North Point Orthopaedics

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801 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 304
Munster IN 46321
219-836-1060
219-836-1014

Knee Replacement Information: Patient Recovery

Physical Therapy

During your hospital stay you will receive physical therapy daily. If your stay includes a stay in one of the Inpatient Rehabilitation facilities, you will receive physical therapy multiple times during the day.

You will be taught about joint replacement recovery and will rapidly start walking and doing exercises.

The physical therapist will check your progress daily and will keep your surgeon informed. Pain medication may be taken prior to your physical therapy if you request it.

Progress

The usual hospital stay for total knee replacement is two to three days.

While in the hospital you will be evaluated for inpatient Rehabilitation at St Margaret Mercy in the Community Hospital in Munster.

The therapist will teach you how to dress and get out of bed without help. You will continue to work to strengthen yourself in preparation for your return home.

It is important for you to adhere to your doctor's directions and follow proper positioning techniques throughout your rehabilitation. By the time you leave the hospital, you will normally be progressing well in regaining mobility and stability. If your sutures or clips require removal, you will be advised about who will remove them and where this will be done. It is not uncommon to still experience some pain. Remember that full recovery may take two to three months.

Preparing To Go Home

Just prior to your discharge, you will receive instructions for your in-home recovery. Until you see the surgeon for your follow-up visit, you must take certain precautions.

Look for any changes around your incision. Contact your surgeon if you develop any of the following:

You will see Dr. McComis two weeks following surgery. Please call and schedule that appointment. We will remove your staples at this time if they have not been removed. Take time to adjust to your home environment. It is okay to take it easy.

Returning to Regular Activities

Your recovery is based, in part, on your condition prior to surgery. Rehabilitation is hard work and recovery takes time.

Many patients undergoing the total knee replacement surgery are back to normal activities within a few weeks.

You usually may begin driving once you are able to bear full weight on your knees, usually within 5 to 7 days. Be sure you are comfortable with your strength, and practice driving in a safe area. You may resume driving when you are comfortable with your mobility.

Sexual intercourse may be resumed at any time as long as it is comfortable.

During recovery, you should continue to be active in order to control your weight and muscle tone. It is generally two to three weeks before you can resume low-impact aerobic activities such as bicycling and swimming. Jogging, high-impact aerobics and certain sports can be resumed after two to three months. Running, however, is not advised. Remember, your new knee is artificial, and although made of extremely durable materials, it is subject to wear and tear.

After one to two months, many patients report having little or no pain at all. In the end, it is your responsibility to discuss and follow a plan set forward with your surgeon.

Medication/Pain Control

It is normal for you to have some discomfort during recovery. You will probably receive a prescription for pain medication before you go home. If a refill is needed, please call our office a few days before you run out of pills. Contact our office if your discomfort or pain increases.

Special Instructions

In order to check up on your progress, you will likely be seen three to four weeks after your surgery, then again after six and twelve months. You should see your surgeon every other year after the first year.

Any infection must be promptly treated with proper antibiotics. This includes prophylactic antibiotics for any dental work, colonoscopies or any other invasive procedure. Please inform your health care providers of your new knee prior to procedures.

You will receive a wallet card for identification purposes. Ask the office staff when you are in for your appointments following your surgery.

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