Knee joints are tough and durable, but over time they can develop serious problems, whether due to age or conditions such as severe arthritis. When a knee joint is severely compromised, a total knee replacement may be recommended. This is a surgical procedure performed by an orthopedic surgeon. The outcomes from a total knee replacement are typically positive, and most people regain the use of their knee and have a marked decrease in pain. But there is an extended recovery period after total knee replacement, and a patient is likely to need some help. If you have a loved one who is undergoing knee replacement, use the following tips to help assist them during their recovery:

Get Their House Ready

While your loved one is recovering in the hospital after knee replacement surgery, it can be helpful for you to prepare their house and ensure that there is an easily accessible area to rest and sleep. If your loved one lives in a multi-story home with a bedroom upstairs, create an area to sleep on the main floor, since it will not be possible to climb stairs immediately after knee surgery. Stock up on frozen ice packs, and make sure that there are several pillows available to prop up the knee.

Be Available to Provide Transportation

Your loved one will not be cleared to drive for several weeks after knee replacement surgery, so he or she will need help getting around. In the days and weeks after surgery, your loved one will have follow up appointments with his or her orthopedic surgeon, so make sure that you are available to drive him or her to the appointments. Physical therapy will also begin shortly after surgery, so your loved one may need to be driven to sessions several times a week.

Provide Support During the Rehabilitation Process

Physical therapy is a very important part of recovering from knee replacement surgery. While your loved one will attend sessions with a physical therapist, there will also be exercises that need to be done at home to promote healing and restore range of motion. Physical therapy may be essential, but that does not always mean that it is fun. Some of the prescribed exercises can be quite uncomfortable during the recovery period, so your loved one may need support and encouragement. Offer to help your loved one with his or her physical therapy exercises at home and gently push them not to give up.