What NOT to Do After Knee Replacement
Knees take a lot of strain during our lives - they carry us daily for years and support us through various activities and sports.
That strain can become too much for some people, and they start experiencing knee pain, stiffness, and discomfort with time.
When non-invasive therapies don't help, the last chance to remedy the situation and restore knee function is knee replacement surgery.
While any invasive procedure can be scary, knee replacement surgery is one of the most common joint replacement surgeries with an excellent recovery rate.
It's critical to follow certain guidelines to make the recovery process smooth. While stretching and specific exercises will help, some exercises and activities could harm and slow down the process.
Here's what not to do after knee replacement surgery.
Before the knee surgery
We'll get to the recovery and the things to avoid shortly, but since every step of the process needs is key to successful surgery outcomes, let's talk about what you should do before the surgery and what precautions you should take.
Get a cane or a walker. You will need some support with walking after your surgery to avoid falls and other accidents; that's why make sure you have a walking aid available before you get home from the hospital.
Prepare your home. It will be challenging to move around in the beginning, so if possible, move your bedroom to the first floor, remove unnecessary obstacles (e.g. furniture) out of your way and set out your most needed things where you can easily access them.
Ask for help. You might feel your worst on the first days after surgery, so ask a family member, friend or someone else to be there for you and help with the simple daily tasks.
Consult with your doctor and physical therapist. Have a consultation with a professional about your recovery process and what exercises you will need to do to speed it up so you're prepared.
Exercises to Avoid After Knee Replacement
And now, let's talk about what not to do after knee replacement. Yes, exercising your knee is beneficial for health and recovery; however, the wrong exercise can harm and hinder healing, which can cause a sprained knee.
So just as it's essential to know which exercises to do, it's critical to know the knee replacement exercises to avoid.
First of all, avoid any contact sports that pose a risk of injury, twisting and jerking of the kee.
Intense exercises that increase the risk of loosening or fracturing the bones around the implant or pushing too much when working out can cause pain, swelling and should also be avoided.
These include football, soccer, basketball, baseball, rugby, and such high-risk sports as skiing or gymnastics.
Here are other exercises to avoid after knee replacement
Jogging and running put massive stress and impact the knees and can cause pain and discomfort. If you were a runner and now miss the activity, you can do brisk walking.
Aerobics and classes with a lot of jumping also pose a risk to your knees and can cause knee twisting or jerking. Try to avoid these or modify them.
Hiking in the natural environment is enjoyable, but avoid areas with roots, rocks and uneven terrain to avoid falling, slipping or twisting your knee. Find even paths instead.
Weight training, especially with hefty weights and squatting, is not safe for your knees due to pressure. Avoid or modify with professional help.
Skateboarding, rollerblading, and extreme sports (e.g. surfing) should be avoided, too, as they increase the risks of falling or twisting knees.
When to see a doctor
If you think you've pushed too hard and may have injured yourself, you need to see a doctor. What are the signs?
The symptoms generally include increased pain and discomfort, swelling of the knee or lower leg, warmth and other unusual sensations around your knee.
You can rest and ice your knee first, but don't put it off and see a professional if the symptoms remain.
Activities to Avoid After Knee Replacement
It's important to know what activities can you not do after knee replacement, and one of the first questions most patients ask after surgery is "what should I avoid after knee replacement".
Here's what not to do after knee replacement
Sitting too long increases the risk of blood clots and should be avoided, especially during the first week or two after the surgery.
This can also lead to swelling because long periods spent sitting cause drainage fluid to accumulate.
Don't sit for longer than an hour at a time or prop up your leg while doing so to avoid swelling.
Taking stairs is one of the things you can't do after knee replacement, so avoid stairs until your doctor or physical therapist clears you.
Later, when going up the stairs, lead with the healthy leg and do the same when going down.
Socks or slippery shoes pose a danger as you will be unstable on your feet after surgery, so make sure you wear grip socks and non-slippery shoes to avoid falls.
Walking without a cane can be risky, so don't avoid it even if you feel "embarrassed" or think you can do it on your own. Minimizing injury and fall risk is paramount during recovery.
Driving while taking heavy meds is dangerous, and it should go without saying, but if you're taking medication, don't drive.
Knee Replacement Recovery With Miracle Rehab
Here at Miracle Physical Therapy, we know that surgical procedure is only a first step in the long process of regaining the abilities and treating pain.
Orthopaedic physical therapy will help to improve strength, flexibility, reduce pain following your knee replacement surgery, and ensure the best outcome from the procedure.
Get in touch by filling out the form or giving us a call, and we'll let you know about the best ways we can help. Our professional therapists will create a personalized treatment plan and guide you to your recovery every step of the way.
While knee replacement surgery is a common procedure, it still takes time to recover and get back to your usual activities. To ensure that the recovery process is smooth and speedy, there are some things your doctor recommend you do.
At the same time, there are things you can't do after knee replacement, including certain at-home activities and exercises.
Knowing what not to do after knee replacement can help you avoid possible injuries, twisting and jerking the knee and extending the recovery process. Miracle Rehab Clinic offers orthopedic physical therapy, so click here to contact us and book your appointment today.
Intense exercises like running, jumping, football, soccer, basketball, baseball, rugby that increase the risk of loosening or fracturing the bones around the implant pose a risk and should be avoided.