Recovering from any type of joint replacement surgical procedure can be uncomfortable, but bouncing back after a knee replacement can be especially trying. Because of its unique ability to flex, swivel, and bend, plus its role in supporting the weight of the body, the knee is one of the most complicated joints in the human body.
Unfortunately, these same qualities also makes it more apt to receive debilitating wear or injuries that require replacement. If you are dealing with a painful or movement-restricting knee injury and have concerns about the rehab and recovery process after knee replacement, here are some tips to help you enjoy a better rehab process and a speedier recovery period.
Exercise and rest
Although it can be painful at first, getting out of bed and moving about as soon as you have your doctor's permission is an important part of a successful recovery after joint replacement. Begin with short walks of just a few steps, followed by a rest period, working up to longer and longer periods of exercise as you feel more comfortable.
Nourish and hydrate
Staying properly nourished and hydrated, including supplements if needed, is an important part of providing the body with the raw materials it needs to build healthy tissue, improve muscle tone, and maintain healthy bones and ligaments. Since Vitamins A and C are well-known for their ability to help fend off infection and speed wound healing, consuming a diet rich in citrus fruits and colorful vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots can be helpful.
Additionally, it is important that joint replacement patients stay well hydrated. This is best done with healthy quantities of water and other nutritious liquids, such as bone broth and unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice. Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks can have a dehydrating effect on the body and should be limited or avoided during your recovery and rehabilitation.
Massage and submerge
Stimulating healthy blood flow is an important part of healing after a joint replacement procedure. In addition to ensuring the generation of healthy tissue, therapies such as massage and water submersion will help reduce inflammation and manage pain during healing.
Before using water and massage therapies, however, patients should always check with their surgeon or medical care provider to make sure their incision is sufficiently healed for these activities.
For even more good information to help you enjoy the best possible knee replacement surgery and post-surgical knee replacement rehabilitation, take time to discuss your situation in detail with both your surgeon and the medical care team who will oversee your knee replacement rehab program.