Total Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi my favorite readers. Here is an interesting guest post written by Richard Haynes, a physical therapy professional. It contains a wealth of information that can benefit your tkr recuperation. Enjoy!

Once you have gone through your total knee replacement your work really has just begun. In fact, your surgeon will tell you that the surgery was the easy part, the hard part is the physical rehabilitation. What will determine your overall success after surgery will depend on the concentrated efforts both you and your physical therapist put into your treatments.

Your physical therapist will be in charge of providing the exercise knowledge and expertise along with pain management skills in helping you get to a speedy recovery. You will be in charge in putting forth both the physical and mental effort needed to get the results you need to be both pain free in the long term and fully functional.

In many cases most of you that have gone through this elective procedure have the self-motivation that is required to succeed and understood that before going into surgery. In other cases that I have come across, some do not fully understand what they have just gone through and, do not understand the mental discipline and toughness that needs to be acquired to have a successful rehabilitation experience.

An idea that will help everyone tremendously is to ask your surgeon to get you registered for a pre-operative class that explains what will be involved not only during your hospital stay but, what will be expected during your rehabilitation as well. These classes not only instruct you with pain management techniques after your hospital stay but, are also attended as well by a physical therapist that will guide you as to what you can expect after surgery and, what to expect once you get home.

Once you get home after a brief hospital stay, you will be seen by a therapist who will evaluate you and get you started on your home rehabilitation program. Your therapist should provide you with a detailed home exercise program with picture handouts that are easily followed and understood. In many cases, your hospital rehabilitation department may have issued you a home exercise program as well.
What needs to be stressed here once you are home is that your dedication to the exercise program and your discipline to getting the necessary work done will determine your final outcome. Your physical therapist will provide the instruction and motivation as to why you must follow the program as instructed but you must apply the work and that cannot be done for you.

I recommended to patients that they complete the home exercise program provided two times a day. In some cases therapists will stress three times a day however, in my years of following TKR patients I do not see any advantage in doing the exercise three times a day. If you do the exercise’s correctly two times you will achieve your rehabilitation goals.

What you want to remember is more is not better here. In too many cases I find patients that feel the more exercises they do the faster they will rehabilitate themselves. What you are doing in fact is setting yourself up for a painful experience for the next few weeks that really you did not need to experience in the first place.

Knee replacement surgery is painful enough by itself without self-sabotage by over doing the exercise program. Keep the communication lines open between your physical therapist, nursing staff and of course your surgeons’ office to help answer any questions that are bound to come up during rehabilitation.
If you understand the fact that you and you alone are now responsible for your final outcome, you will have a better chance in having a successful outcome after surgery and begin living your life pain free once again.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT.
Richard is a physical therapist assistant that specializes in total joint replacement recovery in the home health sector in southwest Florida. Richard has worked in the field of physical therapy since 1995 and graduated from Saint Petersburg College. Having had a total knee replacement himself in 1999, he understands and experienced first-hand the trials and tribulations that can go with rehabilitation.
Richard also can be reached at

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