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Top 5 Mistakes After Knee Replacement

Top 5 Mistakes After Knee Replacement
Linda Guerrera

No one gets to the point of knee replacement surgery without a lot of thought. There was most likely a lot of pain involved that went on for a long, long time. After the procedure, it is vital to follow your doctor’s advice for recovery. Being armed with knowledge will give you the power to avoid the top 5 mistakes after knee replacement surgery. 

While no one likes going through a medical procedure, it is important to be aware of potential complications. When you’re on the other side of the operation, there are things that can hamper your recovery. Before we get to the top 5 common mistakes after knee replacement surgery, let’s take a look at some of the things that may be going through your head.  

Why People Delay Knee Replacement Surgery 

There are many valid reasons for delaying knee replacement surgery, including:  

  • Denial – Many people believe that they are not at the level that warrants such a major procedure.  
  • Anxiety over procedure – Knee replacement surgery is a major surgery and is usually only recommended after all other treatments to alleviate pain and improve quality of life have been exhausted. 
  • Life disruption - Let’s face it; any surgery will disrupt your life. However, recovery from a knee replacement involves time and physical therapy. Neither of these two factors comes without pain. Pain management is necessary for several months to a year, even after a successful procedure.   
  • Worries about risks – No procedure is without risk, and knee replacement surgery comes with risks that cannot be ignored, and it can be daunting to think about possible complications.  
  • Cost – Insurance may not pay for the entire procedure, and the costs involved could have patients worrying about payment they may be responsible for.  

What Is the Most Commonly Reported Problem After Knee Replacement Surgery? 

Things can go wrong with any medical procedure, but knowing what to expect and any potential risks can help you deal with any issues that may begin and get you back on your recovery track.  

The most common complications after knee surgery include: 

  • Infection at the incision site 
  • Stiffness of the joint 
  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Loosening of the implant 

While there are risks involved, knee replacement surgery can greatly improve quality of life. Many patients report doing things they haven’t been able to do in years and enjoying vacations, shopping and daily tasks and activities as they did before any knee issues.  

Top 5 Mistakes After Knee Replacement  

For the best possible outcome, here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid after knee replacement surgery: 

1. Improper Nutrition and Hydration  

After a major surgery, your body needs the correct fuel to heal properly. Not getting the right nourishment and becoming dehydrated are sure-fired ways to kick complications and risks into high gear. Ensure you are eating well and drinking enough water to keep your body healthy and give it the boost it needs to heal.  

2. Not Complying With Post-Op Care 

There's a very good reason that you were sent home after the procedure with an arsenal of post-operative care instructions. To heal as quickly as possible and avoid any complications, be diligent with medication, wound care, and any limitations that your surgical team has advised. 

3. Avoiding Prescribed Medication 

One of the most important steps in recovery from knee replacement surgery is pain management. While some discomfort is expected, tell your doctor if you are very uncomfortable. Uncontrolled pain will not help you achieve proper healing and can have an adverse effect on the recovery process.  

Another important note: Never stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor.  

4. Staying Away from Physical Therapy 

Your recovery is highly contingent on physical therapy. Your therapist is trained to help you reach a proper range of motion, strengthen your muscles, manage pain, and speed up recovery time. A certain amount of discomfort is expected with PT, but conveying your level of pain to your therapist will assist in pain management.  

5. Disregarding Limitations 

While it is important that you remain active and not become sedentary, you need to make sure that you don’t overexert yourself. You were given guidelines for a reason.  Follow your surgeon and physical therapist's directions to achieve the highest recovery possible. Stay active to achieve recovery goals, but remember to do everything in moderation. 

Make sure to monitor the incision. Tell your doctor about any symptoms of infection. Seek medical attention immediately in case of any of the following:  

  • Increased redness or swelling 
  • Wound feels hot or warm to the touch 
  • Oozing or drainage from the incision 
  • Fever 

Every person is different, as is every recovery from knee replacement surgery. In fact, you can have a smooth recovery from one surgery and a tougher time for a second knee replacement.  

Communication is key. Talk to your doctor and keep them up to speed in your recovery. Report any setbacks, complications, or concerns. The sooner these issues are addressed, the better your recovery will be.   

Products That May Help with Recovery After Knee Surgery 



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HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...

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