If you’re struggling with arthritis of the knee and haven’t found relief from pain medication, massage therapy, or other treatment modalities, total knee replacement surgery may be worth considering. Also known as knee arthroplasty, total knee replacement is a surgical procedure used to replace the weight-bearing surfaces that make up the knee joint, which, in turn, alleviates debilitating knee pain and improves mobility. While total knee replacement surgery is effective, recovering from the procedure can be challenging.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Studies show that recovering from total knee replacement surgery can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. The best way to speed up the healing process is by working with a licensed physical therapist as they can guide you through a wide range of exercises, which are all designed to promote bone, muscle, and soft tissue healing.
WHAT DOES PHYSICAL THERAPY AFTER TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY ENTAIL?
During your initial consultation with a physical therapist, he or she will develop a treatment plan that will specifically address the problems you are experiencing after undergoing surgery. That said, most physical therapy sessions following total knee replacement surgery will include
Strength-building exercises – Not surprisingly, strength-building exercises are a mainstay in most physical therapy sessions. In most cases, a physical therapist will recommend straight leg raises, calf raises, and lower extremity stretches to help strengthen the muscles around the knee. They may also recommend exercises that specifically target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips as well.
Range of motion exercises – These exercises are just as important in your recovery as strength-building exercises in that they allow you to regain motion around the knee joint. One of the most commonly prescribed exercises entails riding a stationary bike, which improves your ability to bend and straighten your knees.
Balancing exercises – Considering that being able to stand and balance yourself on a knee that was recently operated on will prove challenging, most physical therapists will recommend single-leg standing exercises as a way to help you improve your balance. These exercises primarily target the quadriceps, which, in turn, strengthens the legs as well as the knees.
Gait training exercises – Along with strength-building, range of motion, and balancing exercises, gait training can improve your ability to walk and stand unassisted following total knee replacement surgery.
Scar tissue massage and management – Similar to any other surgical procedure, total knee replacement can result in scar tissue forming on the front of the knee. Along with being unsightly, scar tissue can also restrict mobility. To help combat this problem, your physical therapist will perform scar tissue massage and mobilization techniques that will allow the skin and scar tissue around the knee to move freely.
In summation, total knee replacement surgery followed by physical therapy can go a long way toward allowing you to enjoy a life unencumbered by pain and restricted mobility.
Contact Frisco Therapy Center 972-359-1288. Contact us here!