If you have an arthritis condition that has caused one of your knees to deteriorate significantly, then you may need to go through a knee replacement surgery. This surgery involves the resurfacing of the knee and the replacement of the various parts that make up the joint. During the procedure, your damaged knee will be replaced with a titanium and medical grade plastic joint. In about 85% of all current surgical procedures, the joint will last for 20 years. If you want your new knee to last this long, then you will need to care for it after your operation. Reducing the stress on your knee is one important thing you should do, and the following tips can help you with this.
Strengthen Your Muscles
All of the joints in your body are supported and protected by the muscles that surround them. If the muscles are weak, then the joints are more likely to be placed under stress. This can cause damage to your artificial knee. To avoid this, make sure to complete some low-impact exercise throughout the week. On average, you should be getting about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Cycling or biking is one of the best low-impact aerobic exercises for the knee, and swimming is a good activity as well.
If you do decide to start exercising, then make sure to complete stretches that help to loosen and strengthen the hamstring, quadriceps, and calf muscles. These are the tissues that support the knee, and the following stretches are best.
Leg lifts - Lie on your back with your left leg bent and your left foot placed firmly on the ground. Lift your right leg about six inches off the ground. Do this 15 times and then alternate with your left leg.
Stair steps - Stand in front of some stairs in your home or a step stool. Spend 5 to 10 minutes stepping up and down on the first step.
Sitting stretches - Sit on the floor and pull your feet up close to your body. Let your knees fall to the floor and press the soles of your feet together. Stretch your body over your feet and try to move your chin as close to your feet as possible. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and complete the exercise about 10 times.
Hamstring stretches - Sit on the floor with your legs positioned straight out to the side of your body. Lean your body to the right over your right leg and try to touch your toe. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then try to touch your left toe with your left hand. Complete the stretch 15 times.
Wear The Right Shoes
If you commonly wear high-heeled shoes or shoes with a slight heel that sits higher than the toe, then stop wearing these shoes. When you wear high-heeled shoes, your heel sits high as your toe sits low. This causes the hamstring muscles to stretch out and a great deal of pressure and stress is then placed on your quadriceps. You may end up bending your knees to relieve the stress on your muscles. However, this places more pressure on the knees and causes your knees to hold more of your body weight.
You can easily avoid knee stress by simply wearing shoes with flat soles. Look for sneakers or running shoes if you want the footwear to absorb as much shock as possible. Shoes that have thick foam across the midsole are a good choice. The midsole is the part of the sole that sits just below the shoe upper and just above the solid rubber sole of the shoe. Shoes with thick sock and insole linings will absorb some shock as well.