How Do You Heal From Total Knee Replacement?


Quick Answer

Healing from a knee replacement surgery begins almost immediately because the physical therapy begins within a day or two of the operation. Staying disciplined enough to stick with the therapy can be difficult but pays dividends when the patient achieves full recovery, notes Healthline.

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Full Answer

The patient starts standing and even walking within the first 24 to 48 hours after the replacement procedure, under the guidance of a physical therapist. It is important to start using the artificial knee just as soon as one is able. This first day includes instruction on how to get out of bed and use assistive devices like crutches or a walker. Often, the therapist sets up a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine to use while in the hospital and then again at home. This device moves the knee constantly to keep stiffness and scar tissue from developing, according to Healthline.

Each day, activity levels should continue to increase. The therapist may push the patient to use a standard toilet instead of the bedpan and to keep using the CPM device. By the third day, the pain medication doses start coming down, and the walks outside the hospital room get longer, even involving stairs. The patient should be able to bend his knee to at least 90 degrees, bathe and dress independently and only use assistive devices on a minimal basis, as stated by Healthline.

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