After surgery, it is recommended that you have physical therapy for total knee replacements (TKR). Physical therapy will start soon after TKR.
The most common reason for a total knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage in your joints deteriorates. Often, this happens in the knee. When it does you may notice pain, stiffness, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis and/or being overweight may also contribute to the need for a total knee replacement.
How do you know when a total knee replacement is needed? A doctor can evaluate and diagnose your condition, but here are some telltale signs:
- trouble standing up from a seated position
- pain in your knee or knees, even when resting
- trouble with walking
- difficulty going up and down stairs
What can I expect during physical therapy for total knee replacements?
Physical therapy is important to your recovery from TKR. It will focus on strengthening the muscles in your leg. It will also help you get used to the new knee by teaching it to move and helping you learn to walk on it. Physical therapy will also walk you through climbing stairs again.
Your physical therapist will have you complete exercises to increase range of motion, strengthen the muscles in your leg, and keep the blood flowing throughout your body. Exercises might include quadriceps sets, straight leg raises, ankle pumps, and knee straightening exercises, supported knee bends and unsupported knee bends.
Physical therapy will also focus on soft tissue treatments to prevent issues with being able to fully extend the knee and help minimize scar tissue.
If your condition is caught early enough, physical therapy can help prevent or delay the need for surgery. However, after surgery physical therapy is an important part of your recovery and healing from a total knee replacement.
Our physical therapy team is experienced in physical therapy for total knee replacements and has several convenient locations in the valley to help you through the rehabilitation process after surgery.
To learn more about physical therapy for total knee replacements, or begin your program after surgery, contact us today.