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After Knee Replacement: Right After Surgery

Your healthcare team will monitor your progress after you wake from surgery. They will use support equipment to help you recover. Be sure to let them know how you feel and how well your pain is controlled.

Person lying in hospital bed with one knee supported by continual passive motion machine. Knee is wrapped, and ice machine tubes go under wrapping. Sequential compression cuffs are wrapped around both feet.Support Equipment

Special tubes and machines help you recover after surgery. They may include:

  • An intravenous (IV) line to provide needed fluids and medications.

  • A catheter tube to help drain your bladder.

  • A drainage tube in your leg to release excess fluid and reduce swelling.

  • An ice machine or ice pack to reduce inflammation. The ice machine tube carries cold water to the knee joint.

  • A sequential compression machine (SCM) to prevent blood clots by gently squeezing then releasing your foot.

  • A continual passive motion machine (CPM) to increase flexibility by gently moving your knee.

Managing Pain

When pain is controlled, you’ll walk sooner and recover faster. So be honest about how much pain you feel. And don’t be afraid to ask for pain medication when you need it. Your nurse may give you IV or oral pain medication. Or, you may have a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) machine. This machine lets you push a button to give yourself a measured dose of pain medication. Tell your nurse if the medications don’t reduce pain or if you suddenly feel worse.

 

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