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Advice for Seniors Who Are Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery

Senior woman in green sitting in a yoga pose

By Anita Ginsburg

Having knee surgery means finally being able to do the activities you love. Prior to surgical intervention, the pain may have limited your ability to live life to the fullest. But now that you’ve had surgery, it’s time to focus on your recovery so that you can get back to doing the things you love.

Follow Doctor’s Orders

Even if you’re feeling better, you still need to follow your doctor’s orders. Depending on the extent of your knee replacement surgery, this may include physical therapy or an at-home exercise regimen. You’ve probably also been advised to rest and elevate your leg until you’ve had time to heal.

As antsy as you might feel, it’s better to be patient than risk reinjuring your knee. If you feel like you’re ready to advance your physical activity, follow up with your surgeon and make sure that it’s okay to do so. They may recommend alternatives to your usual activities until your knee is completely healed.

Avoid High-Impact Sports

Once you’re feeling better, resuming your favorite hobbies is a given. However, even after a successful knee replacement surgery, you need to avoid high-impact sports until cleared by your surgeon. This is a common procedure, but activities that put excessive stress on the joint can cause both pain and failure of components. Find alternative activities you enjoy to avoid damaging your knee until completely healed. Once your surgeon gives you their approval, you can get back to activities like jogging.

Listen to Your Body

After surgery, it’s expected for there to be some pain. After all, it’s part of the healing process. However, your pain should improve over time and eventually disappear. If you continue to have pain, or if your pain worsens instead of getting better, you need to see your surgeon. Pain can be a sign of infection or loosening of components.

If your pain persists, take note whether it’s accompanied by redness or a fever. If it is, talk to your doctor immediately and keep track of how long your fever persists.

Eat a Healthy Diet

In addition to following your doctor’s orders, eating a healthy and balanced diet can help speed up the healing process. Make sure you’re eating the recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Also, try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Following a healthy diet expedites healing and helps you maintain your weight. If your surgery was extensive, you may want to focus even more on your diet, particularly if your recovery is prolonged.

Recovering from knee replacement surgery is a process. Take as much time as you need to heal completely prior to resuming your regular daily activities.

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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