Knee replacement surgery can be a terrifying prospect, but it’s one that many aging individuals face on a regular basis. The healing process can seem daunting, and this may lead many people to shy away from the procedure, even once it’s been recommended by their doctor.
While there’s no doubt that full recovery after a knee replacement takes time, there are some ways you can speed up the process. These techniques will ensure the smoothest recovery possible from your surgery and help you to get back on your feet before you know it.
In this article, we’ll discuss three vital tips to help you recover from knee replacement surgery. Let’s get started!
1. Speak With A Qualified Physiotherapist Before And After Treatment
A physiotherapist is a medical professional who has a special interest in restoring movement and function to individuals with injuries or disabilities. You should aim to speak with a qualified physiotherapist before your treatment, because physiotherapy will play a major role in your recovery.
Your physiotherapist may also be able to set you up with exercises to do prior and immediately following the surgery, in order to ease the process. To get the most from this meeting with your physiotherapist, we recommend that you:
- Bring along a caregiver: If a loved one will be caring for you in the days following the surgery, it’s good to have them tag along. They can learn some techniques to help you, especially when it comes to getting you in and out of bed, to the bathroom, etc.
- Ask questions and raise concerns: While the physiotherapist won’t be performing your knee replacement, they can answer many questions about the healing process and the role physiotherapy will play.
You should also ask your physiotherapist for a specific outline of exercises to follow, as well as a schedule to use when performing them. While you’ll be working with a physiotherapist in the hospital following your procedure, it doesn’t hurt to get a head start (assuming that your surgeon recommends it).
2. Put A Solid Recovery Plan Into Place
Just as it sounds, a recovery plan is a strategy you create for the sole purpose of after-procedure care and healing. It will cover many different facets, including where you will stay (if not your own home), who will care for you, and how you will get to your post-surgery appointments.
By having a solid recovery plan in place, you can alleviate many fears about the process. It will also give you an idea of what to expect, so you can more thoroughly prepare for the procedure and for the weeks following it.
To be sure that you have a solid plan in place, you should:
- Understand the healing process: You’ll want to speak with your surgeon, so you can have a better idea of what the healing process will encompass, as well as what types of supports you’ll need.
- Work closely with your medical team: This means setting up all appointments prior to your scheduled surgery date and following the advice of your surgeon and physiotherapist. You’ll also want to ask specific questions, such as how soon you’ll be able to get around independently (barring complications).
Of course, perhaps the most important part of your recovery plan will be your care team. They should be included in the plan creation process as much as possible.
3. Get Your Care Team Ready
Your care team is anyone – your friends and family, as well as hired professionals – who will assist you during the time immediately before, during, and after your knee replacement. One of the best ways to prepare for your recovery is to get your care team recruited and ready for the task at hand.
It’s best to recruit your care team before your surgery, because it’s helpful to know how much physical and emotional support you’ll have. This will enable you to mentally prepare for the surgery, as well as to sort out logistics (such as schedules).
So, how can you be sure your team is ready to go? You can:
- Create a schedule: You likely won’t need round-the-clock care, but having someone stop in every few hours will be beneficial to your healing. This means you should create a schedule that equally distributes care tasks, and which you can fill out with professional help if needed.
- Communication is key: Ask your caregivers what level of support they’ll be able to provide and be honest with them about your needs. This will make the healing process smoother on both you and your caregivers.
Another member of your care team that you may not have considered is your physiotherapist. You will spend significant time in physiotherapy following your knee replacement, so it’s important to find one that you’re comfortable with.
How Trained Physio Can Help You
While healing from knee replacement surgery is no walk in the park, there are quite a few things you can do to make your recovery go more smoothly. These tips, which can be implemented even before your procedure, can help to ease your fears and prepare you for the journey ahead.
In this post, we’ve discussed three tips to help you recover from a knee replacement. In short, they are:
- Speak with a qualified physiotherapist before and after treatment.
- Put a solid recovery plan into place.
- Get your care team ready.
Do you have any questions about the process of recovering from a knee replacement, or how our experienced physiotherapists in Perth can help you? Call us today, we have a special interest in knee and hip replacement patients and operate Perth’s largest rehab facility which enables us to make your road to recovery easier, faster and more comfortable.