Once the doctors have given a health clearance and it’s fine to take the patient home, there are certain things you will have to keep in mind. Take a look at how you can best care for someone who has just had a knee replacement surgery.
How Soon Does The Healing Process Begin
Once the surgery is performed, the medical staff will try to help the patient get up and walk as soon as it is possible. Starting the healing process will also depend on the patient’s overall health. Also, the doctors will decide when to discharge the patient. While it generally varies from 3 to 5 days, it again will depend on the patient’s overall health.
- If the surgery was performed with a very small invasive procedure, the person may be allowed to walk the same day. Otherwise, the patient will be allowed to walk within 12 to 24 hours of the surgery.
- Initially, the doctor will suggest that the patient should use a crutch or a walking frame to walk, so that it does not put too much pressure on the knee and assists in healing. In most cases, the patient will be able to walk with a stick in a week after the surgery.
- Before discharge, a physiotherapist will explain basic exercises that the patient has to follow at home to help the knee heal and get strong.
Help Will Be Needed After The Surgery For
Basic everyday things such as:
- Moving from one place to another
- Sitting down on the toilet and getting up
- Wearing clothes
- Standing up
- Sitting down
- Lying down from a sitting position
3 Care Tips For Post Knee-Replacement
Here are some tips that will help you care better for someone who has had a knee replacement surgery:
1. Taking Care Of Medication
One of the first steps to heal is to make sure that the patient takes all prescribed medication on time. It is a good idea to visit the doctor during appointments, so that you know what medications to be given and in what dosage. The doctor will help you understand what the medications will help with, and if there can be any side effects. You will also be aware of any warning signs or allergic symptoms that could come up, such as swelling, fluid build-up, inflammation or more. The patient will experience pain and discomfort in the first week or two after the surgery, and there can also be some amount of swelling in the knee, and even in the foot. Some medicines can have side effects such as nausea and dizziness, so make sure you are around the patient during medication. Inform the doctor if the discomfort increases.
2. Help With Exercises
It is important to follow the healing plan that the doctor suggests, including basic exercises. Of course the patient may not be comfortable initially and may want to skip a few days, but please be sure to check with the doctor if it is advisable. Sometimes, it is crucial to continue with all the exercises, even if the patient does not feel up to it and wants to skip it. If there are warning signs and the patient seems to be in distress, stop the exercises and speak to the doctor as soon as possible. Once the person is exercising, be around to monitor and assist and to see that there are no sudden falls or injury. You should also try and keep a track of all exercises that the patient is following.
3. Caring For The Wound
The part where the cut was made has to be taken care of very well, so that there is no risk of an infection. Make sure that the incision area and the areas nearby are completely dry till the duration that the doctor has mentioned, which will be at least for some time after the pins and staples have been removed. It takes about two weeks or a little more for the wound to heal, when the doctor will remove the staples. It is possible to feel some numbness around the area, but if there is any redness or swelling, make sure to mention it to the doctor.
Tips To Heal The Wound Fast
- Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking
- If you have sugar issues, check your blood sugar levels and maintain them in the prescribed range
- Avoid placing your leg or ankle over the knee that has been replaced
- Eat fresh and healthy foods including lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, whole grain foods and so on
While caring for someone during the post knee replacement stage, keep a lookout for the following warning signs:
- Constant fever over 100 degrees
- Redness or swelling near the wound
- Discomfort in the swelling area
- Fluid build-up
- Difficulty breathing or feeling discomfort or tightness in the chest
- Shooting pain while doing some activity or resting
If you notice any of the above signs, assist the patient to the nearest medical facility at the earliest.