Physical Therapy after Knee Replacement Surgery

Physical Therapy after Knee Replacement Surgery
After surgery, you immediately start physical therapy to prevent scar tissue forming and to begin your journey of having your life back.

IF you have had knee issues for awhile you may not have known how much it affected your body, in essence physical therapy is to train you how to walk normally again.

Depending on how physically fit you were before your surgery will determine the length and intensity of your therapy sessions.. If you thought your pain before surgery was bad, your first two weeks after surgery will be unbearable. Your surgeon will have prescribed you a myriad amount of medications for pain, inflammation, constipation and muscle spasms. It is recommended you take ;your pain medication a half an hour before physical therapy(PT). This will help you get through the initial pain and help in your recovery. Please consider someone driving you to therapy or hiring Uber or Lyft for transportation.

This is where the real work will come. Not only will your PT push your limits but the procedure to break up scar tissue is painful.

In your 1st session, your PT will determine where you are physically and develop a plan for your exercises. Most therapy sessions include clams and bridges, since these exercises strengthen your core and quads. For a good recovery quads need to strengthen in order to support your new knee.

You generally will start PT with these two exercises and progress from there.General PT exercises include heel lifts, heel slides, climbing stairs and other exercises designed to strengthen your legs and core.

Don’t worry the best thing after PT is the icing and the TENS unit to massage your knee muscles.

In physical therapy you will be doing exercises to strengthen your leg to support your new implant, also your physical therapist will be breaking up scar tissue on your new knee. I found this to be more painful than the actual therapy. The physical therapist has a device and moves over your knee to break down the scar tissue and also measures your bend as you do your therapy.

Physical therapy can last anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes, depending on how you improve and strengthen your muscles. In the beginning my therapy lasted an hour, before I was discharged to go back to work it was 90 minutes and very intense. As you progress your PT adds more and more exercises to do and advise you on what to do on home. Bridges and clams are always good to increase your inner core and thighs.

PT has been renamed phyiscal torture because it can be, but just push through it, knowing on the other side you will have more mobliity in your new knee. Another precaution, after PT you will feel 100% and feel you can return to your normal life-DON’T. You are still healing and your body can’t expect to handle normal everyday things. In my case it took another 5 months before I was able to complete a daily work day and put in my normal 5000 steps as my stamina and strengthen hadn’t returned 100%.

Just take it day by day and listen to your body and your PT. Knee replacement recovery is a journey not a marathon,’

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