PAIN RELIEF AFTER THE OPERATION
If a spinal anaesthetic was used for your operation, you will usually have good pain relief for about 6 hours after your surgery. Thereafter, a variety of methods will be offered for pain relief.
Subsequently, nurses will offer you a number of painkillers including anti-inflammatory drugs Brufen, Coproxomal, or Tramadol. If any difficulties are encountered, my anaesthetist and I will be close at hand to offer additional help.
Provided that you take regular painkillers and use them for preventing pain and do not wait for the pain to develop, postoperative recovery can be reasonably comfortable. Regrettably, some of these powerful painkillers can cause nausea and some patients appear to be more sensitive to this side effect than others. Thankfully, usually by the third day, the pain settles and strong pain-relieving medication is often no longer required.
WALKING AFTER THE OPERATION
The implants are solidly fixed the moment that the operation is completed. As soon as you return to the ward and power returns to your legs, the knee joint is ready to bear all of your body weight. Have no fears: the new knee replacement will not let you down.
Patients start sitting in a chair on the day following the operation and the physiotherapists will start helping you get to the toilet and you will start making a few steps in the room. Usually, a frame is used initially. The further you walk the better.
It is important to keep your muscles moving following the surgery to prevent blood clot formation.
As each day passes, confidence should grow and you will find that your walking distance increases. Usually, by the 4th or 5th day, the physiotherapist will have taken you up the stairs. Once this milestone has been reached, plans can be formally made for your discharge.
When you are discharged from the hospital, a letter is sent to your GP, saying that you have been discharged and any relevant events will be documented. Before leaving the hospital you will be issued with the necessary medication to cover your needs for about ten days.
A blood thinner Pradaxa will be given to you for 14 days. You will also be fitted with compression stockings to be worn at all times for 6 weeks: this too is to prevent blood clot formation. An appointment to see me will be given to you usually for 1 week following the surgery to ensure that the incision is healing and that your progress is satisfactory.