If you are at the point of considering a knee replacement, odds are you have had a lot of issues with your knees. A knee replacement is, and should be the last option on the table when conservative management and other surgeries have failed.
What are knee replacements for?
Knee replacements generally are designed to remove an arthritic knee joint, and replace it with a knee joint prosthetic. This procedure is NOT a gentle one. We can’t stress enough how many patients come into our clinic telling us this surgery was not what they expected. That is not to say they didn’t get to the place they wanted, but the rehabilitation after a knee replacement is a long road. This video can help your visualize your surgery.
Are there any recommendations for my rehabilitation after I have a knee replacement?
Perform knee exercises before surgery AND after surgery
Some of the best outcomes of a total knee replacement were the people who did an extensive routine BEFORE the surgery. We have also seen the patients who know a replacement is in the near future and stop doing any knee exercises. These people generally do the worst.
Consider a NMES unit
A lot of research has come out on the use of electrical stimulation on the quadriceps muscle before and following a total knee replacement. E-stim is basically a jump start for your muscle, and helps the muscle contract as one, essentially training the muscle. This can help improve function and even range of motion after surgery. One important note - DO NOT use e-stim if you have a pacemakerSomething to consider: Nutrition
We won’t go into specifics because we aren’t nutritionists. There is research to suggest that avoidind pro-inflammatory foods can help decrease inflammation in the knee joint. If we cut out foods that increase inflammatory markers in our blood, it COULD help with excessive inflammation and pain post-surgically.
Can Physical therapy help me before or after a knee replacement?
Yes! We can help strengthen the knee and hip before your surgery and help maximize your potential afterwards! Make sure to consult a PT if you are thinking about or underwent a knee replacement. We can’t stress enough, it will be worth your while!