A total knee replacement is a serious type of orthopedic surgery. Such a major procedure can mean a long and stressful recovery period. However, while a recovery period after an orthopedics procedure like a total knee replacement is inevitable, there are things you can do during the rehabilitation process to make it progress more quickly and easily.
1. Take Rehab Seriously
The rehabilitation process is one of the most effective ways to speed up healing. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and follow them carefully in order to ensure a successful recovery.
2. Avoid Stress on Knee
After you undergo a total knee replacement, it might be tempting to try to return to your normal daily activities as soon as possible after surgery. However, staying away from heavy lifting, avoiding twisting your knee, and incorporating as much rest as possible into your daily schedule can actually help quicken the healing process.
3. Incorporate Supplements and Vitamins into your Diet
At your follow-up orthopedic appointment, question your doctor about what vitamins and supplements he or she believes would be helpful for you to add to your daily diet. Vitamins and supplements such as iron and Vitamin D, for example, can strengthen your knee following your replacement surgery.
4. Alternate Ice and Heat for Inflammation
It is important to consistently apply ice and heat to your knee following your knee replacement surgery. In the initial days after your surgery, apply ice to your knee frequently in order to reduce natural inflammation. After the first few days following your surgery have passed, begin alternating applications of heat and ice to increase the flexibility of your knee and relax the muscles in it.
5. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Try not to drink alcohol or smoke for a period after your total knee replacement. Alcohol can mix negatively with any pain medication you may be taking and minimize the medication’s effects, and smoking can block your blood flow and thereby lengthen your healing process.
6. Walk and Exercise with Caution
Minor daily walking and exercising can actually help speed up your rehabilitation process by increasing flexibility and strength in your knee. However, avoid rigorous physical exercise, which can cause lasting damage and harm to your knee.
7. Stay Positive and Committed
The rehabilitation process after a total knee replacement surgery can be long and discouraging. However, it’s important to remain optimistic in order to ensure fast healing and a successful recovery. Follow these tips and stay consistently committed to your rehab in order to return to your normal life as soon as possible.