It is very important for you to work on exercises to bend and straighten your knee in the first weeks after surgery. Patients who quickly regain their motion are generally happier after their surgery.
The goals of therapy are to:
Walking is important to regain your strength. You should put full weight on your operated leg. You may advance from walker/crutches to a cane and then to no support as you feel secure. It is normal for your knee to be sore after exercising; this will improve with time. Using an ice bag on your knee after you exercise will help your pain.
Most patients are able to drive 4-6 weeks after surgery; check with your doctor.
Most patients will have home physical therapy arranged at time of discharge to help them with their exercise and walking. As you walk more, you will gain strength and confidence.
It is okay to shower when your incision has stopped bleeding, usually 5-7 days after surgery. After showering, pat dry and apply dressing and support hose.
Swelling of your leg is common after surgery. This is usually noted in the first days at home after surgery when patients have a tendency to sit more with their legs dependent. To decrease swelling, we recommend that you: a) wear your support stockings when up during the day for the first month after surgery; they may be removed at night when you are lying down, and b) elevate your legs on a footstool or lie down and elevate your legs on 2 pillows.
Notify your doctor if there is a change in your incision, such as increased bleeding or drainage. Your staples will be removed approximately 10-14 days after surgery at your first office appointment.