10 Tips For Knee Surgery Recovery: Heal Faster And Stronger With A Plan
Knee surgery is often needed to treat pain or damaged parts, but recovery can be the most complicated aspect of your medical ordeal. Having a plan, though, should keep you ahead of the game and help you to heal faster and with fewer complications. Here are some tips to help you make a plan.
1. Make Your Home Safe For Your Recovery
Because you'll be temporarily handicapped, it's important that your home be made safer. Before surgery, move things around so you have a clear walking path, and make sure that there are no cords or throw rugs in areas that could trip you up.
2. Plan On Having Things To Do While You Heal
You probably don't want to just sit in a chair watching television for the duration of your recovery, and maybe you could use this time constructively. Consider brushing up on your foreign language skills, starting that novel you've been planning in your head, or volunteering for a project at work that you can do at home. If there are no major accomplishments to be tackled, just make sure you have games or books to keep you occupied and content as you heal.
3. Ask Friends And Family To Help Around The House
If you're able to do things around your home, with your doctor's permission, that's all well and good; however, if you aren't able and you're forced to do them anyway, it could spell trouble for your recovery. Arrange to have someone, be it a friend, relative or neighbor, to help you out when you need it. If there's no one who is able to do the job, ask your healthcare team about a visiting nurse or other service.
4. Ask Your Doctor What Equipment Might Make Life Easier
Even if you're young and don't like the idea of using a walking aid, you're probably going to need something to help you get around for the time being. Find out what will work best before your knee surgery and keep it handy during recovery. Don't feel too proud to use it, either.
5. Have A Means Of Elevating Your Knee
Swelling is typical following surgery, and you may notice it around your knee and/or ankles. Talk to your doctor about when the swelling should subside, but have your favorite ottoman ready in the living room to keep your leg elevated, which should help with the swelling.
6. Find Out What Exercises You Can Do To Strengthen Your Knee
Eventually, you'll be able to perform exercises that will work toward strengthening your knee, and you should do them as your doctor advises. Even if they're not fun, they're important to regaining muscle composure, so you should do the exercises when you're supposed to.
7. Keep Your Physical Therapy Appointments
Physical therapy is also an important component of your healing, although it's not usually the preferred activity of recovering patients. Make these appointments a priority, and you should heal right on schedule.
8. Make Sure Your Surgical Wound Stays Clean
Every surgery comes with risk, including that of infection. Keep a close eye on your surgical wounds, making sure they're clean and well-dressed. If you notice any pus draining, excessive redness or other indications that the wound is not progressing as it should, the site could be infected, and that would warrant an immediate trip to your doctor's office.
9. Be Aware Of The Possibility Of Blood Clots
Your risk for deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots, may increase following surgery. Pain, intense heat and swelling are a few of the symptoms of a blood clot, and you should contact a medical professional if you experience them. A blood clot in your leg can travel to your lungs, putting you at significant risk; thus, this situation is something you need to be aware of as a possibility and be prepared to act on.
10. Report Anything Unusual Or Uncomfortable To Your Physician Right Away
You should recover on the schedule your physician provides and with little to no major complications, but if anything unusual pops up, don't be afraid to call your medical team. The human body is a complicated, sometimes delicate machine, and surgery is no small matter. Express your concerns, however small, and take a preemptive attitude towards any complications.
Be as prepared for your knee surgery as possible, and you should sail through recovery unimpeded. Hopefully, you'll be back on your feet and better than ever before you know it.