Recovery Schedule for TKR: Rehabilitation Stages and Physical Therapy

The first twelve weeks after knee replacement surgery in Adelaide are vital for recovery. It is important to commit to a plan and push yourself to achieve as much as possible in order to heal faster and improve your long-term success chances.

For more insight on what is expected during the twelve weeks of recovery and how you can set your healing goals, read on.

First 24 hours

Rehabilitation starts just after you awaken from surgery. In the initial 24 hours, your physical therapist (PT) will assist you with standing up and walk using an assistive gadget. Assistive gadgets incorporate canes, walkers, crutches. A nurse will assist you with tasks like changing the gauze, dressing, showering and using the toilet. 

Your PT will show you how to best get in and out of bed and also move around using an assistive gadget. They may request you to sit along the edge of the bed, walk a couple of steps, and move yourself to a bedside chest. 

They will likewise help you utilize a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine, which is a gadget that moves the joint gradually and delicately after surgery. It prevents the development of scar tissue and stiffness in your knee. You will most likely utilize the CPM in the clinic and potentially at home, as well.  

Pain is typical after TKR surgery. Try to use your knee straightaway, but avoid pushing yourself excessively at first. 

What would you be able to do at this stage? 

Get a lot of rest. Your PT will assist you with getting out of bed and walking a brief distance. Work on straightening and bending your knee, and use a CPM machine on the off chance that you need one. 

48 hours

On the second day, you may stroll for brief periods using an assistive gadget. As you recuperate from surgery, how active you get will gradually increase. 

If your surgeon used waterproof dressings, you could shower the day after the medical procedure. If they utilized typical dressing, you would need to wait for 5–7 days before you can shower. Your dressing should be kept dry for four weeks to allow the incision to heal completely. Your PT may request that you utilize a normal toilet as opposed to a bedpan. You may also be requested to climb a few steps and use the CPM machine if need be.

What would you be able to do at this stage? 

You can tolerate sitting, standing, changing locations, and using a toilet. 

Discharge day 

You will probably remain in the hospital for a maximum of 3 days after surgery; however, this can be longer depending on the doctor’s report. At this point, your knee ought to be stronger, and you’ll have the option to increase your activity and different exercises. The main activity will be bending your knee more with or without a CPM machine. Your doctor will also lower your pain medication.

What would you be able to do at this stage?

  • Stand with minimal help.
  • Go on longer strolls. 
  • Bathe, dress, and use the toilet by yourself.
  • Climb up and down the stairs with assistance.

Third week

You are most likely able to walk and stand over ten minutes, and bathing and dressing ought to be simpler. Within seven days, your knee can actually bend 90 degrees; however, it could be difficult because of swelling and pain. Following 7–10 days, you can straighten your leg completely. 

By week three, most people either use the cane or nothing at all. Avoid leaning away from your new knee by holding the cane in the opposite hand of that knee.

Weeks 4 to 6 

At this stage, you will feel like you are recovering your freedom. Talk to your surgeon and PT about when you can get back to work and day-by-day activities. During this period, you can presumably walk further and depend on assistive gadgets less. You can accomplish more regular assignments, such as cooking and cleaning. 

You need four to six weeks to return to a desk job and three months if your job requires travelling or lifting. Prolonged sitting can increase your risk of getting a blood clot.

Weeks 7 to 11 

Physical therapy will continue until 12 weeks. Your PT will adjust your exercises as your joint improves. 

This is a vital time in your recuperation. Focusing on recovery will decide how rapidly you can get back to an ordinary, active way of life and how well your knee works later on. 

What would you be able to do at this stage? 

Now, you ought to be well headed straight toward recovery with significantly less pain and stiffness. You can also accomplish more proactive tasks, including swimming and bicycling. 

Week 12 

Now, you ought to have significantly less pain. Avoid starting any new activities without consulting your healthcare team first.

Beyond week 13

Your knee will continue improving, and the pain will lessen. At this period of recovery, you can begin to relax. 

Keep in contact with your healthcare team and have regular checks to ensure that your knee is still healthy.


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