Do you want to get back to doing your daily activities after a total knee replacement surgery?
While knee replacement surgery is sometimes inevitable and needed, it is by no means a guaranteed fix and there is important physical therapy and exercises needed to get you the results you want after surgery.
Move often. Getting up and walking a little bit often reduces the risk of complications such as blood clots, helps to keep your joints limber, reduces swelling, and brings nutrients to the area to help with healing.
Use the equipment provided for you after surgery. You will probably be given a walker or cane when you leave the hospital to help you safely walk. You want to continue to use this walking device until you are able to walk without limping. Some people will try and limp around the house. Walking while still limping will cause more problems for you by putting abnormal stress on the knee, hip, ankle and back. It will also put you at a greater risk of falling.
Follow your exercise plan. The therapists at the hospital will give you a beginning exercise plan which your therapist outside of the hospital will progress. The exercises will help to increase your range of motion and strength in the entire leg. They can be uncomfortable at first but should not increase your pain. They are very important to do regularly to get you back to doing everyday activities quicker.
Avoid kneeling/putting pressure on your knee. After surgery your knee will be sore and swollen so kneeling will cause unnecessary pain for you. Initially the main goal is to decrease swelling and increase range of motion so anything that causes pain will tend to increase swelling which is counterproductive.
Get rest and sleep: To heal you need proper rest and recovery, so make sure to get enough sleep. But graded activity is very important. For example, walking is a great activity to pump the swelling out of the knee, but if you do it too long you will begin to have increased pain and swelling. The moral of this story is to listen to your knee and if pain increases that is a signal that there is too much stress on the knee and to change what you are doing.
Seek additional support with Physical Therapy. If you have had your knee replacement surgery and are still struggling to move freely or do your normal activities of daily living, Physical Therapy can help return your quality of life. We can assist with decreasing pain and swelling and getting you back to social, home and exercise activities.
Preparing for knee surgery. Working on strengthening and stabilizing your knee will improve your chances for a complete recovery after surgery. By doing pre surgery rehab you will recover faster and will be introduced to what is going to happen during recovery.
How to avoid a replacement surgery all together. If you currently have regular knee pain or swelling or you are struggling to get out of a chair or car or walking, then you are probably worrying about needing a knee replacement surgery in the future. Our physical therapy team can analyze your movement patterns for the entire leg and work on stretching and strengthening to eliminate the abnormal stress to the knees which may allow you to avoid the surgery all together
If you have pain in your knee, it is time to get a free screening to observe your movement patterns to prevent a future surgery and allow you to feel better and live better. Call 414-235-3660 to set up your appointment.