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  • Writer's picturejacob sciacca

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement surgery is a common procedure for individuals with severe knee damage due to arthritis or injury. A well-structured rehabilitation program is crucial for a successful recovery and regaining full function. This blog will guide you through the total knee replacement treatment process, from surgery to rehabilitation.

Total knee replacement involves removing the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and replacing them with artificial implants. The goal is to relieve pain and restore function in the knee. The surgery typically lasts about 1-2 hours and requires a hospital stay of several days.

Pre-Surgery Preparation:

  • Medical Evaluation: Comprehensive medical assessments, including blood tests and imaging studies, to ensure you are a good candidate for surgery.

  • Preoperative Instructions: Guidelines on fasting, medications, and preparing your home for postoperative recovery.

  • Prehabilitation: Engaging in exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve overall fitness before surgery.

Post-Operative Care:

  • Hospital Stay: You will stay in the hospital for monitoring and initial rehabilitation.

  • Pain Management: Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs to manage postoperative pain.

  • Wound Care: Instructions on caring for the surgical wound to prevent infection.

  • Initial Mobility: You will begin moving and walking with the help of a physiotherapist within the first day or two after surgery.

Physiotherapy Focus: Rehabilitation after total knee replacement focuses on reducing pain, restoring mobility, and regaining strength.

  1. Early Rehabilitation:

  • Range of Motion Exercises: Gentle exercises to improve flexibility and prevent stiffness, such as heel slides and knee bends.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Exercises to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

  1. Intermediate Rehabilitation:

  • Functional Exercises: Activities that mimic daily tasks, such as standing up from a chair and walking.

  • Balance and Proprioception: Exercises to improve balance and proprioception, reducing the risk of falls.

  1. Advanced Rehabilitation:

  • Endurance Training: Low-impact aerobic exercises such as cycling or swimming to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

  • Agility and Coordination: Advanced exercises to improve agility and coordination, preparing you for a return to normal activities.

Rehabilitation Exercises:

  • Ankle Pumps: Improve circulation and prevent blood clots.

  • Quadriceps Sets: Strengthen the thigh muscles.

  • Straight Leg Raises: Strengthen the quadriceps without bending the knee.

  • Heel Slides: Improve knee flexibility.

  • Knee Bends: Gradually increase knee range of motion.

Long-Term Recovery:

  • Follow-Up Visits: Regular appointments with your surgeon to monitor progress and address any concerns.

  • Continued Physiotherapy: Ongoing physiotherapy sessions to ensure continued improvement and address any issues.

  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular low-impact exercise, and following a balanced diet to support overall joint health.

Recovering from total knee replacement surgery involves a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on restoring mobility, strength, and function. By working closely with your physiotherapist and adhering to your rehab plan, you can achieve the best possible outcomes and return to your daily activities. If you are considering or scheduled for a total knee replacement, understanding the treatment process and committing to your rehabilitation plan are key to a successful recovery.

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