Knee replacement is a major and highly technical surgery. The surgery has very high success rate and to achieve a full recovery with optimal results you have to take ownership of the rehabilitation process and work towards the goal on your own as well as with your physiotherapist and the surgeon’s team. This ensures the best results after the surgery and quick resuming of normal daily activities.
An individual rehabilitation is a plan made most comfortable for you by your physiotherapist and the Joint replacement surgeon.
In the Hospital
Your rehabilitation begins in the hospital itself on the same day as soon as you are comfortable. This is done to achieve the maximum post operative range of motion possible, decrease knee stiffness and reduce chances of blood pooling in the leg. Early initiation of rehabilitation ensures quicker discharge from the hospital as well as quicker overall recovery.
Soon after the surgery once the anaesthesia wears off completely, you should begin movements at the ankle, foot and toes to enable increased blood flow.
- Physiotherapy begins the same day itself 4-6 hours after the surgery with active and passive movements.
- Measures to decrease the normal post operative swelling like leg elevation, compression stockings and passive exercise.
- Most patients are able to stand up on the same day itself a few hours after surgery and walk a few steps.
In the following days at the hospital, the physiotherapist follows the individualized plan of knee rehabilitation. They gradually increase the grade of exercise according to your status.
You shall be able to walk the second day onwards and also be able to start walking up and down stairs under constant supervision of the team.
You shall be allowed to get discharged and go home once you have been clinically assessed by your Orthopaedic surgeon and you have learnt your physiotherapy exercises.
When you are discharged, you will be able to walk and climb a few steps comfortably and shall be able to go to the bathroom at home.
Once home, you are supposed to continue the exercises which have been shown to you by your Physiotherapist and your orthopaedic surgeon.
You must not instantly resume normal activities as soon as you are home as that would delay the results.
Adequate rest should be taken and exercises performed.
- Do not sit for long hours as it can lead to swelling. Keep your leg elevated if you have to sit for long hours.
- Keep the leg elevated while sleeping in the bed by keeping a pillow underneath the leg.
- Follow exercises directed and complete them religiously.
- Do not go for long walks or resume daily activities in full swing immediately.
- Do not drive unless you are cleared to do so by your surgeon.
- Do not lift heavy weights.
To achieve the best results post the knee replacement surgery you MUST follow the exercise protocol and the surgeon’s advice. The better you follow it, the better results are achieved.
Home Exercises and Rehab After Knee Replacement Surgery
Straight Leg Raise
Terminal Knee Extensions