Tips After Your Knee Surgery Operation
Following your surgery, you may feel pain or discomfort for the first few weeks at home and you should make sure your prescribed pain control medication as required. Taking one every four to six hours as directed is usually required for the first few days to suppress pain.
- Swelling in your knee usually slowly reduces over the first few weeks following surgery. The surgical incision should be dry, but there may be occasional slight spotty bleeding along the wound. A light dressing may cover the incision and the compression stockings should be worn at all times for the first six weeks. Icing your knee for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a day during the first few weeks after surgery will help reduce pain and swelling. If you notice increased swelling, redness, or wound bleeding, you should call Dr Parminder J Singh’s team.
- The presence of new onset calf pain, chest pain or shortness of breath can be a sign of a possible blood clot. Please arrange see your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Tips for home
- Your furniture should be positioned so that you can manoeuvre with easily and safely with a frame or crutches and reduce the risk of a fall. Remove rugs and place non-slip mats in your bath. It may even be worth changing rooms around by placing a bed downstairs to reduce the use of stairs for the first few weeks.
- Ideally make sure you have a good chair with arms, that is both firmer and higher than a normal low seated chair as these are safer and more comfortable. However it should not be so high that your legs dangle or lead to pressure on the back of the thigh.
- Installing a gripping bar and a non-slip mat in the shower is sensible; and a raised lavatory seat may be added if required. Dr Parminder J Singh's pre-assessment nurse will be able to provide some further information on where to hire this equipment and which may be best suited for you.
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Exercises have been developed to help you achieve the best results following your knee surgery. It is important to perform the following exercises recommended by Dr Parminder J Singh unless otherwise agreed.
Continue these exercises until otherwise advised by your physiotherapist or Dr Parminder J Singh.
If you have any questions, or you are not too sure about an exercise to perform contact us (03) 9428 4128.
- Dr Parminder J Singh recommends that you follow your physiotherapy program and generally avoid strenuous activities that may irritate your knee typically for first six weeks following surgery. The goal is to restore your motion and improve your strength. Progressively walking longer distances each day is helpful.
- Try to arrange for someone to visit you at home to help you for up to six weeks. You may need assistance with putting on the elastic stockings, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and getting around town. Whenever possible during the first few weeks after surgery, you should periodically elevate your leg to help reduce the swelling. It is normal to have swelling for the first 3 to 6 months after surgery.
- Most patients may shower when they get home. Dr Parminder J Singh recommends you wear a waterproof dressing and avoid bathing for 6 weeks.
To assist in certain manoeuvres following your surgery, consider the use a long handled shoe horn, long handled bath sponge or a grabbing tool to avoid bending over too far may be helpful. Initially, you may need someone to assist you putting on your socks and tying your shoelaces. Use long handled feather dusters or low and high items. Do not sweep, mop or vacuum until Dr Parminder J Singh tells you it is safe to do so.
With respect to transport, you may sit in a car but only if you follow Dr Parminder J Singh’s and your physiotherapist instructions for entering and exiting the vehicle. You may need to raise your car seat with pillows to protect your hips and knees. Dr Parminder J Singh will inform you when you can drive which will typically around six weeks after surgery. Please ensure you can perform an emergency brake, without discomfort, before attempting to drive.
The following tips can be useful in making your return home more comfortable. Consider placing items that are used regularly at your hand height. Try to avoid very high or very low shelves as these may require the use of steps or kneeling.