THERAPY FOLLOWING PARTIAL KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY
According to the CDC, 23 percent of Americans have osteoarthritis, a degeneration of joint cartilage and underlying bone. This condition generally affects the knees and hips and causes a variety of symptoms, including loss of flexibility, swelling, pain, and stiffness. In most cases, physical therapy can resolve these symptoms; however, in some cases, surgery may be the only recourse available. When it comes to knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, there are two types of surgeries that can help improve mobility and provide pain relief, total and partial knee replacement.
The type of surgery needed will depend on the patient’s joint and bone damage. For example, if only one part of the knee is damaged by osteoarthritis, a partial knee replacement will suffice; however, for those with an advanced form of the disease, where the entire knee is affected, a total knee replacement surgery may be required. But what happens post-surgery, what does rehabilitation entail? These are questions that will be answering throughout this article. And we will also take a look at some of the differences between physical therapy while in the hospital versus physical therapy at home.
Whether you have undergone partial or total knee replacement surgery, you will begin your physical therapy at the hospital. In fact, for most people, physical therapy starts on the first day following surgery. Obviously, you will not be tasked with doing anything too strenuous; this is, moreover to measure your strength and range of motion immediately following surgery. Additionally, your physical therapist will measure swelling and inspect your incisions to ensure that there are no post-surgery complications.
WHAT DOES HOSPITAL PHYSICAL THERAPY ENTAIL?
Following partial knee replacement surgery, your therapist will likely recommend using a continuous passive motion machine, which is designed to help increase your range of motion. Next, you will be instructed to perform basic knee exercises during your hospital stay, and later, at home. These exercises will strengthen your entire leg, including the hamstrings, hip muscles, and quadriceps. It should be noted that the average hospital stay following this type of surgery is 2 to 3 days, and it may take even longer for your knee to completely heal. So, in the interim, you should use a walker or crutches while performing day to day tasks.
CARING FOR YOUR KNEE AT HOME
When you’re discharged from the hospital, it will invariably be a momentous occasion, but you still have a long road ahead of you. Following surgery, some people may still find it difficult to do certain tasks on their own. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to consider a home rehabilitation therapist. These are healthcare professionals who can help you continue with your rehabilitation exercises; also, they can assist with scar care once your incision has completely healed. To say this is an invaluable service would be a gross understatement; if you are interested in these services, you’re encouraged to contact your insurance provider to confirm coverage.
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