A knee replacement operation is a big undertaking, but it’s worth it considering what you have to gain assuming the surgery goes as planned. During the journey to less pain and more independence after a knee replacement operation, many patients say they learn some important lessons along the way. We wanted to pass along some of those lessons so you can have a better idea what to expect from surgery and how to evaluate your own progress.
Prehab Is Beneficial
It’s tough for patients to see the difference in outcomes if they only try one path or the other, but for many patients who participate in prehab they find that it not only helps to build muscles they’ll need after surgery, but helps to instill a habit of following through on rehab exercises, which is exactly what you’ll need after surgery. We’ve yet to hear someone say that they regret doing prehab exercises, but we’ve heard people bemoan skipping the sessions.
The First Days Are The Worst
Your worst days in terms of pain and discomfort will be the first few days after surgery. A total knee replacement operation is a major surgery, and even though we perform complex techniques to leave as much soft tissue and muscle intact as possible, there will still be pain. Expect it, but also know that pain will continue to decrease as you get further from your surgery date. Know that it will get better and that you shouldn’t let pain discourage you from participating in your rehab, which will start the day of surgery.
Support Is Very Helpful
Having a strong support system in place can really make your rehab and recovery easier. Surround yourself with supportive people leading up to and after your operation. We understand that nobody wants to be a burden, but at the same time, you should never be ashamed to ask for help. Many patients have said how thankful they were for their spouse or our care team who helped them along the way. We’ll do everything we can to provide support throughout your knee replacement recovery, but it’s also helpful to have some friends or family who can help with everyday tasks. You would help them, so don’t be afraid to accept assistance from them.
No Two Journeys Are The Same
Many patients ask their inner circle or look on the internet for personal stories about the knee replacement operation. Oftentimes what they find is that their journey ends up being different from what they read online. The basics might be the same, but don’t assume that you’ll have the exact same challenges and successes as your brother in law or your coworker who have undergone a knee replacement. If you come in with too narrow of expectations for the procedure, you can become more easily frustrated when things don’t go as planned. So while it’s great you’re trying to crowdsource information ahead of time, don’t get upset if your path ends up being different.
It’s Worth It
Finally, the vast majority of patients say that even though there is pain and their knee may not be as good as new, it was well worth it to go through with the procedure. A new knee can give you a new lease on life and help you partake in some of your favorite activities that you no longer could do with your old knee. Many patients say they can’t wait to have their other knee replaced because of how good their knee feels once they’ve progressed through their rehab.
For more information about the total knee replacement surgery and recovery, reach out to Dr. Botero’s office today.