Knee Replacement Post Op Instructions

Knee Replacement Post Op Instructions

Knee replacement post op instructions are designed to assist you during the post surgical recovery period.

  1. WOUND: You may shower on post-op day # 7 if the incisions are dry and cover the incision while doing so.  Gently pat the area dry after showering.
  2. You may change your dressing on post op day 2 and daily thereafter. If your dressing is a brown Mepilex dressing, you may leave it on for 3-5 days if it’s clean and dry.
  3. Leave steri strips that are directly on the incision (if you have them) until they fall off on their own.
  4. You may see clear-bloody drainage from the incision sites. This is normal. HOWEVER, IF the incision is draining bright red blood or yellow, pus like fluid, or if the amount of drainage starts to increases, notify the office immediately.
  5. Do not soak the hip in a bathtub, pool etc until incision is completely sealed, usually at least 4 weeks post operatively
  1. ICE: You may use ice over the incision to decrease swelling and relieve pain, 3x/day for 20 min.
  1. ACTIVITY: Full weight bearing is advised after surgery, unless noted otherwise. Walk with an assisted device (crutches, cane, walker, etc.) until you feel comfortable and confident ambulating unassisted.
  1. CPM MACHINE:  (Continuous Passive Motion) machine after knee replacement. This prevents stiffness and aids with improvement of knee flexion. You will be instructed to use the machine for 3 hours, 2 times daily. You will begin with 60* of flexion and continuously progress as tolerated.
  1. KNEE IMMOBILIZER: This aids with improvement of knee extension. It will be on throughout the whole first day at the hospital (except when on CPM machine) and later only at night time for about 4-6 weeks after your surgery/ when you are able to perform a 10-15 straight leg raises.
  1. COMPRESSION STOCKINGS: To prevent blood clots in your legs. Worn for 2-3 weeks.
  1. Pain Management: will be prescribed by our office unless you see a pain management specialist or will be seen by them in the hospital in which case you will continue with medication prescribed by them
  2. b.     Anticoagulation: as prescribed to you: oral medication (coumadin/xarelto) for 4-6 weeks post operatively to prevent blood clots
    1. If you are discharged to HOME: Home physical therapy and visiting nurse will be set up by social work at the hospital. If you are placed on coumadin, home health nurse will check your blood levels periodically to ensure the dose you are on is correct.
    1. If you are discharged to REHABILITATION FACILITY: Rehabilitation facilities are designed to optimize each patient’s physical therapy experience and recovery process following your discharge. Social worker will aid you in finding a rehabilitation facility right for you during your stay at the hospital. You are encouraged to visit rehabilitation facilities prior to your surgery to choose the best fit for you.
  1. DRIVING: With surgery on your Left leg, you may begin driving 2 weeks after your surgery.

With surgery on your Right leg you are permitted to begin driving 6 weeks after you surgery. You may ONLY begin driving if you feel safe and have stopped taking pain medication.

  1. POST OPERATIVE APPOINTMENT: Please call the office to schedule a follow-up appointment for 2-3 weeks post-operatively, if you do not already have an appointment scheduled.
  1. NOTIFY Dr. LaReau’s Office IMMEDIATELY if:
  1. You develop a Fever (>101 degrees)
  2. Redness over or around the incision or drainage from the incision site
  3. Unusual/sudden/persistent pain in your calf, knee, thigh, hip or chest
  4. Numbness or tingling in your foot or redness of the calf
  5. Uncontrolled and progressive worsening pain
  1. EXERCISES: You will be provided with exercises to regain knee range of motion and strength. It is important to do these exercises before and after surgery for maximal benefit.
    1. Range of motion goals   
  1.                                                i.     EXTENSION
    1. 1 week post op: 10-0  degrees
    2. 2 weeks post op: 5-0  degrees
    3. 4 weeks post op: 0 degrees
    4. 6 weeks post op: 0 degrees
    5. ** Extensionator brace will be given to you if your motion is greater than 10 degrees short of extension at 2 weeks and 5 degrees short of full extension at 4-6 weeks post operatively
  1.                                              ii.     FLEXION
    1. 1 week post op: 90 degrees
    2. 2 weeks post op: 100 degrees
    3. 4 weeks post op: 110 degrees
    4. 6 weeks post op: 120 degrees
    5. **Flexionator brace will be given to you if your flexion is less than 90 degrees at 4-6 weeks post operatively  
  1. IMPORTANT: Once you have completed a joint replacement surgery, you will need to obtain prophylactic antibiotic prior to any dental procedure, colonoscopy etc for life. This medication will need to be taken an hour prior to the procedure and the medication can be prescribed either by the physician performing the procedure or Dr. LaReau’s office.  This is a prophylactic medication to prevent any infection complication.

Please note these instructions and restrictions may change on a patient-to-patient basis.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office.