If you have a knee injury, you may need surgery. Fortunately, Dr. Steven E. Nolan in Sugar Land, Texas, performs knee arthroscopic surgery to repair a variety of problems. If you have a torn ACL, an injured meniscus, or a sports injury, we can help! The good news is this type of surgery has less chance of getting an infection and a faster healing time than traditional knee surgery. Read on to learn how to ease your recovery at home.
Prepping your home for your recovery
Take some time before your surgery to prepare your home for your return. That way, all you have to do is focus on recovering. Make sure you have plenty of canned and frozen foods, and have a friend or family member drop off some fresh fruits and vegetables. Stock up on toiletries like soap, toothpaste, and shampoo, too.
Once you have that out of the way, it’s important to make your home as safe as possible. That way you lower your chances of tripping or falling.
- Remove throw rugs and any loose items that could be a tripping hazard
- Clean up any clutter laying around
- Arrange for someone to pick up your mail
- Put a seat and slip-proof mat in your shower
- Install a nightlight in the bedroom and bathroom
- Set up a bed on the main floor of your home near a bathroom
Home care is an important part of your recovery after knee surgery. In the first few days, your knee may be stiff or swollen and feel sore. This is normal. Certain anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications should help. We may prescribe something for you based on your specific needs and health history. Here’s what else you need to do:
- Keep your leg propped up to avoid swelling
- Use an ice pack 4-6 times a day for the first few days
- Try not to stand for long, and keep your weight off your knee as much as possible
- Keep your bandages dry until we tell you otherwise; change them as needed
If all goes well during your surgery, you should be able to start walking on your knee right away. We’ll let you know for sure when we discharge you.
Set up your physical therapy appointments while you’re resting at home for the first few days after surgery. That way they’ll have a spot for you as soon as you’re ready to start your rehabilitation program. Remember to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to your appointments so it’s easy to move around.
The physical therapist creates your personalized treatment plan that may include a combination of gentle exercises seated or lying down, stretching, ultrasound waves, and hot or cold therapy. Over time, you gradually build up to walking.
Eventually, they may also recommend home exercises for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a day. It may sound extreme, but the sooner you start walking and exercising, the sooner your knee will heal. As it gets stronger, you’ll have a better range of motion, and walking will get easier. Before you know it, you’ll feel like your old self again.
It’s important to follow our guidance to help your knee heal faster so you can get back to your normal routine. Contact us right away if you notice any of the following:
- Blood soaking through your bandages
- A swollen calf muscle
- Pain that gets worse and won’t go away with medicine
- A fever
If you have knee pain or a serious knee problem that requires surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nolan by using our online booking tool or by calling 281-720-6910 today.