The cut the surgeon made to repair your joint is called the incision, and it may take 6-8 weeks to fully heal. Healing of the incision is very important in the overall recovery of your new knee joint. While going through your ‘multifaceted whole-body approach’ physical therapy treatments, it is a good idea to keep in mind these Top 3 Ways on How to Take Care Your Incision and Prevent Infection after Total Knee Replacement Surgery.
1. Keep it Clean – Make sure your environment is always clean. Keep your hands clean or your caregiver cleans their hands with warm soapy water or wear gloves before touching the wound or wound dressings.
2. Keep it dressed – If you have staples or stitches along your incision, keep the incision covered with a clean, dry dressing to prevent rubbing or irritation. Staples are usually removed at a follow-up appointment. The stitches will either be removed by your provider or absorbed by the body, depending on the type. Strips of tape that cover the incision may be carefully removed or fall off on their own. If you have silver dressings, keep them on until your provider removes them or says it’s okay to remove them yourself.
3. Keep ‘Infection Alertness’ on – Until your incision is fully closed, preventing infection is very important, so be sure to check the incision area every day for signs of infection. Be sure to alert your healthcare provider (orthopedic surgeon, nurse, physical therapist), if you notice an increase in drainage, green or yellow drainage, redness around the incision or joint, swelling, develop a high fever, or have a significant change in your pain.