Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery
The average length of hospital stay after a knee replacement is between 2 and 4 days. You will normally use a stick or crutches for approximately 6 weeks after your operation, and the post-operative rehabilitation is supervised by an experienced team of physiotherapists.
Immediately after surgery:
After your operation, you are transferred to the recovery area where you are closely monitored. You may have an oxygen mask in place, a cannula (drip) in your arm, and pneumatic pumps on your feet or calf muscles to help reduce the risk of blood clots.
On the Ward:
If possible, on the day of your surgery, the nursing staff or physiotherapists will sit you out of bed or maybe even help you to take a few steps! It is essential that you begin to eat and drink normally as soon as possible after your operation.
Your inpatient stay:
In the days following your operation, the nursing staff and therapists will encourage you to return to normality. Washing or showering, wearing your own clothes, normal toileting and frequent mobilisation are all important post-operative goals. A routine post-operative X-ray will be performed prior to your discharge.
Once Mr Tai, the nursing staff and therapists have passed you fit and safe for discharge, you may go home. Even after discharge from hospital you will be asked to wear compression stockings and take medication for a short period to reduce the risk of blood clots. Your physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise programme to facilitate your post-operative recovery and rehabilitation. If necessary, we can also arrange a course of out-patient physiotherapy.
You will have your wound checked and clips removed at two weeks and will have further follow-up at approximately 6 weeks and 6 months after your knee replacement. If you are a little slower to rehabilitate or recover after your operation, or indeed if you simply need some reassurance and encouragement, Mr Tai will happily follow you up more frequently or for a longer period of time.
Returning to normal activity:
Do not drive for the first six weeks. You are responsible for ensuring that you are physically fit and safe to drive a vehicle before returning to the open roads. It is advisable to inform your insurance company of your operation.
You may bath / swim once your wound has completely healed.
No flights longer than 4 hours should be planned within the first 3 months of your knee replacement surgery.