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What to expect after total knee replacement

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What to expect after total knee replacement

Recovery after total knee replacement takes time.

What is remarkable though, thanks to the cement and numbing medication we put in the knee, most patients can actually walk the same day as their surgery.

About 9 out of 10 of our patients even report that the day after their surgery they can walk well enough to tackle a few stairs.

Many actually feel like going home that quickly.

Keep in mind, 1 out of 10 patients will stay an extra day or so, and that’s okay.

We understand that and don’t want anyone to feel that they have to go home before it’s their time.

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Two – three weeks post-op

When patients do go home, in the first two to three weeks it’s completely normal to experience some soreness.

We usually advise some specific general mobility exercises for you to do on your own on an hourly basis to combat this.

One – three months post-op

After the first month post-op, patients are usually better than they were before surgery.

By 3 months, most people we work with are at about 70% recovered.

But that’s pretty far along.

If you like to play sports like tennis, you can get back to that at this point.

And if golf or bowling are more your speed, you should be okay to do those activities too.

Even riding a bike is perfectly fine during this time post-surgery.

In each case, you should have no trouble doing these things by 3 months or so, on average.

Six months after your knee replacement

Usually by the 6 month mark, you’re about 90% recovered.

30 out of 100 patients at 6 months will say “My knee feels pretty normal like the other side,” while the other 70 will say, “It’s still not quite a normal knee but it’s substantially better than what I had before.”

If you understand that it’s going to take about 6 months to reach a 90% recovery, and you can practice a little patience with it, you will get better and you’ll be completely satisfied once you recover.

How long will your total knee replacement last?

There’s a common misconception that knee replacements only last 10 years, but this isn’t exactly the case.

In fact, a knee replacement actually lasts longer than the hip replacement does.

There’s also less wear and tear and loosening of the knee replacement, as compared to a hip replacement.

So these new knee replacements are very durable, much like a crown on a tooth.

They also operate in a similar fashion to a crown: the caps go on the end of the knee, just like a crown goes on the end of a tooth.

And when the knee replacement is the right size and in the right position, and it’s carefully cemented in, it’s going to remain durable enough that you can walk on it the way you want and be active, without any issues, and for years to come.

If you’re considering a total knee replacement, we encourage you to take our free quiz to see if you might be a good candidate for surgery.

You can also learn more about Dr. Howell and his team by visiting this page.

Take our knee quiz!