The arthritis in your knees has made it painful to walk and the non-invasive treatments give you
A Lot Will Happen in a Short Hospital Stay
You can expect to be in the hospital for up to three days, but you'll be busy during that time. On the first day, you'll have blood tests and X-rays, if your doctor has not already done them. These tests will give your doctor the baseline of your health and your knee before they do the surgery.
On the second day you'll have the surgery. If your doctor had you do the preliminary lab work and X-rays before you signed into the hospital, you may have the surgery on the day you arrive.
The surgery itself will take a few hours depending on the type of joint replacement procedure the orthopedic surgeon uses. They may use the traditional approach which requires a long incision on your knee to access the muscles and bones in the joint. Newer, less invasive techniques use a smaller incision and special tools to work in small spaces. The less invasive procedure takes longer because of the precision required.
You'll be taken to a recovery area after the surgery until the anesthetic wears off. How long you're in recovery depends on the anesthetic used. General anesthesia, which puts you to sleep, may take several hours to work out of your system. If you had a regional anesthetic to numb the knee and a sedative to make you drowsy, you'll be out of the recovery area
The Work Continues When
Once back in your room, you'll rest for a while, but expect a nurse or physical therapist to be around shortly to get you out of your bed and on your feet. You'll practice getting in and out of bed and a chair. You'll take a few steps using crutches or a walker. Your doctor will tell you how much weight you can put on your knee, and for how long.
For the remainder of that day and the next, you'll practice moving from bed to chair and back, and walking around the surgical unit.
Leaving the Hospital for Your Next Stage of Recovery
On your last day in the hospital, your doctor will check the incision, remove any drains and change the bandage. You will get detailed instructions regarding such activities as:
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You'll then be discharged and can go home.
Those few days in the hospital will be busy, but they are only the beginning of your overall knee treatment. Once at home, you will spend weeks doing exercises to relax the stiff knee muscles and build up their strength to support your new knee joint. To find out more, speak with someone like Richmond Orthopedic Associate Inc.