How is Life After Joint Replacement Surgery?
Joint replacement surgeries are very common among the range of orthopaedic treatments extended these days. However, the thought of having a problematic joint removed and replaced with an artificial one may not be very comforting for some. This article presents the details of life after joint replacement surgery to help patients understand the recovery process and feel prepared.
Pre Anaesthesia checkup –
To have a faster recovery post surgery , our patients start few exercises, spirometer, and stops any blood thinner 4 to 7 days before the date of surgery. These exercises are very simple and it gives confidence to the patient post surgery as they will be doing these exercises after the surgery. Each and every patient undergoes a set of blood test, chest xray, ECG and 2D ECHO and sees the anesthetist before the admission into the hospital. Patient gets admitted a day before the surgery.
Immediately After Joint Replacement Surgery
We asked Dr Vijay Kumar Sohanlal about post-operative care.
Dr Vijay is a senior specialist in joint replacement and orthopaedics at MGM healthcare and Mahi Clinic and an expert at conducting joint replacement surgeries. He informed that immediately after the joint replacement surgery the medical team transfers the patient to the recovery room. The effect of anaesthesia disappears gradually but the patient does not experience any discomfort as the pain management is done through medications.
Dr Vijay says that to prevent blood clots it is best to encourage patients to start giving some movement to the ankle. To prevent deep vein thrombosis prophylactic medicines are given. After a knee replacement on day one physiotherapist helps to do knee exercises , stepper exercises and made to walk with the help of a walker or some other support system. Cryotherapy started on the day of the surgery itself. Patients are trained how to use the restroom and sit on the commode. The medical team attends to the patient and manages the patient’s recovery routinely. Before discharge from the hospital every patient made to climb stairs up and down.
Dr Vijay suggests that after the discharge, the patient and their family should ensure that the recovery schedule is followed. The patient should continue doing simple exercises involving the joint. The patient should continue to see a physical therapist from time to time. Physical therapy speeds up the rehabilitation process and the patient begins
to experience strength and mobility in the joint. The stitches are removed on 12th day from the date of the surgery. The physical therapy should continue for a few months after the surgery.
Dos and Don’ts
The good news is that the patient can resume several routine activities soon after joint replacement surgery. Dr Vijay recommends that low-impact activities should be continued like walking, standing and climbing stairs and so on. However, it is in the interest of the patients to avoid high-impact activities like running and sports.
The patient should continue to visit the physical therapist and the orthopaedic surgeon till they recommend it. Usually, six months is all it takes for a complete recovery for most patients who follow the rehabilitations routine and recommendations.
Total Recovery and Long-term outcomes
Joint arthroplasties have a very high success rate and life after a joint replacement surgery has a bright outlook. Dr Vijay regularly performs such surgeries at MGM HEALTHCARE in Chennai, where these procedures are gaining in popularity due to the transformation their patients’ experience.
Consult Your Orthopaedic Surgeon
If you or your loved one is experiencing chronic knee pain, it is best to consult an expert orthopaedic surgeon and find out if joint replacement surgery is recommended.