Recovery after Knee Surgery

Recovery after Knee Surgery: Working with Your Physical Therapist

The true work begins after the knee surgery: recovery and rehabilitation. The knee implant has been placed, but that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly pain-free. To maximize the results and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible, the physical therapist will visit you while you’re still at the clinic.

What can I expect during rehabilitation?

For a while following surgery, you will need crutches to walk. The knee prosthesis itself is stable and able to bear your full weight right away. However, the incision must heal and hurts when strained. You need crutches to prevent you from collapsing due to the pain.

You will work on your recovery with your physical therapist. This starts almost immediately after surgery: the physical therapist will visit you in the clinic after the procedure.

You must do your exercises in order to recover fully. These strengthen your muscles and make your knee flexible again.

How long will my recovery take?

You will need time to recover and rehabilitate after knee replacement surgery. The amount of time this rehabilitation takes is different for everyone. In general, most of your recovery occurs in the first 6 weeks to 3 months. It can take up to a year, however, to achieve the final result.

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When will I be able to…?

…walk without crutches again?

That is something you will decide with your physical therapist. In any event, before you start walking without crutches, it is important that your knee is stable and you feel confident on it.

…ride a bike again?

In consultation with your physical therapist, you can start by training on an exercise bike after surgery.

…drive again?

When you can walk on your own without crutches and the knee is functioning well, you can drive again. This will also be determined in consultation with your physical therapist.

Will I be in pain after the knee surgery?

It is customary to feel some pain shortly after surgery. We use painkillers to combat this. The pain from knee replacement surgery will diminish after about 2 weeks. It will continue to gradually dissipate further after that. Within 3 to 4 months after surgery, you should see a considerable improvement. Some people, however, require up to a year to achieve the final result and feel fully recovered.

Will I be able to resume all my normal activities with a new knee?

Yes. That is to say, after you’ve recovered, you can get back to your normal life. Moderately intense exercise, such as cycling and hiking, should become possible once again. Some people with a knee replacement also engage in more vigorous activities, such as skiing or jogging. While this is often possible, it also brings with it a higher risk of wear over time. The most important thing is your quality of life: exercise is healthy.

Any other questions about the recovery process? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Recovering from Knee Surgery

Will I be in pain after the surgery?

It is customary to feel some pain shortly after surgery. We use painkillers to combat this. The pain from knee replacement surgery will diminish after about 2 weeks. It will continue to gradually dissipate further after that. Within 3 to 4 months after surgery, you should see a considerable improvement. Some people, however, require up to a year to achieve the final result and feel fully recovered.

How long will it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery requires considerable rehabilitation. Most of your recovery occurs in the first 6 weeks to 3 months after surgery. That is not to say that the final result is achieved by that point. Some people require up to a year to achieve the final result and feel fully recovered.

Will I be able to resume all my normal activities with a new knee?

That is to say, after you’ve recovered, you can get back to your normal life. Moderately intense exercise, such as cycling and hiking, should become possible once again. Some people with a knee replacement also engage in more vigorous activities, such as skiing or jogging. While this is often possible, it also brings with it a higher risk of wear over time. The most important thing is your quality of life: exercise is healthy.

I’m already a bit older and wonder about how useful knee replacement might be. How well do older people recover from this surgery?

There are obviously tremendous individual differences in terms of recovery. CortoClinics provides a personalized care plan that includes taking steps in advance of surgery to ensure that rehabilitation goes as smoothly as possible. Recent studies have shown good results with therapy started before surgery. We will discuss all of the options with you and provide you with the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.

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