Knee replacement recovery is an essential part of the surgical process. Patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery typically have little to no risk of causing any severe damage to the new knee but there are still some very important precautionary measures that need to be looked after.
If you are assisting someone who is scheduled for a procedure, there are the essential rehabilitation tips you need to consider as you work with your friend or loved one to help guide them through a speedy and successful recovery.
Prepare for Post-Op Life
The main goal for anyone who has undergone a knee replacement is to avoid placing any real pressure on the knee. So, before your loved one goes under the knife, prepare the home in which he or she lives and make it easier to get around without exerting undue stress on the knee.
This might require rearranging certain items in the home so they are easier to reach with as little movement or walking as possible. Keep higher items that are necessary at lower levels so the individual doesn’t need to stretch or stand, exerting more force or pressure on the surgery site. If possible, try to rearrange the home so as to avoid having the patient walk up and down stairs.
Two very useful tools for helping a knee replacement surgery patient move around are a walker or a walking cane. These will help to prevent the patient from taking a bad step and falling down. A fall could severely damage or dislocate the replacement knee, causing painful injury and potentially requiring a repair of the surgery.
These are good for getting around the home and they are also ideal for helping the patient move about in public. When passersby see that someone is using a cane or a walker to get around, that is a signal to give the individual more time to get around and clear the way for them pass. Don’t worry, your loved one won’t be needing the device for long, just as long as the knee heals properly.
Managing Any Pain or Discomfort
Any patient who has undergone knee replacement surgery should be prescribed some form of pain medication. Patients who are dealing with pain or discomfort in the knee should take their pain medication as prescribed. Some patients may feel uncomfortable or afraid to take painkillers due to the risk of dependence. This risk is minimal and going without pain medication puts the patient at risk of a compromised recovery and chronic discomfort in the knee for months or even years to come.
As a caregiver, you should ensure that your loved one is taking his or her pain medications and successfully managing their discomfort. A patient in pain is less likely to undergo the physical therapy that is required for post-op recovery.
If the patient is continuing to feel pain or discomfort even with their pain medication, it may be time to discuss a stronger alternative to manage the issue.