More than 700,000 Americans undergo total knee arthroplasty every year, as this procedure is becoming further and further perfected. As with any surgery, there is always a recovery period following a total knee replacement – and physical therapy is key to a full recovery. The patient’s physical therapist will create a customized regimen of exercises, as no two patients are the same.
The main purpose of physical therapy after knee surgery is to regain the ability to walk and increase the range of motion of the knee. The therapist will show the patient the proper ways in which to move, stretch, and exercise, in order to heal properly and not undo any of the work that was done in the operation.
Any knee pain following surgery will be felt less and less with continual exercises when performed regularly and properly. Let’s talk about what you can expect from physical therapy after your total knee replacement operation.
Why Is Physical Therapy Necessary After Total Knee Replacement?
A total knee replacement is often done for people who had severe osteoarthritis (arthritis) and had difficulty walking and standing, or chronic pain in the knee. It is also for people who suffered an injury to the knee. Therefore, the patient will have to learn how their new prosthetic knee works.
People who have undergone a total knee replacement often say that the knee feels foreign at first.
The patient will need to learn how to put pressure on the knee again in order to walk; they will also learn what sort of movements to avoid doing with the knee in order to keep it strong and steady.
Recovering from Total Knee Arthroplasty
The first day following a knee replacement, the patient will be up and walking via crutches or a walker. Most people who undergo knee arthroplasty experience dramatic improvement within weeks.
By week six, most patients are walking comfortably with the use of a cane. Your physical therapist will show you how to keep exercising your knee in such a way as to prevent it from becoming stiff. After all, the prosthetic parts are connected to your natural bones, so the goal is to get the joint working normally.
This is also the point at which you will regain your leg strength. The therapist will encourage you to ease back into low-impact activity like golf or walking. Any high-impact activities will shorten the lifespan of the prosthetic cartilage, so it is not recommended to jog or run – it is better to swim or cycle.
Knee Therapy in Austin, Texas
If you or someone you know will be or recently has undergone a knee replacement or any other joint replacement surgery, and you are in or near the Austin area, contact our skilled and friendly team at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness today. We have decades of experience helping people recover from knee surgery and any other type of medical procedure.
Call us at (512) 284-7192 or request an appointment online, and put your recovery in the hands of some of the most capable and credentialed physical therapists in Texas.