Operative Recovery some form of walking aid such as
a walker, crutches, or a cane for six to eight weeks following
knee replacement surgery.
The incision must be kept clean and dry for the first two weeks after
surgery to allow for healing. Two to three weeks after the operation,
sutures or staples are removed during an office visit. During the
recovery process, most patients use:
medicines) and water therapy to enhance
the results of surgery by maintaining muscle tone and range of
motion. Significant physical therapy is added 1-2 days after
surgery to strengthen the muscles around the knee and achieve
full range of motion.
In some cases, the symptoms of knee
arthritis may disappear as early as two to three weeks after surgery,
but it may take up to six months to achieve full recovery. Usually
throughout this time pain steadily decreases.
The physician will check the patient's range of motion and functional
status six to eight weeks after surgery. The prosthesis should be
examined annually for loosening or wear.
Complications that follow knee replacement
surgery are rare but can be severe. These include:
- infection of the joint, which usually
requires additional surgery and treatment with antibiotics.
- If the wound doesn't heal properly,
or the replacement components loosen, an additional surgery will
- Medical complications such as deep
venous thrombosis (blood clots) can occur.
- Existing heart, lung, and kidney
problems can worsen.
- Fractures around the prosthesis
may also require additional surgery.
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