Get Well Soon
Helping you make a speedy recovery after a total knee replacement
What to expect after the operation
You will have a vertical scar on the front of your leg, approximately 20-25cms - or 8-10 inches - long. The surgeon needs to make a fairly big exposure of your knee joint in order to insert the new implant accurately.
Your wound will be closed using stitches or staples, which will probably need to be removed after 10-12 days, unless they are the sort which dissolve spontaneously. Your surgeon will advise you about this.
You may have a splint or bandaging in place from the knee to the ankle - this is to keep your leg straight and allow the wound to heal safely. There may also be one or two tubes connected to drains in your knee to remove excess fluid as the body heals. The tubes and the splint will normally be removed after a couple of days.
After your operation you will be working with a physiotherapist, who will monitor your specific needs and help you to regain strength and movement. It’s particularly important that you stick to the exercises the physio gives you in order to keep your new knee moving and to prevent it from seizing up.
The initial pain of surgery needs to be addressed with fairly strong painkillers for the first few days but improves within a week - 10 days. You should expect to need to take painkilling tablets for up to 6 weeks after your operation.
Tiredness and feeling emotional
Your body is using a lot of energy to heal itself, so you will feel more tired than normal - sometimes it can come upon you suddenly. If you feel upset or emotional in the days and weeks after your operation, don’t worry - this is a perfectly normal reaction which many people experience, particularly when your blood haemoglobin level may be a little lower than normal in the post operative period.
Painkillers may well cause constipation, so it’s important to get plenty of fibre in your diet while you are recovering. Fresh fruit and vegetables will help to keep your bowels moving regularly.