If you are facing a knee replacement surgery or have recently had surgery, you should talk to your doctor at home, physical therapist or Dr. Oscar Mendoza about return to physical activity.
Early Mobilization and Pain Management
Even with rest time blazing your schedule, early mobilization is key. You will need to build up strength in your quadriceps muscles to progress control of your new joint. Early activity is essential to counteract the effects of the anesthesia and to boost healing. Your doctor and a physical therapist will give you specific instructions on wound care, pain control, diet, and exercise.
Proper pain management is important in early stage of recovery. Although pain after surgery is quite inconstant and not entirely foreseeable, it can be controlled with medication. Initially, you will probably receive pain control medication through an intravenous (IV) tube so that you can control the amount of medication you need.
Postoperative Activities and Physical Therapy
A physical therapist will typically visit you on the day after your surgery and after you arrive back home to begin instructing you on how to use your new knee. You may be fitted with an unremitting passive motion exercise machine that will slowly and smoothly straighten and bend your knee.
Once home, you should continue to stay active. The key is to remember not to overdo it. You will notice a gradual improvement and increase in your endurance over the next 6 to 12 months.
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