Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

Living with your new knee joint

This is the fifth session of the Prepare Well Orthopaedics programme. 

In this session we will think about getting back to normal after your surgery (or hopefully, better than normal!). 

There are many factors to consider when planning a return to work following your surgery. 

  • Be realistic with your expectations and listen to your body. Progress may be up and down which is normal and expected.
  • The ward can provide a fit note for x6 weeks.
  • Consider a phased return to work.
  • Think about adjustments that could be made which are specific to you and your job. Consider if your role can be adapted for your recovery period.
  • If your job mainly involves sitting at a desk for long periods, make sure you factor in some time for movement. Have a short walk around the office or garden if you work from home regularly throughout the day.
  • Discuss your work during your 6-week follow up appointment with your consultant. 
  • Start with a short walk – aim for a nearby lamppost to walk to and from – then gradually build up the distance.
  • Remember that however far you walk, you will have to walk back.
  • Avoid icy pavements.
  • You can resume driving when you can bend your knee enough to get in and out of the driving seat and control the car properly. This includes completing an emergency stop.
  • This is usually around 6-8 weeks after your surgery but you should discuss it during your follow up appointments with your consultant or physiotherapist.
  • You should advise your insurance provider regarding your surgery as each policy has different requirements.
  • Check times and maybe start with a short journey.
  • Using an available seat may be more comfortable.
  • For the first three months you should be able to manage light tasks such as dusting and washing up.
  • Avoid heavier tasks such as hoovering or changing the bed in these initial three months.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time to reduce the amount of ankle swelling.
  • Start with the seat and handle bars raised.
  • Confirm with your physio during your outpatient appointment when it’s the right time to restart.
  • Ensure your wound is fully healed and dry to reduce infection.
  • It may be easier to find a pool that you can walk into rather than climb down steps.
  • Consider going with someone initially.
  • Start with light routines and monitor how you feel after.
  • Lots of people can feel anxious about sex after surgery – talk about your anxiety with your partner.
  • Make sure you’re taking regular pain killers.
  • Avoid kneeling for 6 weeks.

Local Fitness Groups and Leisure Centres

Join us for the Prepare Well Orthopaedics Programme to discuss this content further and how to live with your new joint.

Contact details

Mobile: 07971 980 219   

Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

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