Knee Replacement Recovery Time
Knee replacement, also known as “arthroplasty,” is a surgical procedure that resurfaces a knee joint damaged by severe injuries or joint conditions such as arthritis. The recovery time for a knee surgery can vary depending on the severity of the underlying issue. Generally, knee replacement procedures include four steps:
- Preparing the injured bone and cartilage by removal.
- Positioning the metal implants where all cartilage and bone has been removed.
- Resurfacing the patella or “kneecap.”
- Inserting a medical-grade plastic spacer that helps keep artificial components moving efficiently.
While the steps of this procedure are variable, most patients can expect a fairly short and smooth recovery time after knee replacement.
Knee Surgery Recovery Timeline and Tips
Your recovery time from knee replacement depends on your ability to plan ahead, follow all of your surgeon’s instructions, and ensure you put in the time needed for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
The schedule of physical therapy and rehab your doctor will assign you is vital to helping you get back on your feet and returning to your normal routine. It can also help you heal faster after surgery and decrease your knee surgery recovery time.
Knee Surgery & Replacement Recovery Timeline
Your First Day: When you wake up from anesthesia, you will likely be in a continuous passive motion machine (also known as a CPM) to help you reacclimate to moving naturally. This machine will gently bend and move your knee while you lie in bed. On your first day, you may be visited by a physical therapist already, who will assess your recovery and help with routine tasks such as getting out of bed and moving around. You may also be required to use crutches, cane, or walker during this time. Once you wake up, you may be wondering “what is the normal recovery time for knee replacement surgery?” Read on to find out.
Day Two and Your First Week: After two to three days in the hospital, you should be able to be discharged to return home. Of course, if you still require skilled nursing care, you may hire a private duty nurse for your home or be moved to a sub-acute rehabilitation facility.
You should start experiencing normal mobile functionality in your knee joint. However, it is normal to still experience some discomfort or pain at this time of your knee replacement recovery. During this time, you will start regular physical therapy sessions and be required to follow all instructions set by your therapist and surgeon. Some of the exercises you may be required to do include:
- Gentle Walking
- Further Use of the CPM Machine
- Light Stair Climbing
- Scar Massage & Manipulation
You will also still be required to rely on the aid of crutches, cane, or walker during this time.
Your Third Week: By this point in your knee replacement recovery timeline, you should be completely discharged from all nursing or in-patient rehabilitation care. However, you should still be in outpatient therapy at this time. During this knee replacement recovery time, you will continue with your physical rehab sessions and begin to focus more in-depth on strengthening exercises including the use of ankle weights, stair machines, riding a stationary bike, or straight leg raising exercises.
At this point, you should be only minorly using your walker or walking on a single crutch or cane.
Weeks Four through Six: While your knee surgery recovery time should be close to finished by now, you should still be working with your physical therapist on returning to full mobility. By the end of your sixth week, you should be able to use ice to control your pain, be completely free of using any sort of assistive walking device, and back to your normal routine. The question of ‘what is the recovery time after knee replacement?’ will begin to fade as you recover fully.
Knee Surgery Post Operative Care
Because of the long recovery time involved with knee replacement and surgery, medical professionals generally recommend that patients seek the best post-surgical care possible.
You will likely stay in a hospital for the first 24 hours, if not the next few days, after your surgery. However, seek professional care, either from expert post-op nurses or in a post-surgical recovery facility, that can cater to your needs as you focus on your recovery. If the question of ‘what is the recovery time after knee replacement?’ is on your mind, or even causing you stress, consider a stay with us.
Stay at Pearl Recovery Retreat
At Pearl Recovery Retreat, we pride ourselves on being the premier postoperative recovery facility in the Los Angeles area.
Situated in Beverly Hills, our facility includes five-star luxury amenities that won’t be found anywhere else. With our innovative team of medical professionals and post-op nurses, we are fully prepared to help you speed up your recovery time after a knee replacement or surgery.
If you need to undergo a knee replacement sometime soon, we invite you to stay with us.
Contact us online today to plan your stay.