If you are considering total knee replacement surgery to help eliminate severe knee pain, then you may wonder how orthopedic rehab will work after this surgery. Like most joint replacement procedures, a good rehabilitation program after a knee replacement can help prevent post-op complications and expedite the recovery process.
Read on to learn about three facts you should know about orthopedic rehab after knee replacement surgery to help you feel more prepared for your surgery and recovery process.
1. Orthopedic Rehab Is Needed for About 12 Weeks Post-Surgery
A typical orthopedic rehab program designed for knee replacement recovery takes place for about twelve weeks and begins quickly after surgery is performed. The first rehab tasks you will perform are assisted walking on your new knee and treatment with a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine that flexes your knee off and on as you lie or sit in bed. This movement of your knee is important to prevent post-op joint stiffness and a build-up of scar tissue around your joint implants.
As the rehab process progresses, your therapist will work to help you bend your knee more to increase your knee's range of motion and help you gain the ability to walk without assistive devices, such as crutches.
2. Some Rehabilitation Exercises Must Be Performed at Home
During the twelve weeks of your post-knee replacement orthopedic rehab, you will perform many tasks and exercises in the office of a rehabilitation expert. However, your therapists will also likely advise you to perform plenty of exercises at home between your rehab clinic visits to aid in the recovery process.
To prevent knee stiffening and other complications, your therapist may recommend that you walk for 30 minutes two to three times each day. They will also provide you with a list of additional knee-strengthening exercises you should perform for about 20 to 30 minutes up to 3 times a day.
Just a few of these knee-strengthening exercises include quadriceps sets, which are performed by simply tensing your quadricep muscles, leg raises, ankle exercises, and various types of knee-bend exercises.
3. Some Activities Should Be Avoided During Orthopedic Rehab
Along with advising you on what to do to expedite knee replacement recovery, your orthopedic rehab specialist may also provide you with a list of activities to avoid during your knee rehab process. These activities may lengthen your recovery process or encourage post-surgical complications.
A few of these activities include long periods of sitting, putting more weight on your knee than it can currently handle, and high-impact activities that place too much stress on your recovering joint, such as jumping, running, and participation in high-impact sports.
If you think you may need knee replacement surgery in the future, then now you understand more about the post-knee replacement orthopedic rehab process and how it is performed.