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According to KTLA knee replacements last — and last and last. We now know this thanks to a study presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting. But that doesn’t mean the prospect of such an operation isn’t scary.

More than half a million Americans have knee replacement surgery each year. And it’s the pain, either from arthritis, an injury or other cause, that spurs many to seek out surgery. This knee replacement tutorial from MedlinePlus can help dial back the fear factor. It illustrates in basic terms how surgeons cut the femur and tibia to remove a damaged joint and replace it with an artificial one. Looks easy enough — online.

After surgery, walking and bending your knee starts right away. These post-op exercises help to strengthen muscles around the knee and increase mobility.

What happens after that? The orthopedic surgeons group offers these “realistic expectations”:

“More than 90 percent of individuals who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living. But total knee replacement will not make you a super-athlete or allow you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis. Following surgery, you will be advised to avoid some types of activity, including jogging and high-impact sports, for the rest of your life.”

Dr. O’Toole carefully explains to his patients especially those who are active athletes the type of recovery they can expect following plastic surgery. Patients having  procedures including liposuction and breast augmentation are allowed light exercise within the first seven days. For example, walking or chair exercises. Basically ,the guideline is nothing  should be done that will increase the blood pressure of the patient. From seven days to about three weeks patients can increase their activity level as tolerated ,however no heavy lifting. After 8 weeks most patients can resume their original exercise routine. Of course, recommendations do vary and each patient should listen carefully to their specific instructions given by Dr. O’Toole.

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