Total Knee Replacement
If you are considering having a knee replacement or have just had one, know that surgery is just the first step. Your surgeon may have done a fine job, but this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to use your knee as you did before. Physical therapy is important for complete recovery, strength, and a full range of motion in your knee immediately after your surgery. Our physical therapists are excited to help you achieve this in the shortest time possible.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery (or knee arthroplasty) is a procedure performed to replace a damaged knee joint with artificial parts made from metal or plastic. It is usually performed to relieve chronic knee pain caused by arthritis. Although, other conditions such as severe injury to the knee may require a replacement. Knee replacement surgery is the last resort when other treatment plans for knee pain have been ineffective.
Know Your Knee
The knee is the largest joint in the body. It’s made up of the lower end of the thighbone (femur), the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). The surface of these 3 bones is covered with articular cartilage that helps the bones move easily, and prevent them from rubbing against each other. The synovial membrane, a tissue that covers the remaining surfaces of the knee joint, secretes a fluid that lubricates the cartilage and reduces friction in the knee joint. The bones of the knee are held by muscles, ligaments, and tendons that give stability to the knee joint.
What Causes Total Knee Replacement?
The leading cause for knee replacement surgery is chronic knee pain resulting from arthritis. Arthritis is a condition, where the cartilage covering the ends of a bone in a joint wears away or is damaged. This causes the bones to rub against each other resulting in pain. Three forms of arthritis are the most common. They include:
This form of arthritis is common in persons from 50 years of age. It can also occur in younger people. What happens is that the cartilage that keeps the bones from rubbing against each other wears away.
This happens when your immune system attacks your joints. The synovial membrane covering the knee joint becomes inflamed. This can damage the cartilage and lead to stiffness and pain.
This begins to develop after a knee injury, where fractures and tears may damage the cartilage over time resulting in the bones rubbing against each other.
Is Knee Replacement Right For Me?
You and your surgeon will make the final call on whether knee replacement is what you need. However,
Then, you are a suitable candidate for a hip replacement.
What Happens Before and During the Surgery?
Before the surgery, a complete physical examination will be carried out to ensure you are in good health, and that replacement is actually what you need. Other tests such as X-ray, MRI scan, blood tests, etc., may be required to plan the surgery. Once you and your surgeon have made the decision for hip replacement, then it’s time to go prepare for your surgery. It is important to make changes to your home and have someone to support you after surgery. This is because you won’t be able to use your knee for a couple of weeks. You might also stop taking some medications two weeks before surgery. Your doctor will tell you what medications to stop. During the surgery, a general anesthetic will be given to you to keep you asleep or sedated during the procedure, which will only take 2-3 hours. Surgery may be done on an inpatient or outpatient (same-day surgery) basis.
What is Recovery Like?
After the surgery, be ready to feel some pain, this is normal for a while. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers for a period to help with the pain. Once your pain begins to subside, stop taking the meds. Post-operative rehabilitation is very crucial after surgery. This guarantees that your knee heals faster, and is restored to its normal functioning. Polygon PT offers post-operative rehab for knee replacement surgery. Physical therapy begins 24 hours after your surgery and continues till you have achieved full range of motion in your knee joint. Your therapist will create a treatment plan for you. Don’t rush the recovery process, it will take a couple of months for complete recovery. However, you should be able to resume most daily activities in 3-4weeks.
Get Started With Physical Therapy Total Knee Replacement Today
For quick and complete recovery to your knee, a well-structured rehab program is essential. Contact a physical therapist today at Polygon PT to get started. We can’t wait to see you get back to your normal activities.