Keep dressing dry and intact. Please do not get the dressing wet. If the dressing starts to fall off, please contact Dr. Chatrath’s Nurse at (507) 537-9007 to make an appointment to get the dressing changed.
1 week follow up appointment is with Dr. Chatrath’s nurse for a dressing change.
2 week follow up appointment you see Dr. Chatrath or PA, get x-ray, and get your staples removed.
6 week, 3 month, 6 month, and 1 year post operative follow up appointments.
Wear compression stockings for 6 weeks post operatively. The stockings help decrease swelling.
You will be able to take a shower in the hospital after your dressing has been changed. Once you get home, you should sit in a chair at the bathroom sink to wash up to avoid getting your dressing wet. After your first follow-up appointment, you can shower, but please avoid having the shower run directly over the dressing.
Keep your leg elevated above your heart when resting. This will help decrease swelling. It is not unusual to have swelling on and off for a few months after surgery. Do NOT prop a pillow under the bend of your knee. Always put the pillow under your heel. It may be uncomfortable at first, but this will help your knee stay straight and stretch your hamstring muscles out.
Use the ice machine at least 3-4 times a day or more if wanted. The ice machine is yours to keep. Be sure you use a towel between your skin and the ice pack to avoid skin injury.
The SCD pump squeezes your calf to prevent blood clots. You will use these for 2 weeks. You need to wear them whenever you are sitting or lying down. Please bring the machine back with you to your 2 week post operative follow up appointment with the Physician Assistant. The cost of the machine rental is $110; the bill can be submitted to the insurance company, though you will be responsible for the cost if the insurance company denies payment.
Start physical therapy right away. They will let you know when you can start using a cane and when you don’t need any assistive devise to help you walk.
Work on daily range of motion exercises at home for both straightening and bending. You will learn these exercises from physical therapy. Increase daily household and community walking. Walking is one of the best exercises that you can do after a joint replacement.
You may sleep in any position as comfort allows. Do NOT prop a pillow under the bend of your knee. Always put the pillow under your heel. It may be uncomfortable at first, but this will help your knee stay straight and stretch your hamstring muscles out.
You may drive 4-6 weeks after surgery as comfort allows. It is recommended that you do NOT drive while on pain medication. You should drive with someone in the car with you the first time to make sure you are safe. You may travel and increase activity as comfort allows. If traveling by car, stop every 60-90 minutes to stretch your legs. If traveling by plane, take a walk every hour if possible.
You can start using cocoa butter or vitamin E lotion on your scar at 4 weeks post operative.
It is not unusual to hear clicking in your knee. Do not worry. It usually begins within the first 4 weeks after surgery as you increase your activity and usually resolves within 6-12 months. It is normal for your surgical joint to be warm and mildly swollen for up to 12 months. This is due to the increased blood flow to the area to heal the soft tissue. Any warmth that is associated with increased redness, drainage, or fever should be reported to the office at once.
If left untreated, can spread to your new joint by way of the bloodstream. The consequences of this can be quite serious. Please take the following precautions: