With over 80,000 knee replacement ops performed each year in the UK, this procedure to replace damaged bone and cartilage in the knee joint may seem ‘routine’, but concerns about recovery often weigh heavily with patients and this is a common question during consultations at Mr Jonathan Webb’s London knee replacement clinic.
Recovery after any operation always depends on the individual and the pre-existing condition of the knee.
Short-term recovery after a total knee replacement
In the short term, the aim is for the patient to be walking with either minimal help or no aid at all and for any discomfort to be much reduced. This is typically achieved within six weeks of the procedure.
Long-term recovery after a total knee replacement
In terms of returning to all normal activities, work and even the sports or exercise you may have enjoyed in the past, recovery can take anything from three months to a year, depending on what you wish to achieve. Extreme or high contact sport is not usually recommended after a total knee replacement, but a return to exercise and less strenuous activities are much encouraged.
Surgical wounds and soft tissues need to heal and the replacement parts have to bond to the bone. Swelling and pain typically settle down after three months but it can take up to a year for swelling in the knee to fully dissipate.
Patients may be worried about the recovery process after a total knee replacement, but if you are contemplating this procedure then you are likely suffering from osteoarthritis and experiencing a degree of discomfort and stiffness in the knee joint that is affecting your quality of life and the ability to perform even everyday tasks. Typically, patients experience a marked improvement in pain and mobility after the procedure.
Physical therapy is encouraged to restore full mobility to the knee joint and also strengthen the supporting muscles which may have weakened over time.
To find out if you’re suitable for a total knee replacement and to ask any further questions, please call 08450 60 44 99 to arrange a consultation with Mr Jonathan Webb at either his London or Bristol knee clinics.