Hi everyone. I have been receiving inquiries from many of you for ways to speed up a total knee replacement recuperation. Here is an updated article I wrote when going through the initial tkr rehab. The information still holds true today.
Having your tkr surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the total knee replacement recuperation that allows you to effectively utilize use your new bionic knee is another segment. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.
Below are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my own total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you.
Drum roll, please….
1. Become mobile as quick as possible. Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of total knee replacement recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.
2. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily (or not that easily) do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.
3. Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. That’s common sense, but I was completely unprepared for the immense pain afterwards.
4. Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that 30-minutes beforehand works best for me. Taking the med takes the edge off of the discomfort you will feel during movements. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases. The sooner the better, I say.
5. Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Increase in small increments. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt. Your physical therapist can help with this.
6. Keep icing. After every total knee replacement recuperation exercise routine, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. You can buy them prepared or make your own. Simply put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag. Cover your knee with a towel before applying. I have also found that frozen peas & carrots work well.
7. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing process.
8. Exercise! Keep exercising, even when done doing physical therapy. In addition to doing your recuperation maneuvers, add walking and/or other physical activity to your daily routine. This is essential for your overall success.
Total knee replacement recuperation takes effort, determination, and perseverance. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be there.
Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Good luck and keep at it!
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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.
This award-winning tkr blogger site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various health conditions for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.
Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.