Dr. Pankaj Walecha is a Top Orthopaedist in Delhi. He has 11 years of experience in the advanced field of Knee Replacement Surgeries. Dr. Pankaj Walecha practices at Apollo Spectra Hospitals in Karol Bagh, Delhi and Apollo Spectra Hospital in East of Kailash, Delhi. He has expertise in the field of orthopaedics and is in the know-how of all the advanced treatments/medicines available in this dynamic field. Here, he shares information about the recovery after a total knee replacement procedure, the post-surgery care and the dos and don’ts for a faster recovery.
Key to Recovery
The earlier you get out of the bed and start moving- the faster you recover! With your physiotherapist’s assistance, you can start walking within 24 – 48 hours after the surgery. It is normal to experience initial discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen at this point.
Thereafter, depending upon the level of your recovery, your physiotherapist will suggest exercises. Regularly practising these, and keeping up with the routine even after you’re discharged home is an important step for faster recovery. Apart from this, your physiotherapist will also address related concerns like taking care of the wound, managing pain, handling any equipment you may require- such as dressings, bandages, crutches and splints.
Immediate Post-surgery Care
After a total knee replacement surgery, the patient is moved to a recovery room from the OT, where he or she is closely monitored for a few hours. Certain after-effects of the anaesthesia may be felt at this stage, such as a sore throat, vomiting, and drowsiness- which will eventually reduce. Painkillers may be given a few hours after the surgery, as the effect of anaesthesia might start wearing out by then. Additionally, to avoid the risk of blood clots, a patient should start moving around as soon as possible. This is because lying in the bed for too long can cause the blood to pool in your legs. Try simple exercises like flexing your ankle or rotating your foot. Special support stockings may be provided after the surgery for proper circulation of blood. In some cases, even an injection may be given to thin the blood and reduce the risk of clots. Passive motion exercises are suggested by the doctor to prevent blood clots at best.
Dos & Don’ts after Surgery
- Do regular walks. You can do brisk walks as well
- Take the stairs as much as possible, according to your physical capacity
- Regular knee exercises, even after you have completely recovered from the surgery
- Do consult your doctor/physiotherapist regularly. In case of any infection in the body, like dental infection, UTI, chest infection or any boil on the body, immediate consultation is necessary to prevent it from spreading to the replaced knee.
- Do visit your doctor annually, even after the first year, for a routine checkup of your replaced knees
- Do not squat on the floor
- Do not play contact sports like football or any heavy sport activities
- Don’t use conventional/Indian style toilets in which squatting is needed