What Happens After Knee Replacement Surgery?

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Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina discusses what a patient can expect after knee replacement surgery.

Transcript of video:

Hello. My name is Doctor Dan Albright. I'm an orthopedic surgeon at the Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina. I've been here 21 years in private practice. I specialize in arthritis surgery or joint replacement surgery of the hip and knee.

The purpose today is for me to go over what happens after a knee replacement operation.

First a partial knee replacement is a much smaller surgery and people go home the same day. Or patients go home the next day. Much smaller. About one-third the surgery of a total knee replacement.

More commonly people get total knee replacements. What happens there?

Typically people are in for about three days after the surgery and each day there's a program. Physical therapy gets you up usually the day of surgery and then you walk a little more next day and go home by the third day. By the time you go home you're going up and down stairs.

You're in pain, but the pain gets better each day and the medicines help. Pain pills help and we put numbing medicine in right after surgery and that can help. It's quite doable.

It's a challenge going through the surgery because it's extensive surgery, but people get over it and feel the improvement and have a new life within a month or two. Full recovery is probably three months. So those are the basics about what happens.

When you home go a therapist will come to your house oftentimes for a week or two. And then you go to the outpatient therapy gym and get on the exercise bike. The therapy is pretty straightforward. It's walking. It's bending your knee. It's straightening your knee. So it's actually not that complicated, but a physical therapist is a nice coach. An expert to help you out along the way. So those are the main points about what happens after knee replacement.

If you have an interest in talking about this or any aspect of knee replacement surgery. I'd be happy to see you. My website is danalbrightmd.com. And the appointment number is 919-863-6808.

Thank you.

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