Knee replacement recovery can be a long and challenging process, and there are several things you need to be mindful of during this time to ensure a successful recovery.
Just like any surgical procedure, knee replacement surgery carries the risk of complications. While the complication rate is low, especially with minimally invasive techniques, they can still occur. Your orthopedic surgeon will talk to you about things to look out for during recovery, and if you observe any of them, you should report them immediately. This will help ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and that you get the most out of your procedure.
Here, we have some of the things you should watch out for while you are recovering from a knee replacement.
Watch out for signs of infection, such as fever, redness, warmth, and pus drainage around the surgical site. An infection may also cause a fever from 102°F to 104°F. You may also notice bleeding or a foul odor at the incision site. If you notice any of these signs, seek immediate medical care from your surgeon.
Blood clots are a possible complication after knee replacement surgery that can have life-threatening outcomes. To avoid blood clots, doctors usually prescribe blood thinners and ask patients to move around frequently. Watch out for swelling, tenderness, pain in the calf or thigh, shortness of breath, and chest pain, which can point to a blood clot. A blood clot is an emergency that should be treated immediately.
Implant failure is a rare complication of knee replacement surgery, but it can happen. It is often caused by incorrect sizing or placement of the implant. Watch out for signs of implant failure such as instability, pain, and difficulty walking. Inform your doctor immediately if you have signs of knee implant failure.
Stiffness is a common issue after knee replacement surgery, and it can affect your range of motion. Be sure to follow your physical therapy program to prevent stiffness. If stiffness persists even after several months, you should let your doctor know, as it could be a problem with the implant, or it could be a sign of nerve damage.
Severe, Persistent Pain
Pain is common after knee replacement surgery, but it should start to decrease over time. If your pain worsens over time or does not improve, talk to your doctor to determine what is causing it.
Severe, Persistent Swelling
Swelling is common after knee replacement surgery, but it should start to decrease over time. Be sure to elevate your knee when laying to decrease it. If your swelling is severe or not improving after a few weeks, talk to your doctor.
Knee Replacement Surgeon in Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, and Fulton, MD
The board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) provide expert care for patients with knee arthritis and many other orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our knee replacement patients receive comprehensive care, followed by physical therapy at our rehabilitation centers. Our physicians combine a thorough evaluation, pre-surgical planning, skilled precision when performing the surgery, and detailed post-operative instructions provided to the patient to minimize the risk of complications. We also monitor our patients to help speed up the recovery process whenever possible.