How Physical Therapy Helps You Recover From Knee Replacement Surgery
After you have knee replacement surgery, you may be sent to a rehabilitation facility to recover. If your health is otherwise good, and you have help at home, you may go home to recover instead. Either way, your doctor will probably have you begin physical therapy treatments as soon as possible after your operation. You can take your sessions in a rehab center, at home, or as an outpatient. Here is how a physical therapist helps you recover from knee surgery.
Adapt To Your Limitations
You won't return to your usual activities for several weeks. You won't be able to do some of the things you take for granted now, such as recline in an easy chair or stoop down to pick up your newspaper. Your physical therapist will help you adapt your body mechanics so you keep pressure off your knee while it heals initially. In addition to not putting too much weight on your knee, you must take care not to twist it. You'll have to learn how to get out of bed and up from your chair safely. In addition, if you recover at home, your physical therapist will make sure your home is safe. For instance, you may need to remove rugs so you don't trip. And since you'll need to avoid stairs initially, you may need to move your bedroom into the living room downstairs until your knee heals.
Strengthen Muscles That Support Your Knee
Some of the first exercises you'll do work your thigh, calf, and shin muscles. Your therapist will teach you how to do these while you are in bed and when you're sitting in your chair. The exercises keep your muscles from getting weak due to inactivity while you wait for your knee to recover. Plus, strong muscles are needed to support and stabilize your new knee joint. The exercises become progressively more intense as your knee gets stronger.
Increase Range Of Motion Of Your Knee Joint
Other exercises you do help keep your joint limber. You'll do movements that stretch and bend your knee joint so you'll have full range of motion once you're ready to start walking again. Once you're able to walk, your therapist will assist you with an adaptive device such as a walker so you can regain your balance. You'll be assisted in walking until your strength and balance have returned to normal and you can walk and step up stairs safely.
Since everyone is different, it is difficult to predict how long you'll need to take physical therapy sessions. In addition to working with your therapist, you'll also do the exercises at home so you progress more quickly. After several weeks, you should be well on the road to recovery, and even though your physical therapy sessions may end, you'll want to continue the practices your therapist taught you so your knee continues to get stronger over the coming months.
For physical therapy, contact a clinic such as Eastern Shore Physical Therapy.