Having knee replacement surgery is an effective way to get rid of chronic pain and improve mobility in your leg overall. Recovery takes about 12 weeks and is just as important as the surgery itself when it comes to the long-term success of your treatment. You'll have a physical therapist and other support outlets to rely on during rehabilitation that should help make the experience both productive and positive. There are also a few things you can do to make life a little easier while you're recovering. Consider implementing one or more of the following options:
Do Shopping Ahead of Time
Make it easier to settle in at home after being discharged from the hospital by doing a little shopping a day or two before your surgery is scheduled. Shopping ahead of time will ensure that you don't have to worry about running out of something like toilet paper or bread when you aren't able to easily get around town. Make a list that includes enough food for three to five days and any household goods that you need to stock up on to start. Then add a few things to your list that will help make your time relaxing at home a little more exciting. Consider picking up a deck of cards, magazines puzzles, and crosswords to keep by the couch or your bed at home.
Put Together a "Cozy" Kit
In addition to any reading materials and games you decide to collect for your downtime at home right after surgery, put together a basket of cozy items that you can use to relieve body stress and make yourself more comfortable when you start feeling pain. Include a soft fuzzy blanket, a small pillow, a pair of new slippers, and an eye mask to make it easier for you to nap during the day. It's also a good idea to put a few essential oils and a diffuser in your kit to help manage your recovery. Many oils help to relieve pain and inflammation which should make you more comfortable while you recover – try using lavender, rosemary, juniper, wintergreen, or chamomile.
Commit to Daily Stretching
Your physical therapist will likely direct you to do specific exercises and stretches on a daily basis to strengthen your knee and increase mobility. In addition to the exercises, your therapist prescribes, it can be helpful to commit to a daily full body stretching session of your own. By stretching your entire body every morning or evening (or both!) you'll loosen your muscles, strengthen your limbs, and therefore provide extra support for the knee that has just been replaced.
Simply laying flat on your back and stretching your arms and legs out away from your core can provide you with positive results to enjoy. You should be able to find stretching DVDs to rent at your local library, and you can find plenty of comfortable full body stretching routines to follow online.
Recruit Some Family Support
To take some of the stress out of managing your home, running errands, and making it to follow-up appointments during the days after your surgery, recruit some of your friends or family members to provide you with a little support. Create a calendar for the week after surgery and list tasks for each day that you'd like some help with. Ask your loved ones to sign up for any tasks they can complete that won't be inconvenient for them. Once the calendar is filled out by everyone, make copies and give each person who volunteers a copy so they know exactly when they will be needed and why.
When used in combination, these tips and tricks should help make recovering from your knee replacement surgery less stressful and more convenient overall. For more information on preparing for recovery from knee replacement surgery, talk to a doctor like Joseph P. Spott, DO.Share