Health Blog

Top 8 Tips For Successful Recovery From Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement


Are you unable to get a full night’s rest because of knee pain?

Have you stopped participating in physical activities?

Do you avoid stairs due to pain in your knees?

Have all conservative treatment options failed to give you long-term relief?

If you answered “yes”, then yes, you are more than likely a candidate for knee replacement surgery.

Tip #1: Get all your questions answered

Any surgery carries with it the potential for complications, and some degree of pain and discomfort. Prior to committing to a surgical procedure:

  • Talk frankly with your orthopedic surgeon.
  • Express your fears and concerns.
  • Get all the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Tip #2: Know What To Expect

Understanding what to expect each step of the way enables you to focus on the healing process and the long-term goal of living pain free.

Every surgical recovery time is different, but typically:

  • You will spend at least a few days in the hospital.
  • Your surgeon may recommend that you spend a few days at an in-patient rehabilitation facility as well. This is an important step in the recovery process.
  • You will need to practice using assistive devices ,like walkers, canes or crutches, and be able to climb at least a few stairs.
  • Once you are able to navigate about, and have a handle on pain control you can move on to the next challenge- dealing with going home.

Tip #3: What you need to do before surgery

Here’s a few pointers to make your return home safe and allow you to recover quickly. Make sure :

  1. Your home is ready for your return. Put a plan of action in place.
  2. It will be important that you have someone to stay with you immediately following your release from the hospital. It would be best if you could avoid stairs for awhile.
  3. Make sure that you have sufficient clear floor space to maneuver a walker.
  4. Remove any throw rugs that could cause you to slip and fall.
  5. You will need to have a sturdy chair ( one that does not sit too low), a shower seat and grab bars for the bathroom, and a raised toilet seat.
  6. In addition, you may find it helpful to have a long-handled shoe horn.

Tip #4: The Role of Physical Therapy

Before booking surgery for a total knee replacement schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to discuss some pre-surgery exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. Being proactive will give you a higher success rate for optimum recovery.

Following surgery, once your physician gives you the “all clear”, you can begin an intensive physical therapy program. You may experience some discomfort and stiffness initially, but this is an important aspect of the rehabilitation process.

The main purpose of a PT program is to strengthen the hip, thigh and calf muscles, in addition to the muscles surrounding the knee itself. You will also be asked to do some specific exercises at home during the healing process.

Tip #5: Hang in there

The road to full recovery can be a bit bumpy at times. When things get tough, remember that your rehab is a commitment you are making to yourself. Just hang in there, things will get better with time.

Healing is a very gradual process, allow your body all the time it needs to stabilize and get back to your new normal. Yes, walking and exercising without the pain you were experiencing prior to surgery is most certainly something to look forward to, and something worth waiting for. And it can be much sooner than you anticipate:)

With continued therapy you will find your endurance increasing. Some degree of pain and swelling is to be expected, and usually relieved, or lessened, by elevating your legs and applying ice.

Tip #6: Stay active

There is no question that staying active will improve your chance for a full recovery.

  • Listen to your body and stop when it hurts too much.
  • Walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling are all good choices for a long-term program.
  • Jogging and other high-impact activities ( Basketball, tennis, skiing, baseball) should be avoided, at least for the first year.
  • Your health care providers will be the best judge of when you should resume all of the activities you enjoyed prior to surgery.

Once you are fully recovered, it is important that you continue with an exercise program. Ask your physical therapist to recommend an in-home program that you can follow.

Tip #7: Don’t forget these

Once you have an artificial joint it is important to:

  • Notify all of your health care providers, and dentists. Invasive procedures can put you at risk for infection, and antibiotics will need to be taken prior to any future surgical or dental procedures.
  • You may want to avoid air travel for awhile. The pressure changes in the plane cabin, and the long periods of sitting can cause your knee to swell. Check with your doctor or physical therapist before making air travel plans.
  • Keep in mind that having an artificial joint may cause problems at airport security check points. Metal detectors may activate an alarm. It would be wise to notify the screener that you have an artificial knee.
  • If you do a lot of traveling consider getting a medical alert card detailing your condition.

Tip #8: How to prolong the need for joint replacement

It is possible to prolong the need for joint replacement by following a few simple healthy suggestions.

  • Keep your weight at a healthy range
  • Wear well fitting, sturdy footwear
  • Follow a low-impact exercise regimen
  • Don’t over stress sore joints
  • Get sufficient rest



Tags: , ,

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAIL LISTDiscover the solution to pain-free living.
Sign up today for monthly health tips.

Our Reviews
Elaine Krause
Elaine Krause
18:18 11 Dec 19
I attended several of the Saturday workshops at OBTS to increase my knowledge as a yoga instructor. Noel’s informative presentations were tailored to meet the needs of those individuals who were present. I took advantage of the free assessment offered to the attendees, and chose to try PT to resolve a minor issue. The therapists did an excellent job correcting the problem quickly. Great team of professionals! Thank you!
Timothy Knopf
Timothy Knopf
20:18 30 Oct 19
Best therapy place around. I would recommend this place to everyone. They have the best group of therapists around.
Mitchell Udowitz
Mitchell Udowitz
20:43 27 Oct 19
I have been to two Physical Therapy places prior to finding Orthopedic & Balance Therapy in Valparaiso. While they were ok they don’t hold a candle to Orthopedic & Balance Therapy. OBT team works as one in harmony and they stay on top of the latest technology for their patients. Their team is so very knowledgeable and very friendly plus they generally care about what they are doing and it shows. They are concerned about the whole person not just the injury they need to be treated for.
Barbara Serynek
Barbara Serynek
18:52 03 Oct 19
The entire staff has been very pleasant, professional and accommodating. Both Kristen and Joe have given me the best massages. Kate and Kollin made sure that I was doing my excercises and helped to move things along. Feeling better every visit. I'm so glad that I chose Orthopedic & Balance.
Heidi Richardson
Heidi Richardson
17:00 19 Sep 19
I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
Christine O'Donnell
Christine O'Donnell
16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
Cindy Standiford
Cindy Standiford
21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
Trool u
Trool u
19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
sharon Kramer
sharon Kramer
16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
See All Reviews