Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #24 - Phases of Healing After a Total Hip or Knee Replacement
Read the transcript for this video:
Good morning! Welcome to your Weekly Cup of Joe. My name is Joe King. I'm the owner of Physical Therapy Advantage North Aurora, and we've been doing these weekly vlog segments for some time. Now we're going to continue on today and talk about the phases or stages of healing after a total knee replacement or a total hip replacement. We, always get clients coming in after a total hip or a total knee replacement and they're asking us, "Am I on schedule?" Am I doing, okay?" "Is this normal?" "Why is this doing that?" which is all-natural. But just want to let everybody know that there are some general guidelines to phases or stages of healing after a total knee or total hip replacement. You could put it into even total shoulder replacements now and some other major surgeries too, but definitely for the joint replacements.
These stages are a typical fashion for everybody, but they come in three-to-four-month segments. So, the overall length of healing for a total knee or total hip is roughly about a year. Most Orthopedic Doctors will tell you; that it'll take you a year to get over. That's a give or take. There might be a little bit less on one end, a little bit more or another, depending on your situation, but roughly about a year in those phases, as I said are roughly three to four months in duration. The first phase is going to be the first three to four months dealing with the surgical healing and the pain that you have just from the surgery you're done, with the pain or arthritis or whatever caused you to have the joint replacement. But now it's a different pain you're dealing with; that pain of surgical healing. There's also just going to be some soreness in there, some from rehab and just general soreness. When you do your physical therapy, it's going to create some soreness and there's going to be a little bit of stiffness in there as well too. The knee is going to feel stiff, but that's because a lot of swelling that's in there as well so that stiffness can come and the pain can come from swelling. So typically, we say about 50% of that first phase is dealing with the pain of surgery, 25% is dealing with soreness and 25% is dealing with maybe some stiffness.
Then that next phase that's starting in month four or month five is going to be more soreness and stiffness and its 50/50; 50% of that phase is going to be dealing with soreness and 50% of that phase is dealing with stiffness and there can still be some residual swelling in there. And that's why we ask you to continue to ice as you're going through the rehab process, it's a natural anti-inflammatory, to help decrease the swelling, and it's a natural pain medication as well too. So we ask you to continue on with that icing all the way through the phases, especially for the first two phases. And then the last phase is dealing with more stiffness. There could be a little bit of soreness in there as well too, but the majority of it is stiffness and that's a 75% stiffness and 25% soreness, and you get more stiffness as the day or as months progress or the weeks progress. And you're feeling pretty good through the day and then you wake up in the morning and your knee is still feeling pretty stiff, but after you do a few exercises and loosen up, it feels pretty good. And day by day, week by week, the amount of stiffness that you have, the time it takes for it to loosen up gets better and better and less and less as that phase goes on as you get closer and closer to that 9 and 10 and 12 months of post-surgery. And like I said, then it takes you about roughly 12 months, maybe nine months on the short end, maybe even a little bit less, if you're really good and all things turn out well, or it could be maybe it's 13 months, 15 months. And you know what, depending on whatever it is, it may be up to 18 months. Everybody's guideline is going to be a little bit different, but it's a very general guideline.
And I hope that answers, a lot of questions for people in regards to what you may experience, especially dealing with pain and soreness and stiffness after a total joint replacement, either a total hip or total knee. So, just a reminder, we are doing a Total Hip Total Knee Replacement Free Community Workshop next Tuesday evening at 6:30, Shay Phillips will be leading that. There's going to be a registration link below. You can also call the clinic at (630) 892-8003 to ask any questions or to register that way. But she'll be going over a lot of concepts of total hip and total root knee replacement, and just basically answering questions and kind of repairing people and helping people make those decisions if it's something they want to do at this point in time, and what's best for them. Hope you all enjoyed that. I can't believe that January is almost over, but we're getting there and, 2021 is off on a roll, so we want to wish everybody a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021. And we will see you next week for your Weekly Cup of Joe. Bye.