Hi everyone. With so much information available knowadays about getting the most out of your total knee replacement, I thought it would be worthwhile to share a guest post written by the experts at The Joint Replacement Therapists. I am certain this insight about physical therapy after knee replacement surgery is the key to your success. Enjoy…
Physical therapy is an integral part to any individual’s knee replacement recovery. There are thousands of physical therapists and physical therapy clinics throughout the country, and the majority of physical therapists are professional, knowledgeable, and caring.
Your therapists will provide you with all the information and resources you require to have a successful knee replacement. What you get out of your rehab after surgery will be a direct reflection of what you put into it.
With that being said, we’d like to share our advice for how to get the most out of your physical therapy after your knee replacement surgery.
Start Before Surgery
Rehab begins before surgery. This is known as prehab or preoperative rehab. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of physical therapy and physical training before surgery. Individuals who train and exercise before knee replacement surgery have better range of motion, strength, and overall function after the surgery.
This leads to a quicker recovery. (See our blog post titled: What is Prehab? )
Learn About Pain
Pain is complex and many factors in your life contribute to pain including physical, social, psychological, emotional, and environmental. The more you can learn about the contributors to pain, the more you’ll be able to make positive lifestyle changes to manage the pain effectively.
Understand the Process and Have Patience
Recovery takes time. You may only notice small improvements initially, and that is okay. The average course of outpatient physical therapy can last 12-16 weeks, but you may not experience 100% recovery for up to 6 months. Keep doing all the right things and eventually it will pay off with a great recovery and outcome.
Everything your physical therapist tells you is for a reason. Any instructions we provide is based off the goal of you having a full and positive recovery with no avoidable setbacks.
Your physical therapists, and all the healthcare professionals, are there to help you. Do not feel intimidated to ask any and all questions. Being well-informed and knowledgeable regarding all aspects of your recovery will only benefit you more. There are no stupid questions.
You won’t notice much change in strength or range of motion after just one therapy session. However, if you remain consistent with your exercises and activities, and regularly attend therapy, little by little you will see the fruits of your labors.
Consider Your Complete Health
Many factors play a role in your recovery after knee replacement surgery. Consider all aspects of your health and determine where you can make some positive changes. Consider things like nutrition, sleep, emotional health, mental health and more.
Continue After Therapy Ends
Your recovery does not stop once you are discharged from physical therapy. It is important to continue with all the exercises you learned in physical therapy and perform them on a regular basis.
It is also important to find ways to maintain the health of your knee and whole body. Great activities to try include walking, aquatic exercises, yoga, and much more.
About the Authors
The Joint Replacement Therapists, Doctors Jordan and Luke Pedersen, are two physical therapists and the founders of the Joint Replacement Therapists website at The Joint Replacement Therapists.
Jordan and Luke are orthopedic therapists who have worked with many individuals before and after joint replacement surgery.
They realized the shortcomings with a lot of the educational material available to individuals considering joint replacement surgery. The Joint Replacement Therapists strive to provide thorough evidence-based information in an organized manner for individuals considering or planning joint replacement surgery.
Their hopes are the information gained will help decrease patient anxieties and improve confidence regarding the entire joint replacement process.
Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.
Booktoots’ Healing site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.