Pain management is still a priority. For the first four weeks, the SCDs will be discontinued, and you will wean off of the assistive device as you are ready. You will wean off of narcotics but continue taking acetaminophen, anti-inflammatories, and Aspirin as prescribed.
This is a time when you get to become more functional, comfortable, and independent, but it is not time to go all out just yet. You may be itching to get back to things you love, but you still have many things to work on, such as mobility, strength, balance, and endurance. And, living in Hawaii, you probably love the water, but you still cannot get your incision wet, not until week 6.
This is the time when you will see very noticeable improvements, and you should be able to bend your knee to 90 degrees or more. Walking will feel stronger, but you will have to make sure you don’t get into the habit of favoring the surgical leg. You will feel more strength and stability, but not equal to how your other feels. Plus, you may be able to begin driving yourself again by the end of the month.
The swelling and bruising will still be present but should start to decrease as the weeks go on. You will find areas of your leg to be more sensitive than others and some areas of numbness. Over the first year after surgery, you may feel different sensations like this. It is a normal part of the healing process.
There are a few key things to remember during this month:
- Take your Physical Therapy seriously.
- Physical Therapy will most likely hurt, but it is imperative to follow through so that you can gain your range of motion and strength
- Continue to be consistent with your prescribed medications
- Don’t go into the water yet.