Recovery from total knee replacement (TKR) can be difficult. Many factors can impact how much pain you feel after surgery. These 5 strategies can help you manage your pain and improve your recovery:
- Set up your support team. Knee replacement recovery is a full-time job. Set yourself up for success. Identify a support team early on. After surgery, it is hard to do activities of daily life for yourself. It is really important to find family members and friends before surgery that can help you after surgery.
- Manage your expectations. It can take around 6 weeks for you to start doing normal activities again. But the pain may last 6 months or more after TKR. Know what the typical recovery time for this surgery is. It will help you push through your recovery.
- Have a pain management plan. Most people have to take pain medicine after knee replacement. Talk with your doctor about the medicine and its side effects. Find out if there are any alternatives that you should know about. Pain medicine is important. It helps you to move sooner after surgery. Getting active can aid your recovery. However, you should stop taking pain medication when your doctor tells you to. You may still have pain after you have stopped taking the medicine. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about other pain management methods. They may include ice, heat, or non-opioid prescription medications.
- Move your body. It’s important for you to start moving your body as soon as possible after TKR. Do your rehabilitation exercises. They will help you return to daily activities more quickly. You can also prepare for TKR by getting physically active before surgery. This gets your body into a routine. It’s easier to pick that routine back up after surgery.
- Keep calm and stay positive. Research shows that having a positive mindset can help you recover better after surgery. A low-stress environment can help, too. The trick is to stay calm and positive throughout this process. You can try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or anything else that helps you relax.
Your recovery is grooving if you plan ahead and get moving!