After knee surgery, patients are moved into a recovery room for a couple of hours and then moved into a hospital room for a typical stay of two days, according to Mayo Clinic. In most situations, pain medications are prescribed to help control the pain and soreness that result from surgery.
During a patient's stay in the hospital, moving the foot and ankle is important to increase blood flow and avoid potential clots and swelling in the leg, explains Mayo Clinic. Some patients may receive blood thinners or additional support from support hose or compression boots in order to prevent clots and swelling.
While still in the hospital, a physical therapist teaches patients how to properly move the new knee. Once a patient is discharged, physical therapy continues. A typical physical therapy regimen includes a graduated walking program, slowly resuming everyday activities and knee strengthening exercises. Patients usually begin walking indoors for short periods of time, gradually extending the length of each walk. Therapists encourage patients to incorporate the use of steps into everyday activities and complete household chores that may have been difficult prior to the surgery. The knee strengthening exercises are recommended movements that are performed several times a day, reports Mayo Clinic.