Although all you may want is to rest in the 24 hours preceding your knee replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeons are probably going to be coming in and asking you to start bending your new knee and sitting up on the edge of the bed or in a chair.
This is because early mobilization is key to the full and optimal recovery of a knee replacement surgery. Building up your leg muscles again is an important part to gaining full control over your new joint.
You’ll have plenty of pain medication in your system the first few days to cope with the amount of movement you’re being asked to do, but as time goes on your pain medication will decrease as your mobility increases.
A physical therapist (PT) is one of the most important parts to your recovery process. It focuses on building up the strength and flexibility of your new joint. Consistent movement will also minimize swelling, which is a huge hindrance to flexibility. Doing the exercises that your PT assigns prevents the build up of scar tissue that can result in stiffness and limited mobility.
The initial recovery time of a total knee replacement surgery is generally between 10 and 12 weeks, while long-term recovery can be anywhere around 6 months. Everyone’s recovery time is different, so just continue at your own pace, and listen to your Physical Therapist. If you keep up your exercises, your knee will recover in no time!
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