Rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery begins in the hospital, often the same day as the surgery. In the beginning, rehabilitation involves a strict schedule of rest, exercise, and medication. The first two to three days post-surgery are the most painful, and by day four the arthritis knee pain is usually gone, leaving the post-surgical pain, which improves each day, especially with exercise.
Recovery from knee replacement surgery requires a series of sessions with a physical therapist, who will also help you develop an exercise routine to do at home. A physical therapist will also assess your mobility, posture, your need for special equipment, and your heart and lung capacity. Physical therapy involves exercises that focus on building muscle strength as well as restoring flexibility (see “Postoperative Knee Surgery Exercises”). Therapy may also include massage, cold packs to reduce swelling, and hydrotherapy. Your surgeon may offer you continuous passive motion (CPM) and cold compression therapy. This will help you get your range of motion quicker and reduce your need to pain medication.
You may also uses the services of an occupational therapist for knee pain, who assists with daily living skills, such as dressing, cooking, cleaning, and personal care. Occupational therapists can also help with assistive devices, such as crutches and long-handled reachers, demonstrate how to lift and carry objects, and help people improve their ability to perform job functions.
Knee replacement patients who follow their recommended rehabilitation program can expect 80 percent recovery after three months. Complete recovery usually takes about one year, but individuals who are in good physical condition before surgery (which is one good argument for starting exercises before knee replacement takes place) often can reach full recovery sooner.
Knee Surgery Videos
While extension is very important when rehabbing an ACL, knee flexion is also important.
Use this easy flexion stretch with a towel to distract the knee joint to help with mobility.
Source: O’Fit website
See also Postoperative Knee Surgery Exercises
The medial collateral ligament is commonly sprained in sports.
Keeping the knee from losing mobility is critical in the healing process.
Try this simple range of motion exercise to help improve mobility.
Source: O’Fit website