The Joy of Working Out

At the age of 16, I started exercising regularly. This decision drastically changed my life for the better. I lost an enormous amount of weight and went down three dress sizes. Unfortunately, I had to undergo orthopedic surgery 8 years ago to remove torn cartilage from my left knee. After my surgery, I was afraid to work out due to the continual swelling in my knee. Thankfully, I made an appointment with my orthopedic doctor to talk about this issue. This medical professional prescribed a comfortable and protective knee brace for me to wear while exercising. On this blog, I hope you will discover how an orthopedic doctor can help you exercise again.

Knee Replacement Surgery: What To Know About Your Initial Recovery Phase


If your orthopedist, or bone doctor, plans to perform a total knee replacement, or TKR, surgery for you in the near future, you may worry about your recovery time and what to expect during it. According to NHS Choices, you spend anywhere from three to five days in the hospital post surgery before you return home to complete your recovery. Your initial recovery phase at home may take a few weeks to complete, and you'll need physical therapy and your doctor's help to do so. Here are some things to know about the initial recovery phase and what you can do to make it better on you.

What Happens During the Initial Recovery Stage?

According to NHS Choices, you may recover enough from your surgery to walk without crutches or another mobility device six weeks after your procedure. But to reach your goals, you typically see a physical therapist to help you regain mobility in your knees. Because knee replacement surgeries can cause a number of symptoms, such as swelling and pain, it's important that you follow all of your therapist and doctor's orders properly to help ease your symptoms.

One of the things a therapist may do to ease your symptoms is schedule water therapy sessions for you. Aquatic, or pool, therapy allows you to regain mobility and strength in your lower body without placing strain on it or your new knee implants. The therapy improves the blood circulation in your body, as well as to your surgical sites. Good blood circulation allows oxygen to reach your surgery sites better, which encourages the tissues surrounding your knee implants to heal and experience less swelling.

In addition, water therapy may keep you on track with your recovery better. Although it doesn't apply to everyone, some patients skip or cancel their physical therapy appointments because of pain. Aquatic therapy may be easier and less stressful on your recovering knees, so you can continue your therapy as directed.

But if you do experience discomfort during your therapy sessions, speak to an orthopedic doctor right away. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to reduce bacteria and inflammation in your healing tissues, as well as medications to ease your pain. It's possible for a bone doctor to prescribe blood thinners to prevent clotting in the body, which help stops problems with your recovery. You should avoid taking over-the-counter drugs, supplements, or other medications without an orthopedist's approval. Also tell an orthopedic doctor right away if another physician prescribes you medications. Some OTC and prescription drugs and supplements may affect how your blood thinners work.

Now that you understand more about your initial recovery phase, it's time to learn how to improve it at home.

How Can You Encourage Your Knee to Heal at Home?

If you haven't done so already, speak to a nutritionist about your recovery diet. Although your knee implants are made of titanium or another strong material, it's important that you keep the bones, muscles, and tendons around them healthy. Your diet may include items that contain protein and vitamins A, C, and E. These types of nutrients help wounds heal by encouraging your cells to regenerate. The nutrients also strengthen your immune system, heart, and blood, which lowers your risk for infection.

It's a good idea that you stick to the meal plans developed and approved by a nutritionist and orthopedic doctor. As previously mentioned, you shouldn't take supplements without speaking to a doctor first. If you have concerns about your meal plans, consult with a provider immediately.

Also, ask family members to help you out at home with cleaning and other household duties. While it's important to stay as active as you can during your recovery, you don't want to overdo it. Depending on the complexity of your TKR surgery, you may aggravate or endanger your implants if you accidentally strike your knees or tear the tissues around them. Staying safe is one of the best ways to recover.

For more details about your recovery or what to expect during it, consult with an orthopedic doctor today.


17 October 2016