Post Operative period
A post-operative stay of 3-5 days is required. There will be a bulky bandage and small drainage tubes emerging from the wound. An intravenous drip may be given till you resume taking fluids. There may be an oxygen mask also. All these will be removed soon after the surgery. You will be mobilized as soon as possible and the physiotherapist will help you with this. Over the next few days you will be taught exercises, how to use walking aids and how to climb stairs.
Pain Management: After surgery, some pain and discomfort is common. Pain relief medication and ice packs will be given. These medicines will be continued orally after discharge depending on the patient‘s tolerance to pain.
Swelling and pain will persist for some time and will resolve over time. You will be advised to sit with lower limb elevated and not to stand in one position for long.
Blood Clot Prevention: The surgeon may prescribe compression stockings, a DVT pump and blood thinners while in hospital. The stockings and oral blood thinners may be continued after discharge for some time. Foot and ankle movement is encouraged immediately after surgery to increase blood flow and prevent blood clots
Preventing Pneumonia: In the early post-operative period shallow breathing is common especially in the elderly and smokers. Anesthesia, pain medication and prolonged stay in bed contribute to this. Shallow breathing can lead to retention of secretions that can cause partial lung collapse and pneumonia. To prevent this, the physiotherapist will encourage you to take frequent deep breaths and provide you with a simple tool called a spirometer to help you with breathing improvement.
Walking is advised on the first or second post-operative day, with walking aids and someone beside you. It is necessary to improve walking pattern while in hospital. Avoid twisting or pivoting the new knee. Walking while essential should not be overdone sit will cause swelling. Increase walking speed and distance gradually.
Physiotherapy: Knee exercises are started on the day after surgery. The physiotherapist will help you with specific exercises to strengthen the leg and restore knee movements.
Climbing The Stairs: Learn how to use stairs from the physiotherapist. Use railings or bannister and walking aids while climbing up or down the stairs.
Going Up: go up one step with non-operated leg and bring up the operated leg and then bring the crutch or stick up
Going Down: take the crutch one step down and place the operated leg down a step beside the crutch. Then bring the non-operated leg to meet the other
Sitting: Use a firm, upright chair, preferably with arms. When sitting the knees should be lower than the hips. In the initial stages when rising from the chair, push yourself up on the arms of the chair, taking weight on the un-operated leg. Regain balance and then shift weight to the crutches.
Kneeling is not advised during the first few months following surgery.
Discharge: most patients are discharged on the 3rd or 5th post-operative day.