What to Expect after a Total Knee Replacement– A Physical Therapy Perspective

Ryan LaCorte Joel Maietta, Publications

Afraid of a Total Knee Replacement?

There are misconceptions regarding rehabilitation following a total knee replacement. Often people hear of long, grueling, and painful therapy sessions. However, with proper education, motivation, and guidance recovery should be nothing to worry about.

Why a Total Knee Replacement?

The primary reason this procedure is required would be Osteoarthritis; cartilage surrounding your joint breaks down causing stiffness, pain, and that “grinding” sensation. Unfortunately, the body is unable to reproduce adequate cartilage. A surgeon would replace the damaged joint with artificial materials, allowing smooth, pain-free motion.

Rehabilitation after Surgery

Exercising early is important, as movement directs the newly formed scar tissue, creating stiffness. The process begins in the hospital; physical therapists show the proper technique for getting out of bed, getting up from chairs, and using a walker.

Once you can move safely and have proper support at home you will be discharged from the hospital. Additional medical monitoring may be needed in a rehabilitation hospital where guided, supervised Physical and Occupational Therapy is administered. This usually lasts a few days to a week.

Your doctor may request a therapist visit your home for a few days to continue with exercises and assisting daily activity training. Following home therapy your doctor will direct you to begin Outpatient Physical Therapy.

Where to Go

When choosing a facility for Outpatient Physical Therapy, talk to doctors and previous patients to find the right place where you feel safe, comfortable, and where your goals and needs will be met.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

This is the final step and lasts 2-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks, plus performing home exercises .Your therapist will work with you to improve the function and strength of your knee and leg, working to improve daily activities (walking unassisted, standing, stairs) plus additional goals (golfing, tennis).

All-Care Physical Therapy specializes in innovative approaches, making recovery from a Total Knee Replacement painless and enjoyable. Our friendly staff and skilled therapists will attend to your every need and get you back to your life!

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