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Patients will work with their doctor to determine how soon they will be able to bend and move their knee. Typically, this will be the same day as their surgery.
During their hospital stay, patients will begin rehabilitationrehabilitationRestoration, following disease, illness, or injury, of the ability to function in a normal or near-normal mann... (rehab) therapy. Rehabilitation starts within a few hours after surgery and continues for three months or longer. During this time, patients will learn how to safely use their new knee jointjointThe junction or articulation of two or more bones that permits varying degrees of motion between the bones. and return to your normal activities. The goals of rehab are to:
The doctor will help patients decide the best place for them to continue recovering after they leave the hospital. This may be at home or in a rehab center. A rehab center is similar to a hospital—patients stay there day and night and are cared for by doctors, nurses, and therapists until they become well enough to go home. If the patient‘s doctor wants him or her to go home, therapy will continue there as well.
One of the potential complications following knee replacement surgery is infection. To help reduce future risk of infection, people with knee replacements are often told to take antibiotics when undergoing medical or dental procedures, including simple teeth cleanings. These routine precautions will be required for up to several years after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
Another potential complication, Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)When blood clots form inside the veins of the legs, it is referred to as Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT). This is..., occurs when blood in the large veins of the leg forms blood clots within the veins, which could potentially travel to the lungs and cut off the blood supply to a portion of the lung. This is called a pulmonary embolismembolismA clot that dislodges and moves via the bloodstream into a new location, such as into lung tissue, where it ma.... There are many ways to reduce the risk of DVT, but probably the most effective is getting patients moving as soon as possible after surgery.
The performance of knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level, and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee replacement is right for a patient.