Knee Surgery Recovery Time
Knee surgery is a relatively major operation involving a very important joint in the human body. Before even undergoing the operation, a doctor or surgeon will consult with the patient to discuss the recovery schedule and give advice on activities that should or should not be performed after the surgery. Most patients will fully recover in 6 to 8 weeks, after which a period of rehabilitation will follow.
A few days after the surgery, the patient will be transferred to a rehabilitation ward to begin their recovery. The affected leg is kept raised to allow the knee to heal quickly without any undue pressure. The joint is also kept cold to relieve swelling. During this time, the patient must undertake a physical therapy and must do certain exercises as recommended by their physician.
The patient will be required to exercise their knee by taking a gentle walk, assisted by a walker. The patient should put as much weight on the leg as is comfortable. This is the beginning of the physical therapy regime for the patient, led by the therapist. This is an essential part of the recovery process and must be undertaken seriously. Although most of the recovery process is simply resting the knee, the physical therapy is very important, and doctor's orders should be followed very closely. Any ill feeling of the knee, especially any undue pain or restriction of motion should be reported to the physician.
Pain relief medication will be administered by the doctor, who will advise ceasing the medication when there is no more pain. Drivers should bear in mind that they should not drive until more than 2 weeks after the surgery.
The knee is one of the most heavily used joints in the human body, so it is naturally subject to degradation over time. In the older generations, knee arthritis is a common problem. Surgery is only really necessary when knee injuries or problems cannot be healed through the use of simple medication. Sports professionals will undergo knee operations if their knee problems interfere with their performance.
Different Types of Knee Operations
Arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and is usually carried out to diagnose potential knee injuries or to treat tears in cartilage around the joint or to extract broken bone pieces. This operation involves a cut being made in the knee that the surgery is performed through. A typical patient will recover from this type of surgery in six to eight weeks, taking the precautions listed above.
Arthroplasty is performed to reconstruct the knee joint and is a difficult procedure to carry out. The poor cartilage in the knee joint is replaced with an artificial plastic or metal construction. Hospitalisation is usually required for a week or more after surgery, while full function will only return after three weeks or so. Until that time, the patient can use a crutch to move about. Post-operative care is essential after this type of surgery, as it is more extensive than arthroscopy. Physical therapy is usually required.
Knee replacement is the most major operation to fix knee problems, and usually precedes arthroplasty. Recovery takes an exceptionally long time, often involving a year's worth of physiotherapy and surgical consultations to assess the progress of recovery. Doctor's advice is mandatory here to prevent prolonging the recovery time or injuring the knee joint again. Recovery time after this type of surgery will depend on the patient's overall health too.