Knee replacement surgery has come a long way in the last ten years to the point where it is nothing to be afraid of. Knee replacement surgery is being done as an outpatient procedure or a single overnight stay in the hospital or even a surgery center. The pain control has come a long way in the last several years to where the procedure is no longer painful and “dreaded.” People do real well after knee replacement surgery; however, they are expected to participate in physical therapy at least three times a week and do their exercises on a daily basis. Most people are off a walker by two weeks.
Pain control is managed much better and starts off with an adductor nerve block by the anesthesiologist in the hospital the day of surgery. It is then supplemented with injections during the surgery that last at least 24 to 48 hours. The patient can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such as Motrin or Naprosyn to aid in the pain control. It may be necessary to take some opioids, but these would be given a lot less than they were years ago. Most people can get back to work somewhere between four to six weeks after knee replacement surgery.