Knee Replacement Surgery - How Physical Therapy Helps

    Glenn Smith 14 Aug

    Knee Replacement Rehabilitation, Person Centered Care, Short-Term Rehabilitation

    Knee Replacement Surgery - How Physical Therapy Helps

    Physical therapy can greatly improve your recovery experience through the guidance and expertise of a caring professional.

    As one of the most common forms of orthopedic surgery, knee replacements are a procedure that has been well refined and boasts a high rate of success. The process should leave you with less pain and better mobility in your knee going forward. After undergoing the surgery, physical therapy is one of the best options for getting the most out of the procedure. As part of the overall process, it allows your body to adapt and adjust to this change in ways beyond what you could do alone. It also gives you the support of caring, experienced professionals with the desire to help you succeed.

    How Physical Therapy Helps

    Physical therapy can be a rewarding experience as you begin to recover mobility and functionality once again. Your participation in the healing process and the encouragement of your therapist can really make a difference in the efficiency and morale of your recovery. Essentially, you'll be instructed in a variety of simple, routine exercises to adjust your body to its new condition. Over time, you'll find yourself making consistent progress towards restoring your usual bodily movement. Approximately 20 - 30 minutes of physical therapy a day is usual, and you may also be asked to walk for about a half hour every day. It can take several weeks before your physical therapy is complete, but there are milestones nearly every step of the way to keep you motivated.


    Day One:

    iStock-667832196Physical therapy begins the first day after the surgery has been performed. You'll be given assistance devices, such as crutches or a walker, to help you stand and walk on your own. It's important to get your legs moving and strengthening your muscles as soon as possible. This prevents them from becoming too stiff and too weak to function.   



    Day Two:

    As part of your physical therapy, you'll be asked to walk a little more today with your assistance device. You'll also be expected to function more independently, moving on your own for short distances when you need to. Regular stretching and other simple exercises should continue gently for the time being.


    Day Three:  iStock-177764278

    By today, you should be ready to be discharged from the hospital and return home. You should also be able to sit up and stand with little-to-no assistance, walk at least 25 feet with your assistance device, move up and down stairs, and move your knees within 90-degree range of motion. 

    Day Four:

    Now you should begin performing regular physical therapy exercises at home. Ideally, you should be able to rely less on your assistance device going forward. You should begin a regimen to be continued over the next several weeks including various knee stretches, bends, resistance exercises, and endurance exercises.   



    Day Five:

    You should have a thorough grasp of your goals and routine by today. Expect slight improvements to continue gradually in the coming weeks. Taking care to dress yourself, walk without assistance, and other everyday tasks should be attempted cautiously going forward. With dedication and patience, you should notice your condition and mobility improving. 


    In The Weeks To Come

    Physical therapy can last for as long as thirteen weeks or more after surgery. Working with your therapist, you should continue to routinely push your limitations, monitor your progress, and gradually return to a state of fully functional mobility. After the third week, you should be completely secure without your assisted movement device. Within 6 weeks, your ability to perform everyday tasks and chores should be relatively easy to do on your own. After twelve weeks you should be walking independently for longer periods of time and your knee should be pretty maneuverable. Additional therapy can last for as long as you need until your range of motion and endurance is where it should be.

    Electing physical therapy can greatly improve your recovery experience through the guidance and expertise of a caring professional. Visit us here to learn more and see how we can help you on your quest for full physical liberty

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