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Working With An Orthopedist

A few years ago, I decided to take up running. I was bad at it at first, but after a few months, I got more comfortable. Unfortunately, right when I got good at running, I developed a bad pain in my left foot. At first, I decided to push past the pain, but it quickly became excruciating. I realized that it might be a good idea to talk with a doctor about my problem, and so I met with an orthopedist. He carefully watched my gait as I ran, and he decided to take some images to check out my bone health. It turned out that I had developed a stress fracture, and my doctor recommended surgery. This blog is all about ways that an orthopedist can help you, so that you can enjoy your hobbies.

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Working With An Orthopedist

Tips For Improving Recovery From Knee Replacement Surgery

by Jessie Hawkins

As people get older, their joints start to wear out and make it more difficult for them to move freely. This means hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery become necessary. While approximately 90 percent of people who have surgery experience large decreases in pain and an increased ability to have a more active lifestyle, the long recovery times make some people hesitate. For example, people with desk jobs often need to take between six and eight weeks off of work, and those who have jobs that require them to stand a lot may need as much as 12 weeks off of work. Taking a few steps may make recovery easier and give better overall results.

Before the Surgery

Improving your recovery experience starts even before the surgery. Follow all of the diet, exercise and medication advice given by the doctor. This usually means following a clear liquid diet the day of the surgery and stopping certain supplements and medications one to two weeks before the surgery. Also, stop using any products containing nicotine, as this can make it more likely that you develop blood clots and you heal less quickly. The doctor may recommend that, during the period leading up to the surgery, you attempt to lose any extra weight, as extra weight puts more pressure on the knee.

Activities to Limit

Once the surgery is complete, there are a number of activities it's best to limit during the recovery period to avoid stressing the knee and help with healing. Don't twist at the knee, avoid going up and down stairs more than one or two times per day, don't squat or kneel, and don't use a recliner to sit in. Even after recovery is complete, don't participate in activities that are high-impact, such as running, downhill skiing, or vigorous sports.

Beneficial Activities

The doctor will try to get you walking as soon as possible after the surgery, often the same day or the day after surgery. Once on your own, use a cane or walker until you can walk without a limp to aid in your recovery and limit the risk of falling and re-injuring the knee. Keep the leg as straight as possible when at rest, perhaps putting a rolled up towel under your ankle to help with this. Ice can help decrease pain and swelling, and heat can help with stiff muscles. Do the exercises recommended by the doctor or physical therapists. Some doctors also recommend using compression stockings to help with swelling, a continuous passive motion machine to help improve muscle function, or an incentive spirometer to help you breathe more deeply.

For more information about what to expect during your knee replacement surgery, talk to a doctor like Joseph P. Spott, DO.