It can be tempting to return to your usual lifestyle soon after knee surgery. After all, you had the surgery to fix a problem, not to stay in bed all day!
However, improper care for your knee after an operation could damage it further, which may require another knee surgery to repair the damage. It could also cause additional complications such as blood clots.
Recovery can vary for each patient, so be sure to listen to the advice and recommendations of your surgeon. The following are some of the key postoperative instructions to follow in order to ensure a speedy and safe recovery after knee surgery:
Take Care of Your Incision Area
Your surgeon will give you care instructions for your incision, such as when and how often you should clean it and change its dressing; however, you may be told to keep it dry and to visit the clinic to have the dressing changed by medical professionals.
Generally, you should avoid allowing the wound to get wet. You will likely have to take sponge baths for the first number of days and to cover the area with plastic if it might be exposed to the moisture of any kind. Your surgeon and the nursing personnel will give you guidance, and don’t hesitate to call them if you have any questions.
Soon after your surgery, you will be able to move with assistive devices, such as crutches or a cane, and assistance from your caretaker. You will also be practicing simple moves with a physical therapist.
Your physical therapist will show you how to lie down properly on your bed, and how to sit, stand, and exercise. They will help you adjust during your first few weeks after surgery.
Take Your Medication
Your doctor will likely prescribe or administer medication for various reasons. Antibiotics will be given during your first days post-op to prevent an infection. These drugs may be taken orally or via injection.
You may also be prescribed pain medication during the first few weeks. Pain medications can cause constipation, which you can address by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding high-fiber foods. Consult your doctor before taking any laxatives, because they may have contraindications with one or more of your other medications.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Your surgeon will give you post-op instructions that are specific to you and your lifestyle, including advice about going back to work or driving. Contact the doctor if you experience unusual symptoms such as the following:
- Excessive fluid at the incision site
- Redness or pain at or near the incision site
Likewise, immediately contact emergency services if you experience the following:
- Increased swelling in your leg
- Increased temperature at the incision site
- Pain in your leg unrelated to the incision
- Shortness of breath or chest pain while breathing
These symptoms may indicate a blood clot, which can be life-threatening. After it has been addressed, let your surgeon know about the reaction you had.
Knee Surgery in Boynton Beach, Florida
Here at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches, we apply the latest and best techniques in knee surgery. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists specialize in orthopedics, sports medicine, and rehabilitative care that is geared specifically to you.
To find out more about knee surgery and our other services, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (561) 733-5888 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you here!