Physical therapy exercises are an important part of the recovery process following a total knee replacement. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles around the knee, improve range of motion, and reduce pain and swelling. Some common exercises include:

  1. Quadriceps setting: Tighten the muscles in the front of the thigh by pressing the back of the knee down towards the ground.
  2. Straight leg raises: Tighten the thigh muscles and slowly raise your leg straight out in front of you.
  3. Heel slides: Slowly slide the heel of the operated leg towards the buttocks while keeping the knee straight.
  4. Hamstring curls: Tighten the muscles at the back of the thigh by bending the knee and bringing the heel towards the buttocks.
  5. Ankle pumps: Moving ankle up and down to improve circulation.
  6. Stair climbing: Gradually increase the number of steps climbed as your strength improves

It’s important to note that the specific exercises and progression will vary depending on individual factors such as the patient’s health, age, and the type of surgery performed. It’s always best to work with a physical therapist to create a personalized exercise plan.

There are several precautions to take after a total knee replacement surgery to ensure proper healing and to prevent complications. Some of these precautions include:

  1. Protecting the knee: Avoid kneeling or sitting on the operated knee and use pillows or cushions to protect the knee when sitting.
  2. Weight bearing: Follow your surgeon’s instructions on weight bearing and use of assistive devices such as crutches or a walker.
  3. Medication management: Take any prescribed medications as directed by your surgeon and do not take any other pain medication without consulting your doctor.
  4. Blood clot prevention: Follow your surgeon’s instructions on preventing blood clots, which can include exercises to improve circulation and the use of compression stockings.
  5. Infection prevention: Keep the incision site clean and dry and follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care.
  6. Physical therapy: Physical therapy is important for regaining strength, flexibility and range of motion after surgery.
  7. Follow-up appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns.

It’s important to remember that recovery after total knee replacement takes time, and everyone’s recovery is different. It is important to follow the instructions of your surgeon and physical therapist, and to be patient with yourself during the healing process.

When to consider seeing a doctor after knee replacement surgery?

It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding follow-up appointments and when to contact them after a total knee replacement surgery. However, there are some signs and symptoms that warrant seeking medical attention as soon as possible. These include:

  1. Persistent severe pain: Pain that is not controlled by medication, or pain that is getting worse, could indicate a problem with the implant or a complication such as infection.
  2. Swelling and redness around the incision site: These could be signs of infection, which should be treated promptly.
  3. Drainage from the incision site: Any drainage, especially if it is discolored or has a foul odor, could be a sign of infection.
  4. Fever: A fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher could be a sign of infection.
  5. Difficulty bearing weight or using the knee: If you are unable to bear weight or use the knee as directed by your surgeon, it could indicate a problem with the implant or a complication.
  6. Numbness, tingling or weakness in the foot or leg: These symptoms could be a sign of a nerve or blood vessel problem.

It is important to contact your surgeon or seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and most problems are treatable if caught early.

How much physiotherapy require after knee replacement ?

The amount of physical therapy required after a total knee replacement can vary depending on individual factors such as the patient’s health, age, and the type of surgery performed. Typically, a course of physical therapy will begin shortly after surgery and continue for several weeks. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions will depend on the progress of the patient and the recommendations of the physical therapist.

In general, physical therapy will begin with passive range of motion exercises, which are exercises that do not require muscle contraction but rather the movement is performed by the therapist. As the patient’s strength and range of motion improve, the therapist will progress to active range of motion exercises, which require muscle contraction by the patient.

The duration of physical therapy can vary, but most people will need to continue therapy for at least 6 weeks to 3 months after surgery, with the first 3-6 weeks being the most intensive. The duration of therapy will depend on the patient’s progress and their goals. Some patients may require additional therapy beyond the initial course, especially if they have significant muscle weakness or other complicating factors.

It’s important to note that physical therapy after a knee replacement surgery is a crucial part of the recovery process, and should not be skipped or shortened without proper consultation with the surgeon and physical therapist. Following their advice and recommendations will help to improve the healing process and increase the chances of good outcome.

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