February 09, 2018

Knee replacement therapy and rehabilitation are absolutely essential to ensuring your total knee replacement surgery is a long-term success. By pushing yourself and following the instructions of your physical therapist, you can begin to make improvements vital to your everyday life.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, up to 4.7 million Americans were living with an artificial knee in 2014 alone. For each of these individuals, and for you, physical therapy and pain management will begin the within the first day after surgery.

To help prepare you for your own knee replacement therapy after your total knee replacement surgery, consider the following timeline so you know what to expect.

Day One: Physical Rehabilitation
Physical therapy treatment will most likely begin as soon as the first day after surgery. This is because the earlier you begin to use your artificial knee, the easier it will be to strengthen your leg muscles to enhance mobility.

On the first day of physical therapy treatment, your therapist will give you exercises and demonstrations to help you move around using an assisted device such as crutches or a walker. This is to help you with everyday activities such as using the bathroom, bathing, and walking as your knee heals. A continuous passive motion machine, or CPM, may also be used to help strengthen your knee.

Day Two: Increasing Activity
Following the first day, your physical therapy exercises will most likely increase to the point where you’ll be able to use the restroom rather than a bedpan. You may also begin taking more steps and climbing a few steps.

The goal of day two of physical therapy is to begin to be able to walk longer distances with assistance. Other goals include being able to stand, sit, and move about the hospital room.

Day Three And Onward
Your physical therapist will continually work with you until your discharge. For up to three weeks, you will gradually improve mobility to the point of being able to walk up to 25 feet without assistance.

Another goal at this stage is for you to be able to move up and down a flight of stairs using a crutch or walker for assistance. What’s more, your knee flexion should improve from a 10-degree bend to a 70 or 90-degree bend by the third week of recovery.

Each patient’s knee replacement therapy will differ according to the patient and the physical therapist. For more information on what you can expect from your own knee replacement therapy, contact Bluegrass Orthopaedics today.