Most patients undergoing complete knee replacement surgery want to know when to return to normal life. It is common to ask questions about “recovery time.” There are many factors that can affect recovery time, but usually patients can return within 3 to 6 months to normal life activities.
Short-term recovery involves early recovery stages, such as the ability to leave the hospital bed and be discharged from the hospital. On days 1 or 2, a walker is given to most total knee replacement patients to stabilize them. Most patients can go home by the third day after the surgery. Short-term recovery also involves getting off major pain killers and sleeping without pills for a full night. Once a patient no longer needs walking aids and is able to walk around the house without pain–besides being able to walk two blocks around the house without pain or rest–all these are considered signs of short-term recovery. For a total knee replacement, the average short-term recovery time is about 12 weeks.
Long-term recovery involves complete surgical wound healing and internal soft tissues. When a patient is able to return to work and daily living activities, they are on the way to the full recovery period. Another indicator is once again when the patient feels normal. The average long-term recovery ranges from 3 to 6 months for total knee replacement patients.Patients should be prepared for diligent work, some pain, and the expectation of a bright future. It is also important for recovery to have access to information on knee replacement surgery and a strong support network. During recovery, many small or large problems arise, from a pimple near the wound to unexpected and unusual pain. Having a support network to turn to and receive timely feedback in these times is good. Someone out there has probably had the same or similar experience, and the’ expert’ will also have a word.