Total knee replacement is major surgery. It requires time to recover before you can resume your regular activities. However, there are ways to safely speed up the recovery process. So, if you're having a total knee replacement done, apply these five tips to make your recovery smoother.

Walk Early

As much as you won't want to, you need to walk as soon as possible after your total knee replacement. Many times, people begin to walk while they are still in the hospital. While rest is important, you need to get moving in order to heal. Walking will give your muscles an opportunity to stretch and improve blood flow to the recovering area.

Watch for Problems

Most patients don't have complications after their total knee replacement. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, less than 2% report serious issues, such as joint infections. While problems are unlikely, that does not mean they are impossible. Make sure that you're watching for signs of a problem. If you notice intense pain or things your doctor didn't prepare you for, make sure you give them a call.

Manage Your Pain

If you want to recover quickly, you need to stay on top of your pain management. Take your prescribed medications according to directions. This will help you stay comfortable, which will also help you get more sleep and exercise. If you're in pain, you'll be less likely to be able to do either of those things.

Follow Your Doctor's Orders

Your surgeon will give you instructions after your total knee replacement. You have to follow these instructions, even if you don't want to. Your surgeon is an expert in this, so they know the best way to recover. If you decide to do it a different way, you could actually slow down your recovery period.

Go to Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an essential part of recovering from total knee replacement surgery. A physical therapist can treat you in the clinic as well as provide exercises for you to do at home. If you're attentive and do your homework, it can help you recover faster.

After a total knee replacement, you'll need to take care of yourself as you recover. However, the recovery time does not need to be as long as you might expect. Use these five tips to help make the process faster and smoother.