Most people who have knee replacement surgery experience significant improvement in their pain and function. Part of the recovery journey is managing the pain after knee replacement. This article can guide you through the different techniques and strategies that can help with pain and promote your healing and recovery.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery, also known as total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the knee joint with an artificial joint. The artificial joint is made of metal and plastic and is designed to mimic the movement of the natural knee.
Surgery to replace the knee joint is typically performed on people who have severe knee pain and stiffness that is not relieved by other treatments. It can also be performed to improve the function of the knee and to relieve pain in people who have had a knee injury or who have arthritis.
The recovery time for knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Most people can walk with the help of a walker or crutches for a few weeks after surgery. During this time, it’s important to listen to your doctor and your body to ensure you safely make a full recovery.
Working With Your Orthopedist to Manage Pain After Surgery
It’s important to manage pain after knee replacement surgery to promote healing and recovery. Each pain management technique is effective on its own. However, it’s best to work with your doctor to develop a personalized pain management plan using different techniques and strategies. This way, you can get the best possible outcome from your knee replacement surgery.
Here are some pain management techniques that you and your doctor can explore after surgery:
There are a variety of medications that can be used to manage pain after knee replacement surgery. These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are a type of over-the-counter medication that can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Opioids: Opioids are prescription medications that can be used to manage severe pain. However, they should be used with caution due to the risk of addiction.
- Acetaminophen: This is also a pain reliever. It is often used in combination with other medications and techniques to manage pain.
- Muscle relaxants: Muscle relaxants can help reduce muscle spasms that can contribute to pain.
In addition to medications, there are a variety of therapies that can be used to manage pain after knee replacement surgery. These therapies can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and increase mobility.
- Physical Therapy: This is a common way to manage pain and regain the full ability of your joint after surgery. Physical therapists can help develop a personalized exercise program that will help you strengthen your knee and improve your range of motion.
- Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists can help you learn how to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking, with your new knee.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture consists of inserting needles into the skin at specific pressure points. Acupuncture can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Massage Therapy: This technique focuses on helping reduce pain, improve circulation, and relax muscles through massages.
Other Tips and Strategies for Pain Management
Your pain management plan can also include patient education and making lifestyle changes. Patients should be taught about the different types of pain that they may experience, as well as the different ways to manage pain. Lifestyle changes can also be helpful in managing pain after knee replacement surgery. Losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and managing stress can all help reduce pain and improve recovery.
Other than medication and therapy, there are other simple things you can do that can help with pain, too. Here are a few tips that you can use for pain management as you go on your recovery journey with a new knee.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Whether it’s medication, exercise, or physical therapy, talk with your doctor to find the best pain management plan for you and stick to it.
- Use ice packs or heating pads to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Elevate your leg to reduce swelling and pain.
- Get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid activities that put stress on your knee.
- Stay positive and motivated. Recovery from knee replacement surgery takes a while, but you’ll get back to your active lifestyle over time!
Knee Replacement Surgery in Boynton Beach
Knee replacement surgery can greatly help you relieve pain and regain better function in your knee. However, this procedure needs to come hand in hand with a proper pain management plan to promote healing and recovery afterward. These techniques and strategies can go a long way to managing pain and helping you learn how to live with your new knee. Talk with your orthopedist to develop the best pain management plan for you after knee replacement surgery.
You can find a great team of physicians and therapists to help you in your knee replacement recovery here at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches in Boynton Beach. We offer expert and comprehensive care for a variety of orthopedic conditions and needs, including knee replacement surgery. Our friendly staff are happy to answer any questions when you call (561) 733-5888. You can also schedule an appointment with us through our online appointment form.
We’re looking forward to working with you in your recovery, so you can live a full and pain-free life!