Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace parts of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability.
The aim of physiotherapy is to help guide you through your journey of recovery after undergoing knee surgery. Having physiotherapy before surgery would be helpful in preparing you for surgery if needed.
What to expect on your recovery process
Before surgery, you may undergo physiotherapy to prepare you for the surgery and to optimize recovery post-surgery.
After surgery, you will receive care while you are in the hospital to start off some exercises and to assist with your mobility, with the goal of returning to walking as soon as possible. This will start as early as the same day or next day after surgery. You may be taught to walk with or without the use of a walking aid depending on your recovery process.
Early emphasis is on achieving full extension range and at least 90 degrees of knee bending to get the best out of your ‘new knee’. You will be prescribed with a customized exercise programme to enable you to return home, and to an independent and active lifestyle.
Upon returning home, you will be able to attend further physiotherapy rehabilitation sessions to improve flexibility, strength and walking ability, and to help track with your recovery.
What is important to work on after surgery
It is normal to experience pain and swelling over the knee after surgery. Often pain medications, icing, effleurage and movement exercises would be helpful to manage pain. If you are unsure, it would be best to contact your surgeon, or you can see a physiotherapist.
After a knee surgery, it is important to maximize knee range of motion and strength. Improving knee flexibility is important to facilitate movement. Knee stiffness may affect the ability to climb stairs or bend the knee in daily activities. Adequate knee strength and overall strength would allow you to perform daily tasks efficiently. Training walking speed would be useful to cross roads at traffic light junctions in time. Walking speed is a good indicator of one’s overall functional ability.
It is important for you to take an active role with the recovery process to help return strength, movement, and function to the new knee.
What we do at North Shore Physiotherapy Clinic to help with your recovery after surgery
We are specialized and well-experienced in rehabilitation after undergoing knee arthroplasty surgery. We work closely with your surgeons to ensure that you are tracking well after surgery. We will assess your current function, knee flexibility, knee strength and overall strength profile. We will be able to help with pain management and to help you maximize the recovery and achieve your goals, back to an active lifestyle and improved quality of life.