Kelley Southard - June 13, 2022

Total Knee Me! Better Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Physical therapy for knee pain can help and with the right therapy, you can reduce pain and improve your knee’s range of motion and strength. Physical therapy for the knees can make a big difference in our patients’ lives and is typically the first plan of action. However, sometimes therapy is not enough. Patient’s may require a knee replacement if they have sever knee pain, limited motion, and extreme difficulty walking. Typically, a return to physical therapy will be prescribed by your surgeon after your total knee replacement.

Pre-Surgery Knee Replacement Exercises

If you are planning on a knee replacement, get started with physical therapy at home before your knee replacement. Physical therapy before surgery will help build muscle strength around your knee and can even help you with a speedy recovery. The benefits of pre-surgery physical therapy can included improved circulation, reduced muscle fatigue and soreness, strengthened muscles, and reduced risk of developing blood blots.

These simple exercises can help get you ready for your knee replacement in the comfort of your own home!

QUAD SETS– This exercise can be done sitting in a chair, standing up, or lying in bed. Tighten the quad muscles on the top of the thighs. Straighten both knees as much as possible, bending the ankles so that toes pull back. The heel should raise up off the bed. Hold 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISES– With a tightened quad set, slowly lift the straight leg (from the hip) up 4-6” from the bed. Repeat 10 times. Choose either lying on the floor or sitting in a chair to perform this exercise: Lying flat on the floor or bed, bend the opposite knee leaving your foot on the floor. Lift the single straight leg. Sitting in a chair, be sure to sit up straight, opposite knee bent with its foot flat on the floor. Lift the single straight leg

SHORT ARC QUADS– With a slight bend in the knee, straighten and slightly bend the knee 10 times. Choose either lying in bed or sitting in a chair to perform this exercise: Lying in bed, a doubled pillow under the knee creates a supported knee flexion for this exercise. Straighten the slightly bent knee ending in a quad set, then return the knee to a bent position. Repeat 10 times. Sitting in a chair, scoot to the front of the chair; rest your heel in front of you while the knee is slightly flexed. Straighten the slightly bent knee ending in a quad set, then return the knee to a bent position. Repeat 10 times.

For more at-home therapy tips you can read more of my BetterMeBLOGS here. Want to prepare more for your knee replacement? Read more about what your post-operative journey may be like!

Why Should I Get a Knee Replacement?

A major benefit of total knee replacement surgery is that it generally results in pain relief. Many patients report that they no longer need canes or have a limp after the procedure. Often, stiffness due to arthritis will be relieved as well, allowing them to enjoy recreational activities. Depending on the severity of their condition, inpatient rehabilitation after the surgery may be required.

Postoperative Recovery

In the post-operative recovery period after total knee replacement surgery, you may return to light activities such as driving, and can start doing light housework. You should consult with your doctor and physical therapist to determine when it’s safe to drive. You should also avoid any physical activities that put undue strain on your knees, such as bending or twisting your knees. If you have had surgery on your knee, you may need to wait at least 6 weeks before driving, and even longer if you’re prone to infection.

Your surgeon will often provide you with at-home exercises to help you rebuild your strength and recover safely. You can also visit a physical therapist for a more individualized treatment plan that will help you get back on your feet in no time!.

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