How quickly will my knee recover after knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery for your knee pain can get you back to living the lifestyle you enjoy, pain-free. However, returning to your everyday activities will take time.

Being an active participant in the healing and recovery process will help you get back on your feet quicker so you can enjoy the activities you love sooner.

The average hospital stay for recovery from single knee replacement surgery is four to five days. During this time you will participate in a number of exercises with a physiotherapist to help get you walking, moving and using your knee. It is critical to start using your knee as soon as possible after knee replacement surgery.

You will need to be able to accomplish some goals before you can be discharged from the hospital. These include being able to:

  • Get in and out of bed by yourself;
  • Eat, drink and use the bathroom independently;
  • Walk with an assistive device and climb two to three stairs;
  • Support your knee healing process through prescribed exercises at home.

Every rehabilitation experience is unique. In some cases people are able to take a few steps on the day of their surgery. For others, a longer stay in a supportive environment might be required after hospital discharge.

Most people are able to walk independently with a stick or crutch after one week and stop using assistive devices after two or three. It may take up to three months to return to normal leisure activities.

The most important steps to take to aid your recovery are:

  • Look after yourself;
  • Continue the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist at home;
  • Aim to decrease your walking aids as your knee becomes stronger.

As one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter, we’ve helped many patients live pain-free through knee replacement surgery.

29 Apr 2017

Published by Stuart MacKenzie

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