How Physical Therapy Can Help After Knee Surgery

October 27, 2023 by Renee Eder0
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People suffering from arthritis of the knee or certain sports injuries may be steered toward total knee replacement surgery to lessen pain, restore joint functionality, and improve range of motion. For many who undergo this type of surgery, it can take about 12 weeks of physical therapy-based rehabilitation to have a fully functioning, ready-to-use joint!

By incorporating physical therapy into the healing process, it helps you regain full range of motion to eventually resume an active lifestyle. Here’s what you should expect from physical rehabilitation following knee surgery:

  • Following surgery, the replacement knee might seem stiff or even painful. Initially, rehab focuses on restoring joint mobility and strength, with the goal of getting you home to continue recovery with physical therapy.
  • Within 24 hours after surgery, a physical therapist will help you stand up and use a mobility device like a walker, cane or set of crutches.
  • During the early stages, exercises help strengthen your knee, reduce risks for complications, and help you become more mobile. At first, you’ll practice getting in and out of bed, sitting on the side of the bed and transferring yourself to an adjacent toilet or bathroom. You’ll start by taking a few steps with an assistive device, before transitioning to walking down a hallway. In between, expect to do more walking exercises with parallel bars or a walker. Additional exercises focus on improving blood flow to your legs and feet to reduce clotting and deep vein thrombosis risks.
  • A PT will continue to help you improve motion, reduce stiffness, and lessen the occurrence of scar tissue. Soon, you will be able to bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, stand and walk with minimal assistance, and climb stairs.
  • Following the initial sessions, your surgeon will discuss your recovery plan.

 

Continuing Physical Therapy Will Promote Quicker Healing

When you meet with a physical therapist at Beltway Medical Group, exercises and treatment will continue with the goal of improving knee mobility and strength. Building off what you’ve started, you will:

  • Focus on moving around more, improving mobility and reducing use of pain medications.
  • Aim to stand in place longer (for at least 10 minutes).
  • Find the swelling around your knee subsides with time and you’re able to fully extend and bend it beyond 90 degrees.
  • Use a walker or crutches less often after a few weeks and start walking longer distances.
  • Devise a plan to start driving again and return to work, based on your job.
  • Continue your exercise plan at home to avoid blood clot risks.
  • Start to resume a more active lifestyle toward the end of this 12-week period. Full recovery can take about six months.

Throughout all these stages, exercises tend to encompass balance, bending your knee, raising the leg and using a stationary bike.

 

Have Knee Surgery Planned? Contact Us to Set up Physical Therapy Services for Before and After!

Physical therapy treatment can help you achieve as much knee strength, stamina, flexibility, and improved range of motion as possible both before and after your surgery. The therapists at Beltway Medical Group are available to help you get prepared for surgery and support you through your recovery. At our brand-new physical therapy office in Fairfax, VA, we will use a variety of manual therapies and teach you exercises you can do at home.

At Beltway Medical Group, a physical therapist can put together both a pre and post-surgical rehabilitation plan for an individual preparing for surgery. If you are having knee surgery or any other type of surgery, work with the team at BMG to regain strength following joint replacement surgery. Let us show you how rehabilitation can help you before and after!

Beltway Medical Group

Beltway Medical Group is a provider specializing in post-operative rehabilitation, sports medicine, and physical therapy needs of clients. With exceptional, patient-centered care, trusted expertise and remarkable outcomes, our goal is to exceed customers' expectations every day.

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