Recovery and Post-Operative Instructions
We offer an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and personal approach in the treatment of our patients. Our physical and occupational therapy team helps patients regain their mobility and ability to care for themselves so they can resume their normal activities as soon as possible.
Patients go through the recovery process as a group - eating, exercising and enjoying activities together while providing encouragement and enthusiastic support for one another. Studies show that patients who recover as a team reach their goals faster and with fewer complications.
During the recovery process, most patients will have a close friend or family member act as their “coach” who plays a very important role in helping the patient reach his or her goals. The Joint Replacement Center considers patient education, group support, involvement of family and friends and positive reinforcement to be the most important factors in the patient's recovery.
Keys to Safety & Success
Here are some keys for success in the first few weeks after surgery as you recover at home.
- DO NOT place a pillow under your new knee when you sit. Doing so may cause you to lose the ability to straighten your knee and flex it properly.
- DO NOT go a long period of time without moving. To help prevent stiffness and swelling, it is important that you get up and move at least every 45 minutes or so.
- DO NOT sit in chairs that are low to the ground, chairs with wheels or chairs without armrests.
- DO NOT bend over to pick up items on the floor. Use your grabber tool or other assistive devices as needed.
- DO NOT drive a car until cleared to do so by your physician.
- DO NOT soak your new knee or incision in water. You may be instructed to cover your incision when you shower. You should not take tub baths.
- DO NOT have sex or play sports until cleared by your physician.
- DO continue your exercise program as prescribed. The more dedicated you are to performing your exercises correctly and on-schedule, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.
- DO push yourself to flex your knee and regain the largest range of motion possible.
- DO take your pain medication about 30 minutes before therapy or starting your exercise program to help reduce pain.
- DO continue your ankle pump exercises any time you are sitting and after long periods of inactivity.
- DO take walks when cleared to do so by your physical therapist. You should avoid surfaces like grass or gravel that may cause you to lose your balance.