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Will I be able to climb stairs independently after surgery?

Q: I was operated 5 months back for bilateral genu valgus derformity (I was operated on both the knees, which had a deficiency since childhood). After this I was on bed rest for 3 months with plaster of Paris casts. The doctor has advised gait training and other exercises. Currently I am attending office using single stick for walking and feeling better. Please suggest what are the precautions I should take? I have swelling on my right foot. Will I be able to walk and climb stairs independently?

A:You are already almost six months down the line from surgery. Your osteotomies should have consolidated reasonably well by now to allow you to do independent walking. However, it is important to check with your doctor that the X-ray confirms that the bones have healed well. Occasionally, you have stiffness of the knee after the surgery therefore you should do exercises of the knee to ensure that your range of movement of the knee is achieved as early as possible and that your quadriceps strength (front of thigh muscle) is restored well. Do not do any massage to the joints that have been operated as this causes an increase in the stiffness of the knees. These are the only precautions you need to take. Once you are confident you could leave the stick. Staircase climbing is preferably deferred till you are able to walk without a stick. Swelling in the foot can be related to your plaster immobilisation and I do not think anything that is significant.

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