Physiotherapy Steps After A Knee Replacement Surgery
Getting a knee replacement is the first step in recovery after a knee injury, but you’ll also likely need to go through many steps to gain full function in your knee as well. With a physiotherapist, you can go through these various phases to make a full recovery.
Step 1: Increase the Range of Motion
After a knee injury, your range of motion can decrease dramatically. While you are not able to move the knee in a normal way, scar tissue can begin to block the area and prevent your range of motion. The goal of your physiotherapist in the beginning may be to simply increase your range of motion. They may employ some tactics for reducing swelling, as well as give you simple exercises to stretch the knee and return your movement in all directions.
Step 2: Regain Your Strength
Another part of the process is regaining strength in your knee. You will likely do this while being supported at first, since your knee may not be able to bear all of your weight. The physiotherapist will have different exercise bands to help you gently flex your knee muscles, and you can gradually increase the amount of resistance to start building muscle around the knee.
Step 3: Balance and Proprioception
When you’ve had a traumatic knee experience, your balance may be off. Proprioception refers to how your body parts sense your environment. You may feel shaky when walking at first, since your new knee muscles are not used to sensing how your body moves. Your physiotherapist can help, for example, by having you try to walk or balance on uneven surfaces in a supported way.
Step 4: Task-Specific Exercises
Once you have the basics above, then your doctor might introduce some task-specific exercises. For instance, you may start to relearn how to do basic tasks such as walking up stairs. Then, you might move on to more complicated tasks related to your work and home life. Both a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist are helpful for guiding you in these tasks while making sure you’re not taking on too much at a time.
These general steps can help you understand what to expect during a knee rehabilitation. However, since each knee recovery is different, you may work on these steps simultaneously as well. Finding a great physiotherapist is a key to successfully integrating these steps for a full knee recovery. Look into physiotherapy by Edge Sport Physical Therapy Inc. or another similar company.