If you have recently had orthopedic knee surgery, you are likely enjoying less pain and greater mobility. Still, it is important to protect your knees to help prevent future problems. Here are a few ways to help lessen your chance of a future knee injury.
Use a cane, crutches or walker for the prescribed period following your surgery.
Don't place undue strain on your newly repaired joint before you have your surgeon's approval. You can re-injure your knee or prolong your recovery period. Even after your knee is healed, you may want to use a knee brace when exercising for long periods as an additional protective measure.
Until your gait is stable, get rid of the throw rugs.
As long as you are unable to walk without fear of falling, remove tripping hazards such as throw rugs from your living space.
As soon as your doctor permits, strengthen your quadriceps.
Along with your tendons and ligaments, your quadricep muscles, which are the muscles on the front of your thighs, help keep your knees in proper position. As these muscles are strengthened, they take undue pressure off of your knee joint.
To strengthen the quadriceps, regularly perform exercises, such as squats and leg lifts, that target this muscle group. However, be careful not to add too much weight too soon when performing these exercises after surgery. If you are unsure about a suitable number of repetitions or an appropriate amount of weight, consult with your orthopedist.
Get new shoes.
Even if your shoes had the proper amount of shock-absorbent cushioning when you first purchased them, this cushioning wears out over time. Studies suggest that running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. This translates to about once every five months for a consistent runner.
Even though you may not be able to run a marathon immediately after your surgery, even regular bouts of walking can stress your knee joint if you are walking on a hard surface without appropriate shoes.
Avoid wearing high heels.
High-heeled shoes place your body in an awkward position. The physical misalignment that occurs as your body is pushed forward by the elevated heel height can place additional stress on your knees. There are many fashionable shoes that don't have a three or four-inch heel.
Water hydrates your body and consequently, helps to lubricate your joints.
Don't go downhill.
Running or walking down a deep slope causes the forward force of your momentum along with the bulk of your body weight to be placed on your knees.
Even though your surgically repaired knee may feel as-good-as-new, it is important not to place undue pressure on your restored joint. For questions concerning the care of your treated knee, contact an orthopedic doctor (such as one from http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com).