When you have a bilateral knee replacement, the recovery phase plays a vital role in helping you resume normal activities quickly. The recovery and rehab process can help you heal faster after surgery and improve the long-term outcome of the surgery. Here we discuss the recovery time for knee replacement and six bilateral knee replacement tips.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Double Knee Replacement?
Double knee replacement recovery time is usually at least 13 weeks. Your commitment to your rehabilitation program and how well you follow your therapist’s instructions will determine how quickly you recover. After three months, you should be ready to resume your regular activities.
Six Tips for Bilateral Knee Replacement Recovery
Here are six tips for fast recovery from knee replacement surgery:
1. Start Using the Knee Early
Recovery and rehabilitation must start shortly after you awake from surgery. On the first day, you need to start standing up and walking with an assistive device, like a walker or crutches, with the aid of a physical therapist. Use your artificial knee as soon as you can. Your therapist will guide you through exercises that will increase the strength of your muscles, as well as help you get in and out of bed.
2. Increase Your Physical Activity
By the second day, you should be ready to start walking daily for short periods. You may also be required to use a normal toilet seat rather than a bedside commode. As your knee gets stronger, increase your activity level and the duration of your exercise. At this point, you should be prepared to start taking walks outside your room and climbing steps.
By the time you’re discharged, you should be able to get out of bed with minimal assistance, do a 90-degree motion with your knee and do all the exercises recommended by your therapist.
3. Take Longer Walks Without Your Assistive Device
After you return home, you won’t need to depend on your assistive device. You should do all the daily activities prescribed by your therapist. You’ll no longer need to take as many medications, and you’ll be able to take longer walks.
4. Increase the Strength of Your Knee
Stay on your exercise schedule. You’ll gradually observe improved bending and strength in your knee joint. Your therapist may also ask you to stop using your assistive device and start taking walks as long as half a mile. After six weeks, you should be able to do your household chores with ease. You can also ask your surgeon or therapist to tell you when you’ll be able to return to work and normal driving.
5. Improve Your Range of Motion With Exercise
Your therapist will prescribe exercises to help you move your knee freely. You’ll need to get involved in exercises such as:
- Step-ups on stairs
- Leg balances using one foot to stand at a time
- Partial bending of the knee
- Raising your toe and heel while standing
Your goal should be to increase the range of motion to over 110 degrees at 11 weeks. You should be able to increase mobility with little or no pain.
6. Avoid High Impact Activities in the First Three Months
You can increase the strength of your knee muscles by walking, swimming and cycling. However, avoid high impact activities such as football, basketball, skiing, soccer, aerobics and running. These activities could damage your implant and the tissues around it.
Learn More About Knee Replacement Recovery
If you are planning to undergo knee replacement surgery or need more information about the recovery process, give us a call at OrthoBethesda today. Our physicians are specially trained, highly skilled and have a friendly bedside manner.
At OrthoBethesda, we treat joints, bones, hands, feet and the spine while offering the best treatment for arthritis, fractures, tendon, ligament and sports injuries. We treat you just like you’re a family member, ensuring that you get the most appropriate treatment for your condition.