Orthopedic surgeons receive special training during their residency in how to replace a patient’s joint with a brand-new synthetic joint. These surgeons are regularly replacing diseased and arthritic knees with artificial joints, and the patients are up walking that day or the next.
The process of arthroplasty of the knee – whether partial or complete replacement of the knee joint – can involve cutting away the lower end of the femur (upper leg bone) and the upper end of the tibia (lower leg bone) as well as adjacent diseased or degraded tissue. The doctor then replaces them with a new prosthesis constructed of metal alloys, high-grade polymers, and medical-grade plastics, and this can give a patient decades without knee pain.
Let’s talk about what happens after knee surgery, and what you can expect during recovery.
After the Knee Replacement Procedure
Knee arthroplasty is frequently done as outpatient surgery. However, your doctor may require a stay of a day or so to ensure that you are responding well and that you do not have an infection.
In most cases, a physical therapist (PT) will come to your room after your surgery. The therapist will help you get out of bed and have you try to walk around with assistance. Once patients go home after knee surgery, they will require someone to help them around the house and to run errands for them for the first few weeks.
Patients are encouraged to use the leg, first with crutches and/or a walker. As the knee is becoming stronger, the patient should be able to walk with just a cane, and hopefully without a cane eventually.
After a number of weeks after your knee has become strong again, your surgeon will clear you to drive if your knee can withstand normal pressure. The doctor will evaluate your pain levels and how far your knee can be bent rapidly.
Likely Prognosis After Knee Surgery
Your results after the operation will depend on your overall health, age, and fitness level. Based on various lifestyle factors and health factors, your new prosthetic knee joint may be able to serve you for the rest of your life.
After the first six weeks, you should only experience knee pain during physical therapy and exercise, walking up and down the stairs, taking a shower, and doing light housework. The more activity you can do, the better. Just be sure not to push yourself through the pain.
Your surgeon will let you know if knee revision surgery is necessary later, which may be the case in knee arthritis. Revision surgery is often necessary after younger people have had knee surgery, such as after a sports injury or a car accident.
Orthopedic Doctors in Bismarck, North Dakota
If you are in North Dakota, contact our friendly and experienced team at The Bone & Joint Center Orthopaedic Center of Excellence. We are conveniently located in Bismarck, easily accessible via I-94.
Call us today at (800) 424-2663 or request an appointment online, and let us explain how we can help repair your knee and get you back up and feeling great again!