics

One can adopt low-impact sports activities such as cycling, golf, and swimming. The low-impact activities are great to stay and active post-surgery.

Avoid Kneeling

Though there is not much evidence to support that kneeling damages prosthesis or affects the replacement, kneeling might cause pain. If a patient feels uncomfortable while kneeling, it is better to avoid it.

Do Not Hide the Pain

Surgery results in chemical pain because of the trauma caused to the knee. The pain might be hard to bear, in that case, discuss with the doctor and consume the painkillers prescribed by them. Hiding the pain will not lead the patient anywhere but affects the quality of life.

Exercises to Follow After Knee Replacement Surgery

Most rehabilitation programs aim to enhance the range of motion in the knee and strengthen the quadriceps muscles. It is imperative to work closely with the surgeon and physical therapist to gain the best possible outcome. Here are some common exercises to boost healing:

Immediately after surgery: It is recommended to start the simplest exercise immediately after the surgery to regain mobility. This includes knee straightening, bed-supported knee bends and more.

3 months after the surgery: The patient can increase the intensity of activity with low-impact exercises such as light weightlifting, swimming, and low-impact dancing and golfing.

6 six months of surgery: The patient can start some high-intensity activities such as doubles tennis, heavier weightlifting, and, arduous forms of dancing six months after surgery, but with doctor’s approval.

Bottom line

The knee replacement cost in Turkey is significantly lower in comparison to several other countries. Consult the best surgeon and embark on the journey of replacement surgery to have the most benefits of the procedure.

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