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A path to recovery after knee surgery: 6 tips to follow

Knee surgery recovery can be full of ups and downs, but there are steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible.

We find that patients who know what to expect and who are proactive in their recovery tend to fare better. With that in mind, here are six tips to follow in your recovery from knee surgery.

1. Get plenty of rest

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Most people know that a good night’s sleep is essential to feeling rested and alert the next day, but few realize how important it is for recovering from surgery. This doesn’t mean you have to stay in bed all day — although you should take it easy the first few days — it does mean getting enough sleep at night and taking periodic naps during the day.

Adequate rest is crucial for recovery because it gives your body the time it needs to repair the damage caused by surgery. When you’re well rested, you’ll also have more energy for physical therapy and other essential recovery activities. The recovery times for patients who get enough rest are generally shorter than for those who do not. So be sure to get your ZZZs.

2. Eat a nutritious diet

As with sleep, a nutritious diet is vital for everyone, but especially crucial for people recovering from surgery. A healthy diet will give your body the nutrients it needs to heal properly and fight infections. It is also essential to avoid constipation, which can be a problem after surgery due to painkillers and inactivity.

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To stay on top of your diet, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will help keep your digestive system moving and your body healthy. It would help if you also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

3. Stay active

It may seem counterintuitive, but staying active is vital for recovery after knee surgery. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it – too much activity can delay healing – but gentle exercise will help keep your joints mobile and prevent stiffness. Physiotherapy is a great way to get the right exercise for your needs.

Walking is another great way to stay active while recovering from knee surgery. Just be sure to start slow and gradually increase your distance. If walking is painful or makes your incision uncomfortable, stop and rest until the pain subsides. As long as you listen to your body, staying active will speed up your recovery.

4. Follow your physical therapy regimen

Physiotherapy is essential for recovering from knee surgery, but it’s important to follow your therapist’s recommendations. Depending on the surgery you had, you may need to start physical therapy one week after your procedure. It may seem like a lot, but getting the rehabilitation process started early is key.

Your physiotherapist will design a personalized exercise program that will gradually increase in intensity as you recover. Sticking to this program even when you feel you can do more is essential. Pushing yourself too hard can delay healing and lead to setbacks. Trust your therapist and follow their guidelines for successful recovery.

5. Use painkillers as directed

Recovering from knee surgery can be painful, but it is essential to take pain medication only as directed. Taking too much medicine can be dangerous and make it difficult to gauge your activity level. It is essential to listen to your body and to rest if necessary, even if it means taking a little more medicine.

Of course, you shouldn’t suffer unnecessarily. Talk to your doctor or surgeon about adjusting your medication regimen if your pain is severe or persistent. It’s also important to let them know if you have any concerns about the side effects of your medications. In most cases, the benefits of pain relief outweigh the risks, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

6. Be patient

Recovery after knee surgery takes time, so it’s essential to be patient and realistic about your expectations. Depending on the procedure, it may take several months for you to be yourself again. And even then, you may have persistent stiffness or pain. It’s important to listen to your body and take it easy to avoid setbacks.

If you’re having trouble staying positive, talk to your doctor or surgeon about ways to deal with the frustration of a long recovery. In the meantime, focus on following your rehabilitation program and taking care of yourself. The better you take care of yourself now, the sooner you will return to your old self.

Following these tips will help you recover after knee surgery. However, every patient is different, so talk to your surgeon about what to expect during your recovery process. Remember to listen to your body and take it one day at a time – before you know it, you’ll be back on your feet.