The next five months
At twelve weeks most patients are extremely active, says Dr Krauss. Within the first six months, most people feel fully recovered. Within two to three months, many patients report feeling better than they did before surgery. Dr Bergin adds that once the surgical incision is fully healed, patients should be encouraged to progress as aggressively as possible with rehabilitation. That said, doctors recommend holding off on high impact activities like running and doing squats.
Depending on how you feel, you should be able to return to all normal activities within six to 12 months, according to Dr Krauss. Barring infection in the incision or other complications, says Dr Bergin, patients should be as aggressive as possible with rehabilitation in order to get back their range of motion and strength. “The long-term outcome depends on their motivation and ability to continue to strengthen the knee and muscles around the knee for the first year after surgery,” says Dr Peretz.
What are the best-case scenario results?
Knee replacement is one of the most satisfying surgeries in orthopaedics, says Dr Karkare. The best-case scenario involves a functional joint that remains pain-free for upwards of 30 years, according to sports medicine specialist and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Timothy Bollom. Dr Hodrick likes to see his patients ‘forget’ they’ve had the surgery. Dr Krauss says that many of his patients have returned to very active lifestyles, including playing racquetball and engaging in extreme hiking. For the more sedentary patients, it’s enough to go back to whatever they were doing before, be it shopping, dancing, or walking.