After the total knee replacement in Albany, your target is to get back to a normal lifestyle as soon as possible. Twelve weeks following the surgery is very critical. In this post, we will discuss what you can expect in these 12 weeks and how to set your goals for healing.
Your physical therapist will help you stand up and walk a few steps with the help of a crutch, a walker, or canes. He may use a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine to prevent scar tissue formation and joint stiffness and encourage you to transfer yourself to a bedside commode. You can’t move a lot on the first day so take a rest.
As your knee healing takes place, you can increase your activity. If the surgeon puts on waterproof dressing, you might take a bath on the second day, but you would have to wait for five to seven days if the surgeon puts on a regular bandage. Also, try using a toilet instead of a bedpan and try active knee extension.
You will have to stay in the hospital for one to three days, but you might need to stay longer than this. How quickly you get discharged depends on your recovery and health issues.
You can walk with little assistance, use the toilet, bathe and dress, and climb upstairs independently by the time you get discharged.
Taking a bath and dressing up becomes more manageable, and you can even walk for more than 10 minutes. By the end of one week, you can bend your knee up to 90 degrees, but it would be painful. Between seven to ten days, you can fully extend your knee. Moreover, you can walk without a crutch or walker. By two to three weeks, most people walk independently or might need just a cane.
Day 4 to 6
If you have followed the physical therapist’s instructions, there would be dramatic improvement and recovery. You can walk comfortably. You can also do your everyday chores like cleaning and cooking. Within four to six weeks, you can start your desk job, and after six weeks, you can travel.
Week 7 to 11
Your PT may increase the intensity of your exercises and may include toe and heel raises, hip abductions, partial knee bends, step-ups, leg balances, and bicycling on a stationary bike. So by this time, you can even do recreational activities such as cycling and swimming.
It would help if you continue doing your exercises but avoid high-intensity workouts like running, aerobics, basketball, skiing, and high-intensity cycling.
Your knee can take approximately three months to return to normal activities, and it can take six to twelve months to be as strong as it should be. So don’t increase your activities abruptly.