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Knee replacement surgery is a common orthopedic surgery that involves replacing the articular surfaces of the knee joint with artificial implants. The surgery helps an individual get rid of the debilitating knee pain and improves their quality of life.

How long will it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

A Total Knee replacement surgery typically takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete. After the surgery, a patient usually stays for 1 to 2 days in a hospital and may extend their stay depending on their condition if needed.

During the recovery period:

  1. The Patients are encouraged to begin ambulation with the aid of a walker or other orthopedic device on the same day after the surgery. 
  2. Physiotherapy sessions are usually started within 24 hours of surgery.
  3. Exercises to improve range of motion, strengthen the leg, and reduce the loss of muscle strength and function are recommended before discharge.
  4. Cryotherapy and gait training are typically initiated, along with a home exercise program before discharge from the hospital.
  5. Most of the pain is experienced during the first 2 weeks after the surgery. A patient may be able to stop using ambulation aid or crutches and resume their normal activities within 6 weeks after the surgery.
  6. The pain and use of pain killers will gradually decrease over 6 weeks and can drive within 3 to 6 weeks.
  7. The pain and swelling in the leg usually subside within 3 – 4 months after knee replacement surgery. 
  8. Swelling in the leg can take upto a year to normalize. The new knee implanted will take up to 2 years to recover after your operation. During which, the scar tissue will heal, and muscle functioning can be restored by exercise.

Even after you have recovered, orthopedic surgeons recommend avoiding extreme movements or sports like skiing, mountain biking which involves a risk of falling. Consult your doctor or a physiotherapist on how to recover early from a knee replacement surgery.

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