If there’s one thing that we don’t want to hear from our doctor, it’s that we need to have surgery. Yet sometimes, due to what is happening inside of our bodies, it’s simply unavoidable. For some people, this would include needing knee replacement surgery. In fact, according to several reports, it’s a procedure that takes place approximately 600,000 times each year within the U.S. alone. Usually the diagnosis comes as the result of individuals having continual aches, joint stiffness or even a total loss of mobility in the knee area.
If you or someone you know is scheduled to have knee replacement surgery and you’d like to know some tips for how to take care of your body following the procedure, we have provided you with five suggestions that will have you feeling as good as new below:
Take care of your incision. As your knee is healing, it’s important that you do all that you can to care for your incision. It needs to remain clean and dry at all times. You need to change your dressing every other day. You should avoid directly washing the area but instead, apply soap and water around the incision. Do not apply creams and lotions to it (that could irritate the skin). And keep in mind that while the incision is healing, it’s normal for there to be a bit of redness and swelling; just not an excessive amount. This brings us to the next point.
Look for signs of an infection. Although a little bit of swelling is fine, one thing that you do want to avoid is an infection. Some of the signs of one being in your knee area include having a fever over 100 degrees (especially within the first 24 hours of your surgery), a lot of swelling or redness around the incision or if you see any pus that is draining directly from it.
Put on some elastic stockings. Something that you definitely need to do for your knee is to put on some elastic stockings. Not only will they help to increase the blood flow to your knee but they will also help to reduce the risk of you getting a blood clot. Just make sure that you take them off twice a day for an hour at a time until your doctor tells you that you don’t need them anymore (usually six weeks or so).
Manage your pain. As your body is healing, it’s totally natural to have moments of discomfort. There are several things that you can do to manage your pain, though. If your doctor prescribes pain medication, make sure to take it as instructed. Otherwise, over-the-counter pain pills like Advil or Aleve should help. Also, if you went to a website like http://www.orthoped.com/ for some tips, they would probably also recommend that you apply ice therapy to your knee and that you try and reposition yourself when you start to feel pain. All of these things are proven to be quite helpful.
Limit your traveling. For the first two weeks and/or you are done with your prescriptions, it’s imperative that you not operate a vehicle. And until six weeks are up, it’s best to limit your travel as much as possible. Most doctors recommend traveling for no more than two hours a day so that your knee can be fully extended. But either way, do not get on the road without your doctor’s approval. For more information on how to heal from knee-replacement surgery, contact your local physician.