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Knee joint replacement - series - Aftercare

Aftercare

You will return from surgery with a large dressing on the knee area. A small drainage tube will be placed during surgery to help drain excess fluids from the joint area. Your leg will be placed in a continuous passive motion (CPM) device. This mechanical device that flexes (bends) and extends (straightens) the knee at a pre-set rate and amount of bending.

Gradually, the rate and amount of bending will be increased as you can tolerate it. The leg should always be in this device when you are in bed. The CPM device helps speed recovery, and decreases pain, bleeding, and infection after the operation.

You will have some pain after surgery. However, you may receive intravenous (IV) medicine to control your pain for the first 3 days after surgery. The pain should gradually get better. By the third day after surgery, medicine you take by mouth may be enough to control your pain.

You will also return from surgery with several IV lines in place to give you hydration and nutrition. The IV will be removed when you can drink enough fluids on your own.

You will receive antibiotics to reduce the risk of developing an infection.

You will also return from surgery wearing special stockings. These devices help lower your risk of getting blood clots, which are more common after lower leg surgery.

You will be asked to start moving and walking early after surgery. You will be helped out of bed to a chair on the first day. When in bed, bend and straighten your ankles often. This can prevent blood clots from forming.



Review Date: 3/22/2013
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.


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