From outpatient arthroscopic ACL repair to full knee replacement, there are several types of knee surgeries that cover a range of severity and complexity. In some cases, a patient might be home on the same day, and in others, they might stay in the hospital for several days. However, regardless of the type of knee surgery, preparation for the recovery process is largely the same.1
As muscles, ligaments, and tendons go through the healing process, there are steps your patients can take that may help them with recovery and increase their comfort level. Sharing these tips is especially important for outpatient surgeries that tend to have less physician interaction in the first few days of recovery.
Knee Surgery Recovery Tips for Patients
Many patients are unfamiliar with the stages of recovery after a surgical procedure. Share with them these useful knee surgery recovery tips to help them better understand the process and give them the opportunity to heal comfortably:
- Prepare the home: In most cases, knee surgery is scheduled in advance, and the patient has time to prepare their home for what is to come. During an appointment prior to surgery, let them know that they can take steps to make the first weeks after surgery easier, with a few simple changes such as clearing clutter and cords from the floors, moving furniture and rugs to make wider paths, setting up single-floor living, moving commonly used items to an accessible location, and installing handrails if needed.
- Prepare the mind: The more a patient knows about what they may expect after knee surgery, the more likely they are to have realistic expectations. Work with your patients to create a daily plan they can follow to have the best chance of a successful recovery. You might include daily and weekly goals for range of motion, certain stretches, cold and compression therapy sessions, and even a nutrition plan.
- Prepare the body: As a healthcare professional, you know that proper nutrition is not only a significant contributor to overall health and wellness, but it can also help the body heal from an injury. Quality nutrition supports tissue healing. Educate your patients on the importance of good nutrition, especially protein, iron, and fiber, both before and after surgery.2
- Prepare the devices: Make sure your patients have all the equipment they might need to help them recover from knee surgery as quickly as possible. Knee braces, crutches, canes, and cold and compression systems should all be ready in advance so patients may use them as soon as possible after the procedure. Make sure they know how to use each device and that everything has been properly sized, if necessary.
Although you might perform multiple procedures in a day and have deep knowledge about the recovery process, first-time knee surgery patients typically don’t know what to expect. With the proper preparation and access to the technology that may aid the healing process, your patients may experience a smoother, more comfortable recovery.
If you plan to recommend cold and compression therapy as part of the knee surgery recovery process, let your patients know about Game Ready well in advance of the procedure so they have time to learn how it works, how they can use it on their own, and how often they should use the system.
- Barrell A. What to expect from knee surgery rehabilitation. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323300.php. Published 2018.
- Nutrition: What you need to know. Allina Health. https://www.allinahealth.org/health-conditions-and-treatments/health-library/patient-education/total-knee-replacement/after-surgery/nutrition. Published 2017.