The success of your surgery also will depend on how well you follow your orthopedic surgeon's instructions at home during the first few weeks after surgery.
You will have stitches or staples running along your wound or a suture beneath your skin on the front of your knee. The stitches or staples will be removed several days to weeks after surgery. A suture beneath your skin will not require removal. Avoid soaking the wound in water until the wound has thoroughly sealed and dried. The wound may be bandaged to prevent irritation from clothing or support stockings.
Some loss of appetite is common up to several weeks after surgery. A balanced diet, often with an iron supplement, is important to promote proper tissue healing and restore muscle strength.
Exercise is a critical component of home care, particularly during the first few weeks after surgery, and your active participation will affect the long-term results. You should be able to resume most normal activities of daily living within three to six weeks following surgery. Some pain with activity and at night is common for several weeks after surgery.
Your activity program should include:
- A graduated walking program to slowly increase mobility
- Resuming other normal household activities, such as sitting and standing and walking up and down stairs
- Specific exercises several times a day to restore movement and strengthen the knee. A physical therapist can help you at home or in a therapy center the first few weeks after surgery.
- Driving once your knee bends sufficiently. Most patients resume driving about four to six weeks after surgery.
Total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the joints.