You’ve decided that the pain and stiffness in your knee has gotten bad enough to consider a total joint replacement, but you’re concerned about the recovery and what life will be like after surgery. Most patients are pleasantly surprised at how quickly they recover and are able to return to their normal activities.
Recovery and rehabilitation will be different for each person. We will encourage you to begin using your new knee shortly after your operation. Although it may be challenging at times, doing this will speed your recovery and help you get the most out of your new knee.
Most patients will experience some temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak from inactivity, the body is adjusting to the new joint, and the tissues are healing. This pain is typically mild and resolves in a few months. Ice, elevation and medications are all used to alleviate these symptoms.
Exercise and physical therapy are an extremely important part of the recovery process. You will be provided with specific exercises to help restore movement and strengthen the joint. Like anything else, you’ll get out of it what you put into it! Following the advice of your therapist and physician will ensure you stay on the path to a speedy recovery.
Within just a few months, most patients are able to get back to the things they love doing like swimming, riding their bicycle, golfing or playing tennis. High impact exercises like jogging are not recommended as they will tend to wear out the new knee faster, but they are possible.
Deciding to have a knee replacement is a tough decision, and one that should be discussed with a physician. With over two and a half decades of experience, Dr. Westphal is able to answer any questions that you may have. Contact us today with questions or to schedule an appointment. At Westphal Orthopedics, our priority is you!