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Knee Replacement & Rahabilitation


Frequently asked Questions about knee replacement


Q. What can I expect immediately after surgery?

Following surgery, you may gradually increase your activity by walking and stretching to expand your knee’s range of motion. You’ll need to work diligently these first few weeks to regain motion and avoid stiffness in your knee. All patients with a knee replacement will have some pain with physical therapy. It is extremely important to continue your exercises after you have been discharged from the hospital. Be sure to inform your surgeon of your pain.


Q. When will I begin physical therapy?

You will begin physical therapy before you leave the hospital, and likely within a day of your surgery. The exercises your physical therapist will put you through will likely be uncomfortable or possibly painful for the first several days. It’s very important you continue the exercises to help you regain strength and mobility, as well as improve your muscle tone.


Q. What are the goals of rehabilitation?

The goals of rehabilitation are to:


Improve your muscle strength


Increase the movement in your knee joint


Protect your new knee joint


Help you resume most of your normal activities


Q. How long will I be in the hospital?

The typical hospital stay for knee replacement surgery is three to five days. Some patients will stay longer or shorter depending on their specific situation.


Q. Is there anything in particular I need to be aware of after surgery?

Infection is the most common complication following any surgery, so it’s important that you pay attention to your incision site and properly care for it to avoid infection. When changing your bandages, look for any changes in the appearance of your incision. Check to see if there is drainage and/or a foul odor coming from the incision site. Also check to see if your knee area has become more swollen, tender or painful. If you experience any of these symptoms or if you develop a fever above 101° F for more than two days, contact your surgeon.


Q. How long will my recovery last? When can I resume my normal daily activities?

Rehabilitation and recovery take time and hard work. Each person is different and the length of recovery is dependent on your particular situation, overall health and your rehabilitation. Many people achieve recovery in three to six months. When your surgeon feels you are ready, you should be able to resume some, if not most of your normal daily activities.


Q. When can I return to work after knee replacement surgery?

Most people return to their jobs between six to eight weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will inform you when you can return to work.


Q. When can I begin driving?

Most patients can safely begin driving again in four to six weeks. Your surgeon will tell you when you can resume driving a car.


Q. How should I take care of my new knee replacement?

Knee replacements are designed for the normal activities of daily living. Avoiding trauma, overuse, unnecessary kneeling and squatting are all helpful in caring for your new knee replacement.


How will the knee replacement affect my daily life?

More than 90% of individuals who undergo total knee replacement experience a reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living


Will my new knee set off metal detectors?

The sensitivity of every metal detector is different, and it’s possible that your implant might cause the machine to go off.


Is it possible that I’ll need a knee replacement in my other knee?

80% of knee pain sufferers experience pain in both knees2 and the severity of pain varies with each patient. Talk to your orthopaedic surgeon if you begin experiencing pain in your other knee. Your surgeon will tell you if you should consider knee replacement surgery for your other knee.

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