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Getting A Leg Up On Knee Replacement Recovery

Successful knee replacement surgery can provide the new mobility and pain-free living that patients with knee issues seek. While surgery is a critical part of feeling better, it is also essential to do your “homework” to achieve success with your recovery.

When it comes to knee replacement recovery, homework refers to the stretches and exercises your physical therapist has asked you do in addition to your efforts during your physical therapy (PT) appointment. Many of these exercises need to be done several times a day, every day. While this can sound exasperating for patients, especially while they’re recovering from surgery, it is a necessity for recovery progress.

Progress requires consistency.

In order to increase your mobility (how far you can bend and extend your knee), you need to complete your range of motion exercises exactly as ordered. The risk of skipping this important step is losing range of motion from one appointment to the next rather than gaining additional degrees. As a result, scar tissue can develop and the potential for further surgery may even result.

You’re trying to regain strength.

No athlete goes to the gym once a week and expects to come out a bodybuilder. Likewise, no knee replacement patient can go to PT once a week and expect to recover quickly or be fully recovered. In order to build the strength needed to regain functionality, you have to exercise regularly as ordered, both in and out of physical therapy.

One of the primary reasons patients don’t do their homework is pain. It’s important to know that pain is never an expected component of physical therapy. With PT, it’s not about “no pain, no gain”. If you’re experiencing excessive pain, then you may have gone too far. Take special care to contact your physical therapist about the factors that are inhibiting your ability to comply with the regimen so he or she can help you modify your plan.

To learn more about successful recovery after knee replacement, contact our rehabilitation team at Santé today!

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