Handling a knee replacement involves pushing through a great deal of initial incapacitation, pain and following a protracted schedule of recovery through physical therapy, according to MedicineNet.com. Having emotional and logistical support from family and friends goes a long way toward finding healing and recovery.
While physical therapy can begin 48 hours after surgery, those first few days after the operation are often difficult for patients to handle. Some have to endure the humiliation and discomfort of a catheter simply to excrete urine. When the physical therapy begins, the first treatments are often marked by considerable pain and stiffness. While therapists often use knee immobilizers to stabilize the joint during physical therapy sessions, as well as short walks and sleeping, the fact is that the first weeks after the surgery can be painful ones, as stated by MedicineNet.com. The way in which people respond to those challenges determines the quality of recovery they can expect.
Several different stages take place on the road to recovery. Initially, patients use a walker to move around, and then they graduate to crutches. Over time, they begin walking on their own, first on flat surfaces and then on stairs and grades. By performing exercises diligently at home, they build strength in their calf and thigh muscles to support the work of the knee joint, states MedicineNet.com.