The knee is a sensitive area of the body and one that can be injured performing almost any activity. It is a vulnerable joint and a simple twist can lead to a serious injury as well as ongoing problems, long recovery time and knee replacement surgery.
The first total knee replacement was preformed in 1968. Since then, minimally invasive surgery (a much smaller incision) has revolutionized knee replacement surgery, and physical therapy treatments after surgery are now providing better recovery for knee replacement patients. Over 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States alone. Total knee replacements are one of the most successful replacement procedures in all of medicine today.
After surgery your doctor will prescribe physical therapy. Physical therapy is a very beneficial option after total knee replacements and other surgical procedures of the knee. Therapy will usually include stretching, strengthening and mobility exercises, icing and heating and other treatment necessary to return you to activity free of pain. Building up strength in the muscles around your new knee joint will help to get you back to your normal activities by:
• Restoring normal movement to the joint
• Building up strength in the surrounding muscles around the new joint
• Increasing circulation, particularly right after surgery, which is necessary to prevent post operative blood clots
• Improving range of motion in and around the new joint
Proper physical therapy is key to recovery. Your physical therapist will work directly with you and will also provide you with exercises that you can do on your own.