Total knee replacements in New Orleans are extremely successful procedures that improve a patient’s quality of life – and most importantly – relieve arthritic pain.
For the past 5 -10 years, studies have revealed 95% positive results. More recently, the longevity of total knee joint replacements has increased; in some cases it will outlast the patient’s life span.
Following are 10 of the most commonly asked questions we receive regarding post-surgery knee replacement in New Orleans.
1. What do I do when I return home? After surgery and the hospital stay, patients typically feel tired and drowsy. You will be advised to rest and elevate the leg, advance your diet as tolerated and be sure to take your medications as directed.
2. What about my dressing and when do I return to the office? The dressing typically remains in place for a week before it can be removed. After the dressing is off, you may continue to shower. Unless a problem arises, you will be given any appointment about six weeks from the time of your surgery.
3. What about walking? Following knee replacement in Louisiana, it is important to remember that performing non-strenuous daily activities will not cause any damage to your joint. Returning to normal activities and using your joint in a functional manner will actually improve your recovery.
4. What about ice and elevation? Ice and elevation helps reduce pain and swelling and often works better than oral pain medication, which is why it is typically recommended. Apply ice therapy as often as possible while you are awake and especially after activities such as physical therapy and exercising.
5. What about swelling, redness, bruising or drainage? It is normal to have some swelling following surgery. It is not unusual to have some redness around the wound and some clear, yellow or blood-tinged drainage. Despite proper care, any wound can become infected. The signs of infection are increased pain, a substantial amount of drainage or pus coming from the wound, with redness and fever. If infection is suspected, please call your orthopedic surgeon immediately.
6. What about my prescriptions? All prescribed medications should be taken as directed. Some can produce side effects such as bleeding, stomach upset, headaches, dizziness, constipation, etc. If you have any major problem or allergic reaction, stop the medication and call your orthopedic surgeon.
7. When can I return to work? You may return to an office-type job whenever you feel comfortable enough. If your job requires vigorous activities, or if you have to use public transportation, you must be the judge as to when you feel capable to return.
8. What about transportation? As a general rule, you may resume driving as soon as you are comfortable, fully alert and are no longer taking narcotic pain medications. This is usually anywhere from 2-4 weeks after surgery. You may take the train or bus or ride in a car as soon as you are comfortable. Air travel is allowed as soon as you feel capable.
9. What about exercise? We recommend physical therapy for all patients after knee replacement in Louisiana. You may return to normal activities as soon as you are comfortable. Walking, sitting, standing, getting up from and into a chair or the toilet is part of your rehabilitation program. Using a stationary bicycle will help improve your range of motion.
10. When can I swim? If you have access to a pool, you can swim as long as the wound has no drainage and is fully healed. Swim for 5-10 minutes and then dry the incision.
Make sure you’re aware of the dos and don’ts of recovering from joint replacement surgery before you undergo the procedure. This includes avoiding high-impact activities and staying on top of your physical therapy. Your goal is to ensure the long-term success of your implant and surgery.
If you are considering joint replacement surgery or have any questions or concerns regarding your recovery from knee replacement in New Orleans, call our office today to schedule a consultation.