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What to Expect After Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can be life-changing for many individuals, eliminating chronic pain and restoring full function to a damaged knee joint. If you’re planning on undergoing knee replacement, it’s important to know what to expect from your procedure, especially during the recovery phase. Setting realistic expectations and committing to the rehabilitation process can help reduce your recovery time and ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

How Long Does Recovery After Knee Replacement Take?

Recovery after knee replacement can be a lengthy process, but the good news is you will typically experience significant improvement within a short time. Patients can generally resume most normal activities within six weeks of surgery. In addition, most patients are 90% recovered after three months. However, full recovery after knee replacement can take six months or longer.

Several factors may impact how fast you’re able to recover after knee replacement:

What to Expect Immediately After Surgery

recovering in the hospital after knee replacement surgery After knee replacement, you’ll be brought to our post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), where you’ll be monitored by one of our nurses to ensure you are stable and your pain is under control. Your time in the PACU may range from 30 minutes to two hours.

After being released from the PACU, you’ll be transferred to a private room where your family and friends can visit you. Our team will monitor your vital signs to ensure your initial recovery is going smoothly.

Most patients typically have a one-night stay in the hospital. In some instances, an extended stay in our hospital or an off-site rehabilitation facility may be recommended based on the specifics of your procedure. You’ll receive physical and occupational therapy services during your hospital stay to optimize your independence and safety before discharge. We aim to get you up and moving around as soon as possible, including the same day as surgery, whenever appropriate.

Pain Management After Knee Replacement

Managing your pain is an important component of your recovery. Pain is to be expected after knee replacement and can manifest in a variety of ways, including:

It’s important to have tolerable levels of pain control during your recovery to promote healing and ease movement and physical therapy. As you prepare to go home after surgery, your goals for pain will continue to change as your activities increase. Studies show that if your pain rating is a “4” or higher, you may find it much more challenging to carry out your daily goals. Our orthopedic team will work with you to manage your pain so your recovery and rehabilitation go as smoothly as possible.

Rehabilitation After Knee Replacement

physical therapy after knee replacement Your rehabilitation after knee replacement will include both physical therapy and occupational therapy. These treatments are an essential part of the recovery process, and the extent to which you complete these treatments as directed – including all at-home exercises – will impact both the timeline of your recovery and your outcome.

Occupational therapy will be performed to:

You’ll work with an occupational therapist once or twice daily in the hospital.

As discussed above, physical therapy will begin while you’re still in the hospital so that you can begin moving your knee as soon as possible. Once you’re discharged from the hospital, you’ll work with a physical therapist three times a week for six weeks. Your physical therapist will continually assess your strength and provide you with techniques to function safely and effectively at home. In addition, you’ll work on appropriate exercises to help restore proper strength, range of motion, and knee function.

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics has an in-house physical therapy clinic. Completing your PT with our team provides essential benefits. It allows your surgical and physical therapy teams to collaborate on your treatment plan and communicate progress throughout your recovery. This ensures everyone on your care team is aligned throughout your rehabilitation.

Raising the Bar for Knee Replacement Surgery on the Western Slope

knee surgeon At Colorado Advanced Orthopedics, we’re committed to delivering the exceptional quality care you deserve. We’ve assembled an outstanding team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons in the state, and we utilize the most advanced technology available to ensure you receive care commensurate with what is provided in major metropolitan areas.

Our knee surgeon, Dr. Kevin Borchard, performs all knee replacement procedures using the Mako SmartRobotics™ surgery system. He’s performed over 1,000 knee replacements using the Mako system, and combining his surgical skill with this state-of-the-art technology has resulted in superior surgical outcomes that exceed industry standards.

Stryker Orhopaedics, the owner of Mako SmartRobotics™, recently released Dr. Borchard’s total knee replacement data from July 1, 2022, through June 20, 2023. When compared with other patient outcome data in Stryker’s database, which includes over 1 million patient records and 105 million actionable data points from procedures performed at 180 surgical centers across the country, Dr. Borchard’s patient outcomes consistently rank among the top tier of doctors:

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.

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