One of the best treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a knee replacement. The majority of patients report excellent results from their surgeries, but some don’t get what they want. If you do not take adequate care of your operated knee following a knee replacement surgery, you run the risk of negative consequences or, worse still, infection.
For the procedure to be successful, proper home care and dedication to post-surgery rehabilitation are equally crucial. For this reason, following knee replacement surgery, Hip and knee Orthopaedics follows a stringent post-operative protocol.
Let’s talk about the top 5 mistakes you should not make following a knee replacement.
5 Common Post-Surgery Mistakes
The healing of your new joint is directly influenced by your postoperative behavior. This is the time when the speed and ease of the recovery process will be determined most. The following are the top 5 mistakes that one should avoid making following a knee replacement in order to have a successful knee surgery:
1. Not Taking the Adequate Medication
Medication used after surgery is intended to lessen discomfort and inflammation, but most critically, to lower the risk of infection. It is necessary for you to take anti-inflammatory drugs and oral antibiotics during the first week following knee replacement surgery. The use of oral antibiotics is crucial because they reduce the risk of surgical site infection, which can have disastrous consequences during prosthetic joint implant surgery. This is because, in the unlikely event that bacterial biofilm forms on the prosthesis, eliminating clinical infection may not be feasible short of removing the prosthesis.
Due to inflammation following surgery, the knee joint may become stiff, which could lead to less-than-ideal rehabilitation outcomes. Severe inflammation can cause significant pain and discomfort for the patient, which can interfere with their ability to get a good night’s sleep. The following day, this would impact your attempts at rehabilitation as well.
Maintaining effective pain management after the onset of severe pain can be extremely challenging. Regular dosage of painkillers improves pain management, particularly during the first week following surgery. Controlling pain gets much harder by the time it reaches a high level. As a result, you could find yourself in a never-ending cycle of trying to manage your pain but constantly lagging behind, which would be detrimental to your progress and the goals of your rehabilitation.
2. Lifestyle of Sedentary __ Failure to Comply with Exercise Guidelines
There is a misconception among certain individuals that walking following a knee replacement is not advised due to the possibility of harming the knee implants or suffering injuries. As soon as you can after knee replacement surgery, the more you stretch and move your knee, the more successful your replacement will be! In order to avoid excessive scar tissue from setting in, which can become irreversible once set in, the new implant must be “run in.”
3. Excessive Physical Activity too Soon
Overdoing it too soon can be problematic, especially for physically active people who want to get back to their activities right away. If you were able to move during your rehabilitation, that would be beneficial, but not too much. Overexercise can cause chronic swelling that can reduce knee mobility. You might be unable to resume your physical therapy for a few days due to a swollen knee. It’s a good idea to observe the rule that swelling should go down the day after exercise. It would be advisable for you to adhere to the fitness regimen that the doctors or reputable therapists prescribe.
4. Following surgery, poor nutrition and dehydration
One of the top 5 mistakes that negatively impact recovery following a knee replacement is eating and nutrition improperly. It’s critical to stay properly hydrated following knee replacement surgery. This keeps blood pressure within a healthy range and guarantees that the anesthetic drugs are flushed out following surgery, both of which lower the risk of complications.
Protein-rich foods aid in the recovery and healing of wounds. Antioxidant-rich diets also aid in reducing the pro-inflammatory reactions that follow surgery. Choose a diet high in fruits and vegetables, such as berries.
Avoid a sugar-rich diet as this can cause inflammation and hinder the healing of wounds.
Avoid alcohol in excess as this may interfere with post-operative antibiotics and medications.
5. Ignoring pain management and physical therapy
Following the prescribed physical therapy regimen is crucial for a speedy recovery. For the new joint to feel natural, it is critical that the surrounding supporting muscles regain strength following surgery. Regardless of whether you are working with a physical therapist or at home, you need to adhere to the suggested schedule and complete the exercises completely. Following physical therapy, it is typical for the knee joint to feel a little sore. You can use ice, elevation, and painkillers to treat this discomfort. As long as you adhere to your doctor’s recommended pain management regimen, there is no reason to be afraid of becoming addicted to painkillers.
In conclusion, these are the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement. Patients must actively engage in their rehabilitation process, adhering to prescribed exercises and gradually increasing activity levels. Balancing activity with adequate rest, managing pain effectively, and closely following medical guidance are essential components for a smooth recovery journey. Additionally, maintaining overall health through proper nutrition and lifestyle choices contributes significantly to the success of knee replacement outcomes.