Preparing For A Total Knee Replacement by toriola1

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									                                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                                             Preparing For A Total Knee Replacement
                                                                 By Daniel Sims



   In severe cases, total knee replacement surgery is used to resurface a person's knee, in the effort
that the new knee implant will mimic natural function and range of motion (ROM) of the knee joint.
Diseased cartilage and bone often times are removed in a total knee replacement surgery. The lower
end of the thigh bone (your femur), the upper end of your tibia (your shin bone and the poseterior
aspect of the knee cap can all be resurfaced in this surgical procedure.

How Should You Prepare for Surgery?

The total knee replacement surgery is important, but equally important are the actions you take before
the surgery ever begins. If you want to optimize your recovery, you should read the next section for
some key information.

It is important that you communicate with your physician and his/her support staff what devices you will
be needing when you are discharged from the hospital. Many times, your hospital may have a total
knee class you can take pre-operatively. At this class you can speak with nurses and therapists
regarding your various questions and needs. One key reminder about these recommended
products,....often times, you can obtain medical products online at much steeper discounts than you
would through conventional medical product vendors at the hospital. Keep this in mind!

It is important to note that you should analyze not only the potential benefits of a knee surgery, but also
the potential risks. A pre-operative coversation with your physician and his/her team will be very
helpful. Also, ask to speak with someone else who has undergone the same procedure with the same
physician prior to your surgery. Do yourself a favor and ask for this information. Physical aliments and
significant medical history such as fever and infections (etc.) should all be reported to your surgeon.
Medications you are taking and medications that you are allergic to are important to communicate to
your physician as well.

If there is a loss of blood, which can happen with any surgery, your physician may recommend that you
donate some of your own blood several weeks before your surgery. Your physician and his/her team
can instruct you about where and when you can donate blood.

Make sure the orthopedist performing the surgery is board-certified, which can be determined by

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola


calling the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery at 919-929-7103.

Once your surgery takes place you will definately need support. Among the products that your
physician and his/her team may recommend is a post-operative hinged knee brace. The purpose of the
knee brace is to help stabilize your knee directly after surgery. This knee brace usually involves an
adjustable locking mechanism that can either help keep your leg straight, or allow for different degrees
of knee flexion. Usually, as you recover, your physician will allow for more knee flexion, but directly
after your surgery, the knee may need to be kept in pure extension (totally straight). It is important to
speak with your physician about the exact duration of wearing parameters and activity levels with
respect to your new knee brace as well. This post operative knee brace can be a great asset. The
DonJoy IROM Knee Brace can provide you the support you need in these instances, and via our
website, you can purchase this brace and save you several hundred dollars over that of a brace you
receive by other vendors.



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                         How To Have A Successful Total Knee Replacement Recovery
                                                            By Richard Syner



One of the most common joint replacement surgeries is the total knee replacement (TKR) or total knee
arthroplasty (TKA). Despite the numerous surgeries performed each year many individuals are ill
prepared regarding the total knee replacement recovery process. Below we will discuss some of the
issues involved in recovering and rehabilitating from this orthopedic surgery.

1. Preoperative Physical Conditioning

 Let me begin by saying total knee replacement recovery actually begins well before the surgery takes
place. Here's why. Successful knee replacement recovery will depend on many different factors but
some include the age of the patient, the number of comorbidities and the general condition of the
individual prior to surgery. Patients who are in better physical shape and overall condition tend to have
an easier time with the rehab program.

 Many orthopedic doctors will recommend a patient lose weight and/or strengthen the muscles of the
involved leg to better prepare the knee joint for surgery and postoperative rehab.

2. Pain

 I won't sugar coat this one. Other than shoulder replacement, the total knee replacements are among
the most painful orthopedic surgeries that are done. I have rehabilitated many joints in my career and
this one gets frequent complaints regarding the level and duration of pain through the rehab phase.
The good news is that your doctor will prescribe pain medications if indicated and there are special
therapy treatments to help reduce pain as well. Once you can get through the initial week or two of
total knee replacement recovery it gets significantly better.

3. Early Postoperative Rehabilitation

 It is crucial to start the total knee replacement recovery as soon as the physician indicates. Early
rehabilitation will reduce joint stiffness, swelling, improve overall circulation in the extremity, speed up
weight bearing activities and reduce pain. Most patients will have a continuous passive motion (CPM)
device placed on the surgical knee within hours of the operation. This mechanical device will provide
automatic passive range of motion to the knee while the patient is lying in bed.

4. Progressive and Continuous Rehab

 Some of the goals for total knee replacement recovery is to walk down the hallway with a crutch or
walker, climb a short set of stairs, fully straighten their knees, bend the knee to approximately 90° or
greater, and perform home exercises independently. If the patient is unable to reach these goals within
three to six days, further aggressive rehab is needed and they may be sent to a rehabilitation center for
a week or two or longer depending on their medical and social needs.

5. Ongoing Physical Activity

After the knee replacement therapy has been completed, it’s a good idea to continue with physical


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                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola


activities and exercise to maintain the level of strength and range of motion in the knee. Stay fit and the
knee replacement will last longer.

 Ultimately the goal of total knee replacement recovery is to return the patient to their prior level of
function and living environment. Most total knee replacement surgeries have a high success rate when
combined with early, progressive rehab intervention.

Richard is a clinical physical therapist. You can learn more about joint replacements by visiting his blog
at http://www.squidoo.com/ways-to-workout-at-home-ideas today!




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