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What is Recovery like After Knee Surgery?
Many patients have questions about the typical recovery after knee surgery, when they’ll be able to complete daily tasks on their own, and when they’ll be exercising again.
What type of knee surgeries are there?
Surgery may be needed to repair a knee injury to the ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, or meniscus. Or you may be undergoing knee surgery to repair damage caused by arthritis if nonsurgical treatments have not been effective. Your treatment may include cartilage restoration, or a partial or full knee replacement procedure.
How long is the hospital stay?
The majority of patients who undergo a knee procedure performed by our orthopedic surgeons can go home the same day, even for a knee replacement. Depending on how long you are in the hospital, you may be assisted in moving your feet, standing up and sitting down, walking, going to the bathroom, or showering. You’ll be sent home with either a walker or crutches to help you move around.
How should I recover at home?
You’ll be able to move around, so it’s important your home is easy to navigate. It’s best to move around every couple of hours during the day and do physical therapy to regain strength and mobility after surgery, and it’s recommended to continue outpatient therapy for at least a couple of months.
You’ll have a post-operative appointment with one of our specialists about a week after your procedure, as well as 6 weeks later, and 1 year after.
When can I get back to an active lifestyle?
Your physical therapist may recommend a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises to do a few times a day to get back to the level of activity you were at before surgery. It’s important to warm up before exercising, stretch before any other exercises, and stop if you’re feeling pain.
After three to six weeks you may be able to do low impact activities, including walking, swimming, cycling, golf, or yoga. After six to eight weeks you may be able to drive again. You may not be able to resume higher impact sports like running or tennis until six months after your knee surgery.