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Have you recently found out you need to have knee surgery? You may need to have a complete knee replacement. In fact, it is possible that the only way for you to get relief from the pain and return back to your usual daily activities could be to have this type of surgery performed. However, you might be worried about how long the procedure will take or how long you will be unable to move as freely as you would like. It typically takes anywhere from 3-6 months for a person to recover from a knee replacement surgery. There are also some things you may want to consider doing to relieve any discomfort and possibly even improve your recovery time.
1. Elevate Your Legs With a Comfortable Pillow
After you get home from the surgery, you may have a difficult time getting into a comfortable position when trying to sleep. One of the best things you can do for your knee is elevate your lower legs with a comfortable pillow. You can stack two pillows on top of one another while you are in bed. It is best to rest on your back instead of resting on your stomach and putting any kind of pressure on the knee.
2. Use Ice Packs to Treat Discomfort on the Spot
Instead of using heat to get relief from the discomfort, consider using ice packs. Applying heat to an incision could cause some complications, so it is important to avoid using the heating pad until the incision heals. You can easily apply an ice pack to your knee for about 30 minutes at a time. This cold treatment could potentially help you reduce and prevent inflammation.
3. Eat Healthy Foods to Help Promote Healing
While you may not feel like doing much cooking after having your surgery, it is important to eat healthy anti-inflammatory foods that can promote healing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a good choice. Some of the best anti-inflammatory options include sweet potatoes, chicken breast and spinach. If you are having a hard time preparing these meals, adding some fruits and veggies to the blender to make a nutritious smoothie is always a great idea. You may even want to ask a family member to help prepare meals with anti-inflammatory foods for you.
4. Start Small Exercises After the First Week
During the first week, it is important to get as much rest as you can. You should spend most of the time with your legs elevated to give the incision some time to heal. However, you may be able to start moving a bit more after the first week, especially if you are starting to feel a lot better. Before doing any kind of exercise, make sure to talk to your physician. If the physician says it is okay for you to start doing light exercises, you may want to begin taking walks on the treadmill or even around your neighborhood.
You should avoid running or doing any exercises that are strenuous. Light walking is one of the best exercises to do when you are recovering from knee surgery. After a few weeks have passed and you are feeling even better than before, you may want to consider doing water therapy. During water therapy, you will get to work on your range of motion and ultimately learn to walk and run the way you did before the surgery took place.
If you need to have knee surgery, you may be feeling a bit worried about the amount of time you will need to spend recovering. While the process will take several months, you can do a few things to relieve your discomfort and possibly even have a speedier recovery.