≡ Menu

Latest News

Preparing for Life After Your Total Knee Replacement

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Total knee replacement (TKR) surgery isn’t what it used to be. Today, patients are up and walking in a matter of just a few days. Depending on the procedure and your condition, you may even walk the same-day as your operation. For many of my patients, I recommend Stryker® for total knee replacement. Stryker’s implant technology allows for easy natural motion in the joint, has a lower wear rate than other artificial knee systems, and has lower revision rates than five of the most frequently used brands.

While Stryker tends to be an excellent choice for the long-term, many patients ask, But what can I expect for tomorrow? The next week? The next month?

Before You Leave the Hospital…

Even though today’s minimally invasive TKR procedure is significantly more advanced than it was twenty years ago, this is still a major surgery, and preparation is key. Here’s what you can expect before you leave the hospital (provided by Stryker):

  • Patients will learn how to…
  • Get in and out of bed on their own
  • Walk down the hall with a walker or crutches
  • Get in and out of the shower on their own
  • Get in and out of a chair
  • Manage steps at home
  • Get in and out of the car

At Home After Your TKR

Once at home, you will likely be encouraged to move as much as possible. Physical therapy, joint movement, and strengthening of the surrounding muscle group are essential parts of the recovery process. (Follow your Houston orthopedic surgeon’s specific instructions to maximize the recovery process.)

You can also prepare your home in advance by rearranging furniture and sleeping areas so as to avoid stairs. Remove any rugs or electrical cords that pose a trip hazard. Also, make sure you have a comfortable chair that’s easy to get in and out of and offers leg elevation. Some patients find that bathroom appliances like a shower chair and elevated toilet seat bring additional comfort. It’s important to minimize risk of injury during this critical recovery phase.

Exercising After Your TKR

Your Houston orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist can provide you with specific information about exercising after your procedure. Generally, walking, swimming, and other low-impact activities are good ways to start. Consult your doctor for recommendations specific to you.

Knee Pain? Schedule An Evaluation With a Houston Orthopedic Surgeon

Find out what knee pain treatments are best for you. TKR isn’t necessary or the right choice for all patients. Many individuals with knee pain get adequate relief through injection therapy, knee braces, pain medications, and other therapies. Call Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546 to schedule your appointment with a Houston orthopedic surgeon. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.