Attend your follow up appointment. We'll check that you and your new joint are doing well.
Your consultant or a member of his / her team will review your progress at your follow-up appointment approximately four to six weeks after your operation. You will either be given the appointment before you leave the ward or you will be sent a letter informing you of this in the post. We advise that you write down a list of questions prior to this appointment and take them along, as you may not see your consultant again.
At home exercises
It is very important for your continued recovery and successful return to normal activities that you continue to perform your physiotherapy exercises at home, as directed by your physio.
If you develop any new redness around the wound or if the wound leaks after leaving hospital, it is important that you telephone the Wound Care Helpline on 0121 685 4354 8am - 2pm.
Recognising & preventing potential complications
You should consult your guidebook to look out for signs of infection, blood clots, Pulmonary Embolus and dislocation.
In the event of non-emergency please call our Help Line on 0121 685 4354.
This is your future - six weeks on
Total knee replacements are performed to give patients a better quality of life, and most people are keen to return to normality as soon as possible. However, it is most important that you do not do too much too soon so as to allow healing to be as complete as possible. Hence the advice you were given on your discharge from the hospital.
Now that six weeks or so have passed, normal activities can be resumed.
You may discard sticks as and when you feel comfortable. You may need some support when walking on rough ground or over longer distances.
By now you should be climbing stairs normally, one foot after the other.
You should be able to return to work between six and twelve weeks after the operation; however, this will depend upon how much physical activity is involved in your job and how you usually travel to work.
Sports and Hobbies
During your recovery short frequent walks are good exercise. Low impact sports such as swimming (breast stroke), cycling, ballroom dancing and long walks can be resumed after 3 months. However, contact and high impact sports such as football, squash and jogging are not recommended and should be avoided. Gardening is fine but heavy work should be left for three months.
Flying too soon after your operation should be avoided owing to the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot). If you are planning to travel abroad you should discuss this with your surgeon.
It is difficult to predict whether your knee will set off alarms at security, although a lot of people ask about this. Some do, however it depends largely on how sensitive the machines are set when you walk through. The best advice is to explain the fact that you have a knee replacement before you walk through the machine.
Please be aware that if you go on holiday soon after your surgery and your wound is injured or you acquire an infection, your travel insurance may be affected.
Staff at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital are here to help and answer any questions you may have, so please do not hesitate to ask at any time.