Tips for Traveling After a Knee Replacement
Did you know that knee replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons? Whether you've recently undergone the surgery or plan to soon, thinking about when you can get back to your normal lifestyle might be top of mind. After all, it's natural to want to get back out there right after surgery. But taking the right precautions is the key to a successful recovery after a knee replacement.
If you're planning to get a knee replacement, there might be one question that is stuck on your mind if you travel often: When can I travel after getting a knee replacement? The truth is, recovery takes patience and time after getting a joint replaced. Most doctors recommend waiting at least 6 weeks before traveling.
But when those long weeks filled with anticipation are over, is there anything more you can do to make your travel easier? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Discover some helpful tips that can make traveling after a knee replacement more enjoyable.
Tips for Flying After a Knee Replacement
1. It Starts with Security
Taking care of your knee starts before you even board the plane. With a knee replacement, you need to prepare to go through security. After all, your knee can set off the medical detectors.
If you're planning on flying, ask your doctor to provide you with a letter that talks about your surgery. It's also possible for airport security to ask to see your surgery scar. Wearing lose fitting clothing can make this process easier.
2. It's Important to Keep Moving
The majority of doctors and orthopedic surgeons will tell you how important it is to keep moving after a knee replacement. Not only is moving an important part of the rehab process, but it can also reduce your risk of blood clots.
Blood clots are one of the most common complications following knee replacement surgery. But how does travel factor in? Most forms of travel like driving, flying or taking the train have you sitting or staying still for long periods of time. The longer you stay still, the higher your risk of developing a clot. No matter if you’re flying or using another form of transportation, be sure to get up and move around every couple of hours.
3. Your Seat Selection Matters
If you had a knee replacement and are flying, spend some time thinking about your seat. Having the room to fully extend your leg can help reduce pain and make your flight more enjoyable. While first class guarantees you the room, it's not always a practical financial option.
Depending on your flight, you might have the option to upgrade your coach seat to one with more leg room. If that's not an option, look for a seat behind the partition to first class. On most planes, these seats have more leg room.
Additional Tips for Car Travel After a Knee Replacement
Car travel is a bit easier to manage, since you have more control over the trip. Here are some helpful tips that can make car travel easier and more enjoyable after a knee replacement.
- Plan your route. If you're in for a long drive, take some time in advance to map out where you can stop every couple of hours. It will help you avoid stiffness and pain in your knee.
- Sit in the back seat. When you have the option to sit in the back seat, take it. Sitting in the back will give you the option to elevate your leg across the seat. You'll also more likely have additional leg room.
- What if you're driving? Before you start driving again, you'll want to get cleared from your doctor. Once that happens, start by taking short drives around your neighborhood and build up your stamina and comfort from there. The last thing you want to do is make an hours-long road trip your first car ride after surgery and be uncomfortable or in pain the entire time.
Experience Expert Knee Replacement Services at King's Daughters' Health
If you're considering knee replacement surgery, the orthopedic experts at King's Daughters’ Health are committed to providing you with an exceptional experience. Our Joint Replacement Program is staffed by expert orthopedic surgeons, nurses and therapists.
But our expertise doesn't stop there. We know that life after a knee replacement can be challenging. That's why we provide you with the tools for a safe and comfortable recovery. Give us a call at (812) 801-0848 to schedule a consultation today