To reduce recovery time following knee replacement surgery, the patient must work with a physical therapist to perform exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, according to MedicineNet.com. The patient is advised to take up swimming and to avoid sports and activities that involve excess running and contact.
The exercises performed under the guidance of a physical therapist help prevent scarring and muscle contracture, says MedicineNet.com. Not only do the exercises reduce recovery time, they also ensure stability of the joint following surgery. In a similar sense, swimming helps the patient recover by performing strength-building exercises in an environment that does not place excess pressure on the joint.
To ensure any complications that occur do not become too severe, the physician must monitor the post-surgery wound through the healing process, claims MedicineNet.com. The patient should contact the physician if he notices any complications, excessive pain or other issues involving the area including such signs of infection as redness, swelling and warmth. To reduce the likelihood of an infection occurring, the physician typically prescribes an antibiotic during every stage of the knee replacement process. The patient should also notify any new physicians, including dentists, of his knee replacement to prevent bacterial infections from arising during basic procedures.