Knee replacement rest and recovery involves making sure you have set yourself up for success by not only having the right equipment available to help the rehabilitation process but, understanding that you need to have the ability to find time to rest and to make sure you allow sufficient time to stay off your knees or knee and give your body a rest.
For instance I advocate my patients to complete their knee replacement exercises approximately two times a day. If you truly do your exercises as instructed twice a day while putting a full effort into them that will get you the results you need to have a successful recovery. After your exercise routine, you want to immediately ice down your knee with a cold pack that fully encompasses your entire knee. I find that a majority of patients I treat really do not have an adequate ice pack to do the job. This is where they fall short in having the proper equipment to do the job.
I advise my patients to be sure that their affected leg is elevated for 20-30 minutes with the ice pack applied. Resting your knee replacement after exercise will be vitally important to avoid the unnecessary pain and swelling that will arise if you are not doing so. This is very important for the first two to three weeks out from surgery. As time goes on into week four and after, your ability to recover after exercise is not as acute.
You as a patient also want to strongly consider your activities in conjunction with the exercises you are completing to avoid added pain and swelling. All activity has a cumulative effect on your knee which will add up at the end of the day.
I will from time to time have patients that will call me regarding the excessive amount of pain that they are experiencing with their knee replacement.This can arise for several different reasons. Two of the more commons reasons I come across is either not taking their pain medication as prescribed and, staying up on their feet to long, in other words getting involved in doing activities around the house that should be left for someone else.
I have advised many patient to take the day off when they are experiencing chronic pain and excessive swelling. By taking the day off and allowing their knee to rest, they will find that they totally recover by the following day. Everyone learns sooner or later that their knee is much more temperamental than they realize and pushing their recovery to fast results in many a sleepless night.
Learn to complete your exercises twice a day once in the morning and again by no later than mid-afternoon. Ice down your knee after each rehabilitation session and elevate it as well, preferably higher than your heart to help with controlling edema.
When all else fails and you cannot get comfortable do nothing. Rest and relaxation for a day will not harm your rehab progress.