Total Knee Replacement Recovery
Total knee replacement is one of the most successful orthopedic surgeries. Dr. Nicholas Alexander of Mahwah Valley Orthopedic Associates has performed thousands of total knee replacements and helped thousands of patients return to an active life after a knee replacement.
If you or a loved one are interested in the procedure, understanding the recovery process is important. Knowing exactly what to expect will enable you to recover in as short a time frame as possible. The recovery process can generally be divided into 3 parts.
#1: Recovery in the Hospital
Following the procedure, the patient is brought to the postoperative recovery room. Recovery room nurses monitor the patient as the anesthesia wears off and they become more awake and alert. If the patient is in pain or discomfort, appropriate medications are given. After the patient is deemed awake and stable, the patient is brought to their private hospital room usually about one hour after surgery.
A physical therapist then comes to the patient’s room after their arrival and the therapist teaches the patient how to stand, walk and sit. A supervised short walk is taken and the therapist also teaches simple strengthening exercises to perform while sitting or lying in bed. The leg is elevated to decrease swelling and pain. Total hospital stay time is typically 24 to 48 hours. Some patients may be eligible to leave the hospital the same day as their procedure. The physical therapist and patient work together throughout the entire process to facilitate a safe and speedy recovery.
#2: Recovery at Home
Help with normal home activities is needed for about one week. A physical therapist is typically sent to the patients home to start the outpatient therapy program for a period of 5-10 days. The patient is taught to walk and perform exercises as instructed by the physical therapist and Dr. Alexander. After the initial 5-10 days, the patient will transition to an outpatient physical therapy center near their home to complete the recovery process
Appointments with Dr. Alexander typically occur within 10 days and thereafter at 4 and 6 weeks after surgery to ensure proper healing and that range of motion is regained after surgery. Normal leisure activities and driving are resumed about 6 weeks after surgery.
#3: Recovery and Return to Work
After a few weeks, the patient returns to work and normal activities. The specific timeline for work and activities is based on the activity level, the type of work being performed, and the recommendation of Dr. Alexander. The patient sees their orthopedic specialist for follow up appointments to make sure everything is progressing well.
Making an Appointment
Total knee replacement relieves osteoarthritis knee pain and stiffness and dramatically improves quality of life. Our goal is to get you back to an active and pain-free life.
If who are interested in the procedure, please make an appointment with one of our offices in Mahwah or Clifton, NJ.
Scheduling An Appointment
Dr. Nicholas Alexander is Board Certified and Fellowship Trained and an expert in treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Please do not delay a diagnosis. Contact our office today to make an appointment!