The length of recovery from knee replacement surgery varies from patient to patient and you can expect the best results if you carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions. Provided you adhere to your surgeon’s recommendations for medications and exercise or physical therapy sessions–you can reasonably expect pain to abate in about one week after your procedure. After knee surgery patient prognosis is rapid for the vast majority, with more than 90 percent experiencing a truly dramatic reduction in knee pain, as research by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons shows.
In all likelihood you should be able to walk, with the supervision of a nurse or physical therapist, within just a few hours after recovering from anesthesia. A timely return to movement is an integral part of your postoperative recovery plan, with a focus on protecting your knee and minimizing pain. You may need to rely upon the assistance of a walker or crutches at first.
Home care after knee surgery
- Your surgeon will prescribe a simple exercise routine to support your recovery and improve your range of motion while strengthening your knee and surrounding muscles. Continuing physical therapy is usually helpful for one to two months.
- Be sure to monitor your body temperature while recovering at home and call your physician if your temperature rises above 101 degrees or persists for more than one week.
Driving and working
Your knee surgeon may instruct you to avoid driving your car for a few days or weeks after your surgical procedure, especially if surgery was done on your right knee. Depending on your level of endurance and physical job requirements, you may be able to resume working in just 2 or 3 weeks if your job is primarily done in an office. If your work requires longer periods of standing, more recovery time may be needed before your return to work.
If you have questions about shoulder or knee surgery for osteoarthritis or other conditions, contact the office of David R. Mack, M.D., specializing in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine.