Your Recovery

Following return to the ward, we strongly encourage patients to start getting out of bed, sitting in a chair and standing and taking a few steps within the first 24 hours. There is strong evidence in the literature that this significantly reduces the general medical complication rate following surgery, including clots, chest infections, etc. Surgical drains will be removed as soon as possible, usually within the first 24 to 48 hours. The physiotherapy team will commence a series of exercises to be done in bed, as well as assisting with walking, initially with a frame and then progressing to a stick over the next 24 hours or so.

Discharge is possible once patients are able to negotiate stairs with a stick, confidently and competently. As patients individual rate of progress varies, this may take just a few days or up to a week. Rehabilitation starts almost immediately after surgery, and is a critical part of early post-operative recovery.

Pain management is important, and will commence immediately following your surgery, and is administered in various forms. Pain relief will be required for at least a few weeks following surgery, but this will gradually decrease to over the counter types of medications. Deep breathing and coughing exercises will be encouraged, as well as the use of a spirometer to maximise effective breathing.

Blood thinning medications will be prescribed to minimise the risk of blood clots. Antibiotics are also given until the drains are removed to minimise the risk of infection.

Recovery from knee replacement surgery will be most noticeable within the first six weeks to three months. However, continued improvement will occur until at least one year after surgery. Swelling of the leg is common, but should decrease with time. It is important to maximise range of movement in the knee as soon as possible after surgery. After discharge from hospital, physiotherapy should continue on an out-patient basis, usually until the six-week post-operative mark. At that stage patients will see Dr Hasn in his rooms, and a repeat X-ray will be performed at that time. If all is well, then a gradual return to activity and work should be possible, and the next check-up will occur at the one year post-operative point.