Your knee surgery recovery time ultimately depends on the type of knee surgery you have and how it’s performed. Although, regardless of the operation type, there are several ways to encourage an accelerated recovery.
Deciding to have knee surgery is the first step to a pain-free life. Access to full mobility is just around the corner with these easy ways to reduce your knee surgery recovery time.
- About 750,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States and projected to reach 5 million by 2030
- Nearly 50% of American adults develop knee arthritis during their lifetime
- Cold therapy is one of the most effective, well-known methods of pain reduction and accelerated healing
Although an operation’s recovery period can’t be completely eliminated, following steps that promote healing can shorten the duration of recovery and quickly improve your physical and mental state.
About Your Operation
Every year, about 750,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States. With nearly 50% of adults developing knee arthritis at some point in their lifetime, it makes sense that this number is expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2030, due to the aging population.
This means that you or your loved ones are likely to need knee surgery at some point in your life. Learning how to reduce knee surgery recovery time will help improve the quality of your healing process.
Although osteotomy, a common treatment for knee arthritis, is one of the most common causes of knee surgery, there are several other types of operations that require the same recovery methods. Some of the most popular types of knee surgeries include:
- Total Knee Replacement
- Mini-incision Knee Replacement
- Partial Knee Replacement
- Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
As with any medical procedure, it’s always best to keep open communication with your doctor. If you have questions about the type of knee surgery you’re having, be sure to contact your physician to provide a personalized guide to recovering quickly.
Recovering At Home
Although the recovery process can feel long, there are several steps you can take to accelerate your healing and make a full recovery.
Effectively Manage Pain
Pushing through your pain isn’t going to help you heal faster. In fact, severe pain is a sign that your wound is not healing properly and can ultimately lengthen your recovery time.
To avoid prolonging your healing process, speak with your care team to determine a pain management plan that’s best for you. It’s important to accurately describe the level and location of pain experienced so your health care provider can determine the severity of your discomfort.
In the meantime, find comfort and pain relief at home with the use of a cold therapy machine, like Breg’s Polar Care Kodiak. Cold therapy is one of the most well-known methods of pain reduction and can often replace the use of opioids after an operation.
Not only is cold therapy known to conveniently and effectively provide pain relief and accelerate healing, but it’s also proven to:
- Speed up metabolism
- Improve sleep quality
- Heighten focus
- Strengthen immune system
Benefits like these are helpful to accelerating recovery as your body uses its stored energy to heal the surgery site.
Walk As Soon As Possible
Joint replacement surgeries aren’t always easy to recover from, but getting back on your feet as soon as possible will help speed up your recovery time.
Once you’re cleared to put weight on your leg, go for a stroll several times a day to help rebuild and strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee.
Not only will you regain full mobility sooner, but you’ll also:
- Help prevent blood clots
- Improve circulation
- Minimize swelling
- Maximize oxygen and nutrients
Even if you’re not ready for a long, unassisted walk, slowly increasing your movement will have a positive impact on your repaired knee.
Committing to physical therapy is a crucial part of recovering quickly from knee surgery. Exercises provided by your physical therapist will strengthen your leg, help you walk and restore movement in your knee.
Staying on a regimented schedule that promotes low-impact movement is one of the best ways to ensure a full recovery. During your appointments, you and your therapist will work on:
- Determining pain tolerance
- Stretching and strengthening muscles
- Practicing flexibility and aerobic exercises
To see substantial improvement, it’s important to continue prescribed exercises at home as recommended by your physician.
Getting enough rest and quality sleep is just as important to recovery as staying active. Balancing your movement with sufficient rest will give your knee the time it needs to recover from walking and physical therapy exercises performed throughout the day.
While you’re resting, keep your leg elevated and apply ice and compression to help:
- Minimize pain
- Reduce swelling
- Boost your healing time
One of the best ways to keep consistent compression on your operation site while resting is by wearing a compression sleeve. Simply slide the sleeve over your bandage to help reduce pain and swelling.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods is always a good idea, but especially so while you’re trying to speed up your knee surgery recovery time. A diet filled with fruits, vegetables and other nutritious ingredients will help supply your body with vitamins and minerals it needs to heal quickly.
Stick to whole, anti-inflammatory foods rich in plant-based fats and proteins to speed up your road to recovery. Assess the food pyramid below for specific items and recommended frequency.
Listen To Your Doctor
Possibly the most important step in accelerating your road to recovery, listening to your doctor is key. Instructions that seem simple are provided for a reason, so be sure to ask questions if the meaning behind instructions given are unclear.
It’s easy to take the healing process into your own hands after returning home and seeing small improvements, but continuing close communication with your healthcare providers is the best way to ensure a full, speedy recovery.
The Road To Recovery
Taking steps to accelerate your knee surgery recovery time will change your life for the better. Although the exact timeline depends on your type of procedure and personal circumstances, following routines suggested by your doctor will promote the quickest recovery possible.
Start accelerating your healing journey today and visit OrthoBracing.com to find all of the healing tools you need for a pain-free, mobile lifestyle.