After Knee Replacement: Right After Surgery
Your health care team will monitor your progress after your surgery. You may receive general anesthesia (being put to sleep), an epidural nerve block in your spinal canal, or a femoral nerve block in your leg. Sometimes the femoral nerve block is added to another anesthesia for better pain control. Your team will use support equipment to help you recover. Be sure to let them know how you feel and how well your pain is controlled. You may also receive medications such as antibiotics and blood thinners.
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 and then releasing your foot or calf.
A continual passive motion machine (CPM) to increase flexibility by gently moving your knee.
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.