If you are having this type of surgery, knowing the average knee replacement recovery time will help you plan when you-quite literally-are going to be back on your feet.
Total Knee Arthoplasty
Surgeons perform total knee arthoplasty, or removal, when the knee joints are diseased and damaged enough to cause severe pain and limited motion. During surgery, the doctor replaces the kneecap and related bones and cartilage with an artificial joint.
Average Knee Replacement Recovery Time: Short Term Recovery
The first stage of getting better after knee replacement surgery is short term recovery. After your surgery, you will spend an hour or two in the recovery room before you are wheeled to your hospital bed. While you stay in the hospital, you will learn how to walk using a walker. Most people are discharged from the hospital on day three after surgery.
You are not considered to be finished with your short term recovery until you have quit taking pain killers and can walk about two blocks, in addition to your normal walking inside of your house, without experiencing pain. This surgery-to-two-blocks-walking process takes between 6 to 12 weeks.
It is important to participate in physical therapy, no matter how tiring or painful, during your initial recovery as well as follow your doctor's orders for other exercises and treatments. The goal is to recover your strength and flexibility in a healthy and speedy manner.
Average Knee Replacement Recovery Time: Long Term Recovery
Long term recovery lasts between three and six months. This is the period of time where all of tissues that have been affected by your surgery heal completely. You will have to discuss with your physician any restrictions that you might have when exercising or participating in sports activities during this period, as well as any restrictions that you might have after you are fully recovered. When you feel "normal," you probably are.
Having a positive attitude about your knee replacement in spite of any pain or frustration that you might be experiencing is extremely important to recovering from this surgery. Since over 95 percent of all patients who have had their knees replaced end up with better quality lives than they had before surgery, you have much more than a good chance of having less pain, more flexibility and better mobility than you had in the past.