Knee surgery, like all major surgical procedures, involves a recovery period after the surgery is over. The recovery period can’t be completely eliminated, but you can take some steps to shorten its duration. If you’re undergoing knee surgery in the near future, follow these five tips to help speed up your recovery process.
1. Follow All Physician Recommendations
You should always heed all of your surgeon’s instructions and advice. Your surgeon is a medical expert, and they know what recovery looks like and requires. If they prescribe medication, recommend rest, or have other instructions, follow everything as prescribed.
If you fail to follow your surgeon’s recommendations, you might experience adverse effects that prolong the recovery process beyond the initial time frame. Additionally, if you avoid medications or don’t rest when told, you could negatively impact the long-term results of your surgery.
2. Walk Frequently Once You’re Allowed
Once you’re cleared to put weight on your leg and walk, go for a stroll several times a day. Walking helps improve circulation, which minimizes swelling and ensures the tissue in the knee gets all the oxygen and nutrients it needs.
Even if you can’t go for a long walk or walk unassisted, a little movement will have a positive impact on your repaired knee. Several short walks will boost circulation enough to make a difference, and you’ll be moving your legs even if you use a cane or walker. The goal at this point isn’t to put a lot of weight on the leg to build muscle but simply to move it some.
3. Eat Healthy Foods
While healthy foods are always a good idea, fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious items are especially important when you’re recovering from surgery. Your body needs minerals and vegetables during this time, and the best way to get them is naturally through wholesome foods that are good for you.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep benefits your body in many ways. Researchers understand that a lot of restoration and strengthening happens during sleep, and they have established that it helps with physical recovery.
Adequate sleep after surgery is often a matter of simply giving yourself permission to close your eyes when you’re tired. People don’t want to sleep as much as they should for a lot of reasons, even when they’re told to remain off their feet.
You should view the downtime that follows surgery as an opportunity to catch up on emails, read books, or watch marathons of favorite shows. But if your body is telling you it needs some shut-eye, you need to listen. Recovery is of the utmost importance and should be prioritized during this time.
5. Do Physical and Occupational Therapy Exercises
After the surgery, your body will have to relearn how to use the joint and strengthen it. This is done through physical therapy and occupational therapy. The former focuses on range of motion, strength, conditioning and similar aspects of recovery, and the latter explores ways to overcome real-world issues that you’ll face.
Both physical therapy and occupational therapy are essential to the recovery process. If you ignore these appointments, you will prolong your recovery timeline. But if you attend therapy with gusto, you will help your body recuperate in a more timely fashion. Be diligent and commit yourself to the exercise prescribed, and you’ll be back to your normal function faster.
To learn more about knee surgery and see whether it’s right for you, contact the Noyes Knee Institute. We will help you through both the surgery and the recovery process. Schedule a consultation with us today if you need knee surgery.