Post Operative Tips from a Knee Doctor

The surgery talk you have with your doctor after all other treatments have been unsuccessful can be difficult. Many patients' first thoughts are centered around the length of recovery and how painful the process will be. Our doctors understand that each surgical patient needs to be educated on the surgery as well as the recovery process. At Elite, we focus on getting you back and better than before your surgery. Simple tips, dos, and don’ts help patients get back on their feet as soon as possible.


Keep Your Knee Strait

Whether you had a full knee replacement or an arthroscopic surgery, it is important to keep your knee straight right after surgery. While some movement the following days after surgery is important, you will want to keep it straight while laying down. Your first physical therapy appointment will give you more insight into when you can begin bending your knee, but in the meantime, it is important to let the joint heal by keeping your leg straight and elevated.


Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

It should be no surprise that your doctor will encourage you to eat a healthy diet, especially around the time of your surgery. It becomes increasingly important to focus on eating foods that fuel your body. Avoiding sugars, alcohols, and high carbohydrate foods will help decrease inflammation in your body, making your recovery time faster. Eating a diet high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats have shown to help not only reduce pain but also increase energy the following days after surgery.


Take All Medications as Instructed

You may be given pain medications, aspirin, and/or antibiotics. All these medications are given to you for a reason and need to be taken exactly how your doctor orders you to. Stay on schedule with pain medications and be sure to take all your antibiotics to avoid the risk of infection.


Physical Therapy

If there is one treatment that will help avoid pain and recover quickly after surgery, it is physical therapy. Depending on the kind of knee surgery you have, your first appointment could be the same week as the surgery. This initial appointment will help gauge where you are in your strength and set goals for where you would like to be towards the end of the recovery time. Our physical therapists at MPOWER Physical Therapy are highly trained in post-operative knee physical therapy. You will be paired with a physical therapist that has experience treating your injury and shares the same common goals that you do! Whether you are a young athlete or a grandparent wanting to get back to playing with your grandkids, we have the right physical therapist for you!


Rely on Your Support System

We encourage our patients to not be afraid to ask for help. If you need assistance going to the bathroom, eating, changing, etc., that is perfectly normal. It can be hard to feel like you have lost your independence, but in time you will get it back and be thankful for the rest you allowed yourself to have. By properly preparing your home and support system for what is to come, you will avoid the frustration post-op life can bring. Remember, the road may be long but the destination ahead is worth the end goal! Give yourself time to heal and you will be amazed at what the body can come back from!


Cassie Whittaker Cassie is the Communications Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2020.

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