On the journey towards improved mobility and a pain-free life, undergoing knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing decision. However, to ensure a successful and quick recovery, it is important to avoid the most common mistakes people make during this critical period. We know the importance of a full recovery process and are here to help you avoid the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement.
A knee relief is a major decision. After all, you are having part of your body removed and replaced with essence. So, if you are going to do it, do it rightly.
Miscalculations after total knee relief can slow recovery and limit the full impact of surgery, from lack of post-op planning to returning to work too soon.
Although knee relief surgery is generally successful, roughly 20 of cases continue to witness pain after surgery. Because knee pain is the most common reason why people choose for knee relief surgery in the first place.
1. Not Having the Right Mindset Before Knee Replacement Surgery
The most common mistake that knee replacement patients make is not having a postoperative plan in place. Planning for discharge should start well in advance of your joint replacement surgery. Nowadays, patients are frequently having knee replacements the same day or returning home immediately after surgery. You must have an arrangement in place for how you will manage at home after a knee replacement. To do your best, you can’t just go home and stay in bed. You should wake up early and move around a bit.
2. Ignoring Nutritional Guidelines
Eating the right food is important when you’re getting better. A diet with lots of vitamins, minerals, and protein helps your body heal and makes swelling go down. If you don’t eat the right way, it can slow down your recovery and make it harder to move and get strong again.
3. Failure to achieve Full Knee Extension
After knee replacement surgery, your knee will be swollen, and you’ll have some bandages on it. This will make it hard to move your knee at first. But as the swelling goes down, you might develop stiffness in your muscles and knee.
To prevent this, it’s important to start moving your knee as soon as your doctor says it’s okay. You’ll notice improvements in how much you can bend your knee, which is a good sign. You can start by bending it a little, like 60 degrees, and work your way up to 90 degrees and even more.
However, your knee might not straighten all the way at first, maybe only about 20 degrees from completely straight. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually important to work on straightening it too.
Sometimes, when you do exercises in bed, your knee might look straight because of the mattress, but it’s not really straight. So, focus on getting your knee as straight as possible. Exercises like quad sets can help with this and also strengthen your leg muscles.
4. Skipping Physical Therapy
You still have a long way to go after achieving full knee extension. A knee replacement is not like taking your car to the shop to get new tires. You’ll probably need physical therapy for at least a few months. Even if your pain goes away shortly after surgery, you’ll need to regain your range of motion and strength so you can stand up from a sitting position, walk without limping, move up and down stairs, and get up from the floor.
Patients should not be afraid of the discomfort, but should communicate with their physical therapist and provider about their concerns about increased pain with therapy, and the exercises can be tailored to the patient’s capacities. Remember that having a total knee replacement does not mean you have a completely new knee.
When you exercise, try to push yourself a bit, but not too hard. It’s like when you feel a little soreness during exercise, but it’s okay because you’ll feel better afterward.
Also, be careful with stretching. If you stretch too much and it hurts a lot, your muscles might cramp, which means they try to get shorter. So, don’t stretch so much that it hurts a lot, especially if you’ve had knee surgery. It’s okay to feel some pain during exercise, but don’t make it really, really painful.
If you make your brain think that moving hurts, your nerves become more sensitive. This makes the pain worse and upsets your nerves. It’s better to exercise in a way that makes you feel a little uncomfortable during it but better afterward.
In your pursuit of a quick and successful knee replacement recovery, avoiding these top 5 common mistakes is paramount. From diligent preoperative preparations to attentive postoperative rehabilitation, every step counts. Nourishing your body with proper nutrition and prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being are integral aspects often overlooked but critical for an overall successful recovery.