After Surgery – Total Knee Replacement Recovery

Post-Operative Information

Will every patient go home the next day after joint replacement surgery?

The main aim of our pain management protocol is to enable patients to return to regular daily activities in their home environment as soon as possible.

The majority of patients will be able to go home the next day and some have actually returned home the very same day. Young, fit and motivated patients will generally have faster recovery periods.

Factors that can determine early discharge are patient reactions to surgery, such as blood pressure, blood transfusion requirements, and fluid balance. The presence of a carer at home is another positive indicator that can greatly aid total knee replacement recovery. We avoid using narcotics in the early phase of our program to avoid sedation that slows down early independent mobilization.

Some private health funds will not pay the hospital for joint replacement procedures as they classify joint replacements as major surgery requiring at least a 3-7 days hospital stay. Patients can check with their health funds, and hospitals usually work together with the patients and surgeons to provide the best outcome. If this is the case, patients can certainly be ready to return home the day after surgery or outside on ‘gate-leave’.

Fast and efficient treatment is good for the patient, surgeon, and ideal for the hospital (as it frees up beds for other patients who may need emergency surgical care).

Do I need Physiotherapy?

In general, patients having total hip replacements and hip resurfacings will be given instructions and need NOT undergo rehabilitation as they will most likely be discharged home the following day. Patients after knee replacements/ reconstructions and revision surgery may need to organise total knee replacement recovery options after hospital discharge. Our team will discuss this before your surgery. No inpatient rehab will be required.

How long do I need crutches for:

This depends on the type of operation and individual patient confidence. Dr. Nizam and the team will guide you through this step by step. In general, most patients go home with two crutches and gradually move on to one crutch before discarding it. This may take anywhere from 1-3 weeks. Total knee replacement recovery can be a long-term process, but by following proper protocols you will give yourself no reason not to make a full recovery.

When can I go to Work?

This will depend on the nature, type and complexity of surgery, patient motivation and the line of work you are involved in. Some patients have gone to work, in office-type roles, almost 3-4 days after joint replacements, whilst others prefer to convalesce for a short 1-3 weeks period before commencing more hands-on work activities. Dr. Nizam will discuss this individually with patients as outcomes can vary greatly depending on the individual. Total knee replacement recovery can be a much more time consuming process than other surgeries.

When Can I resume sports like Golf?

This will depend on the nature of the surgical procedure, complexity of the treatment, the type of joint and patient physiology and motivation. Some patients treated with the LIA pain management program have gone to the golf course as early as 3 days after joint replacement. Dr. Nizam will discuss rehabilitation and total knee replacement recovery options individually with patients to provide the best advice on a full and speedy recovery.