Post Operative Care
After the operation is completed you will be transferred to the recovery area where you will be monitored and once fully recovered you will be taken back to the ward.
You will have a bandage around your knee and an intravenous line (drip) through which fluids and painkillers will be given. Pain management in the early post operative period is extremely important to allow you to mobilise early and begin to move the knee. This all aids in recovery from the procedure.
The nursing staff will be available to help administer pain medications so feel free to ask them for help if you are in any discomfort.
You will see a physiotherapist who will guide you with movement of your new knee and who will help you to begin to walk and mobilise. This will happen on the day of surgery or the first day post surgery. You will also have xrays and blood tests on day one post surgery.
You will be able to put your full weight through the knee when you walk. You might need to use a frame initially before progressing to crutches and a stick.
Patients are usually discharged 3-5 days after surgery. At this stage you will be mobilising with a stick or crutch. You will be given painkillers to take home as well as a blood thinner which you will need to take for 14 days.
The main issue patients experience in this early phase is pain. We will manage this with painkillers as much as possible. It lasts several weeks. This differs among patients however. There I also swelling and sometimes bruising. This will settle over 6-12 weeks, occasionally longer.
You will be discharged home with a waterproof dressing and you can have light showers with this on. Your wound will be reviewed in clinic at 2 weeks. Once this is dry and clean you may have longer showers and baths.
You will be seen in my clinic at 6 weeks post surgery. We will discuss return to driving at this stage.
You will need to continue your physiotherapy as well as exercises to bend the knee and strengthen the muscles around it.