Healing is a gradual process after any surgery, including knee replacement surgery. A knee replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is considered major surgery in which the damaged portions of your knee joint are removed and replaced with artificial components.
The timeline for healing and recovery from knee replacement surgery varies from person to person and can depend on numerous factors, including the type of procedure (full knee replacement vs.partial knee replacement), complications of the surgery, and consistency with physical therapy protocols and doctor instructions.
Typically, the full healing and recovery after the knee replacement surgery can take 6 months to 1 year or, in some cases, even longer. However, you should be able to resume everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning after about 4 to 6 weeks.
Let’s talk about what the recovery timeline after knee replacement surgery is like, and where you can go to get your knees evaluated if you’re considering knee replacement surgery.
Discharge to 21 Days After Surgery
After discharge from the hospital or outpatient facility, whether you go home or to a rehab center, the priorities you will be dealing with are the same. These priorities include to:
- Control your pain
- Get plenty of sleep
- Do physical therapy
- Keep your incision clean and covered
- Avoid activities that can cause impair the healing process
- Watch out for the signs of complications, such as infection or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after the surgery
- Go for follow-up visits with your orthopedic doctor
By following the above guidelines and your doctor’s discharge instructions, your healing should speed up, your range of motion should improve, and your pain and swelling should decline.
Week 4 – Week 6 After Surgery
During the first few weeks after surgery, knee pain greatly improves. You will notice significant additional improvement in these areas during weeks 4 through 6. By the end of week 6, you should be able to stop taking pain medications (if you haven’t already), and be able to resume many daily activities.
To achieve this success, you will need to continue pain management and physical therapy. During weeks 4-6, you should also avoid risky behaviours, such as alcohol consumption and smoking, which can adversely affect your body’s ability to heal.
Week 7- Week 12 After Surgery
Typically, the initial phases of healing and recovery from the surgery are considered complete within the first 8 weeks after the surgery. After week 8,you should be well on the road to recovery. You should also be able to perform physical activities with the help of assistive devices, including walking, bicycling, and swimming.
During this period, it’s advised to continue doing physical therapy exercises, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, on your own, several times per week.
By week 12, you should have full range of motion in your knee.
Week 13 and Beyond
Approximately 13 weeks after the surgery, you should be able to see the finish line, providing that you have no surgical complications and that your pain is almost nonexistent.
Even at this stage, however, you should still check in with your orthopedic surgeon, especially if you are planning to return to high-impact activities.
Knee Replacement Surgery in Boynton Beach, FL
If you’re planning to have knee replacement surgery, consider Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. We have a team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons who are highly experienced in knee replacement surgeries. We also understand how important a full recovery after knee replacement is to you, so we’ll help guide you throughout the recovery period to make the experienceas smooth as possible for you.
To make an appointment with our outstanding orthopedists, call Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches today at (561) 733-5888 or fill out our online appointment request form.