- The first few days after surgery are often the most painful, but this is normal, and the pain will gradually improve.
- To manage post-op pain, your surgeon will likely prescribe an opioid or over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to help with inflammation or pain.
- You may be given some exercises to help reduce stiffness and regain range of motion. Physical therapy can also be helpful in this recovery process.
- Depending on the surgery type, recovering from knee surgery can take weeks or even months in total.
The first few days after surgery are often the most painful. The anesthesia will start to wear off, and you may feel soreness around your incision site. You may also have some bruising & swelling. Your leg may feel stiff, and you may have trouble moving it. These are all normal side effects of surgery and will gradually improve.
How to Manage Post-Op Pain?
Pain medication can help to manage your pain during this period. Your surgeon will likely prescribe an opioid medication for you to take during this time. They may also recommend over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to help with inflammation or pain.
As your pain starts to improve, you will be able to start moving your leg again slowly. You may be given some exercises to help reduce stiffness and regain range of motion. Physical therapy can also be helpful in this recovery process.
Recovery from post-operative knee surgery pain is gradual, but following your surgeon’s instructions and doing some simple exercises can help make it as smooth as possible. Depending on the surgery, recovering from knee pain can take weeks or even months.
Effective Tips to Diminish Post-Op Knee Surgery Pain
Here are some tips to help diminish post-op knee surgery pain and speed up your recovery. Check them out!
1. Ice The Knee for Fifteen Minutes Every Few Hours During the Day
One of the most important things you can do to help your knee recover from surgery is to ice it. Icing helps to reduce swelling and pain, and it also helps to prevent stiffness.
To ice your knee, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to your knee for fifteen minutes. Be sure to put a thin layer of cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent frostbite. Repeat this every few hours during the day for the first week or two after surgery.
2. Avoid Putting Any Weight on Your Knee
You should also avoid putting any weight on your knee during this time. Instead, use crutches or a walker to get around. As you start to feel better, you can slowly increase the weight you put on your knee until you’re back to normal. You’ll be back on your feet with a little time and patience.
3. Elevate The Leg Above Heart Level to Reduce Swelling
When you have surgery on your knee, you should also elevate your leg above heart level when resting or sleeping. This will help to reduce swelling. You may need to use pillows to prop up your leg.
Put the pads/pillows under your calf and ankle, not under your knee. If you have a lot of swelling, you may need to ice your knee. You can also take pain medication as needed.
4. Take Ibuprofen Or Other Pain Medication As Prescribed By Your Doctor
After knee surgery, it is common to experience pain and discomfort. Depending on your surgery, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage any pain you are experiencing.
Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can help reduce inflammation and pain. However, it is important to take it as directed by your doctor to avoid any adverse effects.
Other pain medications may also be prescribed, so follow your doctor’s instructions. In addition to drugs, there are other things you can do to help reduce pain and swelling.
5. Compress The Knee with A Bandage/Wrap to Minimize Swelling And Pain
After surgery, it is important to compress the knee with a bandage or wrap to reduce swelling and pain. The bandage or wrap will help support the knee while it heals. Bandages or wraps should be applied according to your doctor’s instructions.
6. Perform Gentle Exercises And Stretches As Recommended By Your Physical Therapist
Following your physical therapist’s recommendations for exercises and stretches is essential. This will help you to recover quickly and reduce pain.
Some gentle exercises recommended include leg lifts, mini-squats, and bridges. Leg lifts are performed by lying on your back and slowly raising your leg. Mini-squats can be done by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and bending your knees slightly. Bridges can be done by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. If you perform proper exercises regularly, you will soon start to see a decrease in pain and an increase in mobility.
7. Use A Heating Pad On Low Heat To Soothe The Area Around The Knee
It’s crucial to keep the area around your knee warm following surgery. Applying a heating pad on low heat for 20-30 minutes can help to soothe pain and promote healing. Wrapping the heating pad in a towel is important to protect your skin from burns. You may also find relief by soaking in a warm bath or using a warm compress. Apply the heat for no more than 30 minutes, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you experience any pain, swelling, or redness, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
Post-Op recovery is extremely important to the healing process following surgery. It is important to keep the area around your knee warm following surgery by using a heating pad on low heat for 20-30 minutes. Ice application and gentle stretching exercises can also be helpful in recovery. Be sure to listen to your body and take things easy as you heal. With time and care, you will be back on your feet.
If you experience pain, swelling, or redness, discontinue use and consult your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout the day.
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