You have a very painful, stiff knee and you get to know that you have osteoarthritis. What next? Your doctor is probably going to suggest you to undergo a knee replacement surgery.
After a knee replacement, most of the people get relief and have positive outcomes. However, some people may be less satisfied even after the surgery. Why is that so? This is probably because you are making some mistakes following the surgery. Let’s see what are these top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery.
What is a knee replacement surgery?
A knee replacement is a surgical procedure that resurface your knee joint by replacing the injured or damaged part of the knee with an artificial implant, also known as a prosthetic joint. Knee replacement surgery is also referred as total knee replacement or a knee arthroplasty.
This surgery is done to relieve pain in conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc when other treatment options fail to relieve the pain. You should check this guide to arthritis to know more about it. It is a commonly performed surgery and isn’t generally associated with complications. Most of the people will admit relief in pain and other symptoms while some may not be properly satisfied post surgery.
There are some common mistakes that people do post surgery that make them unsatisfied with the surgery. Below we will be listing the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement.
Top 5 mistakes after knee replacement
1. Non-compliance with medication
The outcome of any medication depends upon your compliance with it. A knee replacement is done to relieve you from pain as well as inflammation around knee. Following surgery, doctors prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs for a week. This not only assists in relieving pain, inflammation and other symptoms but also helps to relieve inflammation caused due to the surgery. You must be already knowing that non-compliance with this can be one of the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement.
Sometimes following surgery there can be enough inflammation to cause pain and stiffness. This can be resolved by taking anti-inflammatory drugs as prescribed by your doctor. If you don’t take these medication properly, you may end up feeling pain and discomfort even post surgery. Besides anti-inflammatory drugs, doctors also prescribe you some oral antibiotics. This is to avoid the chances of surgical site infections. Not taking antibiotics as prescribed can result in infection. The infection then can only be resolved by removing the artificial implant or prosthesis. This will again be an obstruction in relieving pain, stiffness and discomfort.
This is the reason why compliance with the medication prescribed by your doctor is important. Non-compliance with the medication is among the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery.
2. Too much or too less of work
If you think you can do all sorts of physical activities right after your knee replacement surgery, then you might end up messing things. Your knee will require enough time to rehabilitate post surgery. Considering this, you should discuss with your doctor as to how much of work can you perform post surgery.
Moreover, too much of work can result in swelling around your knees that can again cause pain and discomfort post surgery. The same goes with too less of work. Following a knee replacement surgery, your doctor will advise you some knee replacement exercises. These exercises not only decrease the swelling around your knees but also improve the mobility of your knee. You can either do these exercises at home or can consult a physiotherapist. Whatever you choose is your choice but you should do enough physical activities to assist you in the recovery.
3. Not following strict diet
How does in this world the outcome of a surgical procedure be determined by your diet? You might also be thinking this. But you must know that your diet does determine the outcome of your knee replacement. Missing upon your diet can be one of the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement. Let’s know how.
Following surgery, your body requires proper nutrition, hydration and energy to heal properly. Protein in your diet is going to assist in tissue repair and wound healing. Proper hydration ensures a good blood pressure and avoids risks of other complications. Foods containing sugar on the other hand is going to affect wound healing as it can cause inflammation. Thus you should plan your diet such that you take proper nutrition and hydration. While doing this you should also keep in mind what to avoid during this period. Following a proper diet ensures proper wound healing. Thus not taking a strict diet is among the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery.
4. Icing and pain management
Your doctor is probably going to suggest you something called as Icing after your knee replacement surgery. It is a very easy yet effective way to reduce inflammation. Most of the people don’t know the right way of icing thus making it one of the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement.
Icing your knees is an effective way to reduce swelling and it also helps to relieve any post-operative pain. But where does the problem arise? Most of the people don’t know proper icing technique and frequency of icing. Some may think of icing only when their knee starts to pain after surgery. While others may think icing should be done throughout the day as much as possible. But the correct technique is neither of the two ways discussed above. For icing to be effective, you should ice your knees for about 20-30 minutes in one session.
You should keep in mind to repeat the session one to one and a half hour later. You should neither do more icing nor less icing than this frequency. Icing your knees for too long can instead increase the swelling and pain. This makes improper icing one of the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement.
5. No follow-ups
Your doctor is surely going to ask you to follow up a few days after the surgery. This is done to look at the healing and see the outcome of surgery. Besides this, any other potential complications is also looked after during the follow-up. Lack of follow up thus becomes one of the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery.
Despite feeling completely normal after the surgery, you should follow-up with your doctor. This not only assure you proper healing but also helps to avoid any complication that in future may cause pain and discomfort in your knees. You can also tell your doctor about how you feel after the surgery during the follow up. This will also clear any doubt in your mind regarding the healing process. In short, follow up helps you to monitor the healing of your knee. Not following up is this mentioned among the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacement is the definitive treatment for you painful knee with conditions like osteoarthritis. Many people make these top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery. Because of this, they still have pain and discomfort in their knee. With keeping these things in mind you should avoid these top 5 mistakes after knee replacement to get relief from pain, discomfort and swelling around your knees.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How long should I avoid playing sports after my knee replacement?
You should avoid playing sports like cricket, football, heavy weight lifting and all those sports involving intense physical activities right after your surgery. You should avoid these throughout your recovery period. Once your knees are healed, you can consult your doctor and start playing your favourite sport again.
What degree of flexion can I achieve after knee replacement?
If you don’t make any of those top 5 mistakes after knee replacement mentioned above, you may achieve upto 120 degrees of flexion following your knee replacement. This doesn’t come right after your surgery. You may achieve a flexion of 90 degrees by the end of one week of your surgery. By the time, your knee gets healed properly, you may achieve a good degree of flexion as mentioned above.