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Understanding the Recovery Process After a Knee Replacement

Understanding the Recovery Process After a Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery is often needed when your knee pain is so bad it interferes with your normal activities. If conservative treatments haven’t helped, a knee replacement eases pain in your joint and restores your mobility. The recovery process isn’t easy but it is vital to a good surgical outcome in your affected knee.

At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team provides excellent care when it comes to knee replacement surgery. Our team of six orthopedic surgeons offers the latest technology and modern equipment to make your knee replacement surgery and recovery as smooth as possible.

Why do you need a knee replacement?

Knee pain affects many aspects of your life. If you have knee pain that’s not relieved by home therapies, it’s a good idea to seek treatment. 

Most knee pain is treatable through conservative measures. The team at Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine offers treatments like physical therapy and joint injections to help relieve your knee pain.

However, if your knee pain continues after several conservative measures and you have osteoarthritis, the team recommends a knee replacement. This procedure is also considered when the pain of osteoarthritis disrupts your daily activities.

A knee replacement can be either partial or total, meaning the amount of damage that’s removed from your joint. The team performs a partial knee replacement when you have damage to only one compartment in your knee.

A total knee replacement is needed when osteoarthritis has damaged most of your knee joint. Both procedures require a prosthetic device that takes the place of the damaged tissue in your knee. 

Both partial and total knee replacements can be performed using robotic-assisted technology. This increases the precision of your surgery and may speed up your recovery.

Knee replacement recovery timeline

The recovery period after a knee replacement is dependent on many factors. For instance, your recovery is quicker if you have a partial knee replacement than it would if you have a total knee replacement.

A partial knee replacement only requires one compartment of your knee to be replaced. This means less pain after surgery and a much faster recovery. However, if you need a total knee replacement, your recovery won’t be too much longer.

The first few days after your procedure, your knee will be swollen and painful. This is normal, as your body is starting the healing process. The pain should subside within a few weeks after your procedure.

During the first six weeks, physical therapy is the most vital step in your recovery. Physical therapy allows you to regain strength in your leg and improves your range of motion. Over the next few months, this helps you return to your normal mobility and activities.

You may need 3-6 months to fully recover from a knee replacement. However, it could take up to a year before you’re able to do everything you could before surgery.

When can you return to your normal activities?

The truth is, life will be a little different after knee replacement surgery. You should avoid high-impact activities, such as jumping, running, or contact sports. These activities can damage the prosthetic in your joint.

By 12 weeks after surgery, you should be able to get back to most of your low-impact activities. You should still be performing your physical therapy exercises to help your knee stay strong and healthy.

In most cases, you’ll be back to normal within six months of your surgery. However, in more severe cases, it could take up to a year to fully heal after your knee replacement.

To learn more about a knee replacement, call our team at one of our three locations in McKinney, Prosper, and Sherman, Texas, to schedule an appointment. You can also book a consultation on our website with one of our orthopedic specialists.

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