Total Knee Surgery Recovery
It is estimated that 7% patients in their 70s and 10% in their 80s have experienced knee replacement. The surgery is performed for alleviating pain caused by severe or moderate knee arthritis. Total knee replacement is a common but major surgery. Recovering from the procedure requires several months of dedicated physical therapy.
Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery
Most patients can resume normal activities and take care of themselves within 6 weeks. They can begin driving within 3 to 6 weeks. However, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year to completely recover and realize the full benefits of knee replacement procedure.
Immediately Following the Surgery
Patients are encouraged to start ambulation immediately following the knee replacement procedure. This is done with the aid of an orthopedic device, such as a walker. You may be asked to remain at the hospital for 1 – 2 days following the procedure. However, in some cases patients are sent home the same day if the medical team recommends it.
Patients without home support or those that require extra attention may be transferred to a rehabilitation center or a hospital. However, efforts are always made for helping the patient return to their home with additional support.
Physical Therapy Following Knee Replacement Surgery
Your surgeon will prescribe outpatient physical therapy after discharge. This usually begins within 7 days of the surgery. Physical therapist will teach the following:
- Knee strengthening exercises
- Knee exercises for reducing scar tissue and encouraging the range of motion
- Using assistive walking devices, such as a cane and walker
Lifestyle Differences After Knee Replacement
You may experience improved function after total knee replacement. Majority of patients don’t have more mobility than before the onset of arthritis. Replacement knees don’t feel the same as natural knee.
A small study reported that many patients were aware of the new knee even after a year of the surgery. This awareness was most notable when rising from a chair, kneeling, or climbing stairs. 50% participants in the study reported swelling, numbness, crackling, and knee stiffness.
These symptoms were present even after the knee function improved and pain decreased. However, the symptoms don’t mean the surgery was unsuccessful or the patients regretted having it performed.
Results of Knee Replacement Surgery
Approximately, 90% first-time knee replacements last for as long as 15 years with many lasting for 20 years and more. You can improve results longevity by avoiding high-impact activities (jogging or jumping) and complying with physical therapy routines. High impact activities tend to cause wear and tear between human made components.
Need for Revision Knee Replacement Surgery
Revision total knee replacement may be required if initial components need replacing. Common possible causes for revision surgery include component loosening, wear and tear on components, knee joint instability, and infection.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.
Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada