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After Knee Surgery

Getting knee surgery can substantially improve your quality of life. At Atlantis Orthopaedics in West Palm Beach, Florida, our board-certified surgeons can perform a range of knee surgeries that can reduce daily pain and make you more mobile. Following knee surgery, there are some post-operative complications that can occur and it is important to know about them before undergoing surgery.

Thrombophlebitis occurs when a blood clot forms. This is a serious problem because the clot can become lodged in the lungs or in the major arteries. To prevent this from happening after knee surgery, it is essential to take blood-thinning medication. You can also avoid thrombophlebitis by elevating your feet when laying down and also by doing foot exercises to encourage blood flow. It is always important to let your doctor know if you notice unusual swelling, pain or redness in your lower legs.

In some rare instances, patients can get an infection following knee surgery. To avoid infection, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands before touching the surgical incision area. Also, be sure to take all of the antibiotics given to you by your doctor. Even if you feel much better, do not stop taking your antibiotics before the end of the dosage duration.

Another possible complication that can occur after knee surgery is pneumonia. Pneumonia can occur after any surgery that involves the use of anesthesia because your lungs move more slowly. In order to avoid pneumonia, it can be helpful to do breathing exercises. An incentive spirometer can be used during breathing exercises to give you feedback. Be sure to take long, slow breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

The most common side effect of knee surgery is stiffness of the knee area. Stiffness can happen when scar tissue forms around the knee causing restricted motion. To avoid stiffness of the knee, be sure to follow the course of rehabilitation that your orthopedic physician recommended. Also be sure to practice edema control through the use of ice compression, elastic stockings, and leg elevation. Your surgeon at Atlantis Orthopaedics in West Palm Beach, Florida, will speak to you about all the possible complications before your knee surgery.