A total knee replacement surgery can give you a new lease on life. Although there will be some recovery time, much of the pain and discomfort you were suffering from will be gone nearly immediately. You can soon regain your range of motion and movement by focusing on your recovery from the procedure. The following can help you understand what to expect as you recover from your knee replacement procedure.

Walking Practice

You will begin to practice walking again almost immediately after surgery, typically by the following day. Typically an assistive device is provided, usually a walker in the beginning. This way you have something to help support your weight and balance you as you take short walks. You won't be permitted to walk on your own at first until your doctor and physical therapist are sure that you are steady on your own feet. The amount of walking practice will increase daily, as your dependence on assistive devices will slowly decrease until you are able to walk normally without any aid.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy often begins as soon as the surgery is completed. Scar tissue can hinder recovery, so your leg will likely be placed in a passive movement device (called a CPM) before the anesthesia wears off. This device stimulates the muscles in the knee so the tissues remain flexible as they heal. By day two after the procedure, your physical therapist (PT) will have you on a recovery exercise plan. They will meet with you daily to practice the best recovery exercises for you until you are discharged from the hospital. At this time, you will be shown the exercises to continue at home. Your PT will continue to meet with you a couple of times a week until you are recovered.

Pain Management

Pain management is an important part of your recovery. If you are in pain, you may not be able to perform the walking practice and physical therapy necessary to a full recovery. You may be prescribed a strong pain killer for the first day or two following surgery, but don't despair if you don't like the grogginess that sometimes accompanies these medications. Within a day or two, your doctor will move you to a lower-strength medication. Leg elevation and icing may also be prescribed to help manage the discomfort. Follow your doctor's recommendations for pain management and don't try to suffer through your recovery.

For more help, talk with local knee surgery specialists about any concerns that you have about knee surgery and recovery.