Patients considering a total knee arthroplasty or replacement are naturally nervous and anxious about the recovery process. A total knee replacement is an invasive surgery that involves manipulation of the bones, ligaments and muscles surrounding the knee. Even more challenging than the surgery itself though is the commitment to rehabilitation post-operatively. Consistent rehabilitation is necessary for preventing scar tissue buildup and stimulating muscle recovery. Often to facilitate a smoother recovery we have patients go through physical therapy beforehand. Many patients don’t realize how weak their knees have become from long-standing arthritis. A gait pattern that favors one knee results in progressive deterioration and atrophy in the muscles around the knee where use is minimized. The stronger your muscles are before surgery the easier the post operative recovery.
At our institution we have a rapid recovery and rehabilitation protocol for our total knee replacements. All our patients are familiarized with the expected post-operative exercise regimen before surgery in a mandatory class we call “joint camp”. Hours after the knee replacement surgery our patients’ work with physical therapy “test driving” their new knee. Most patients can immediately distinguish the post-operative pain from the excruciating arthritic pain they previously experienced! Upon discharge our patients meet their outpatient physical therapists who supervise their recovery. As the recovery progresses, our therapists incorporate more advanced rehabilitation techniques. Illustrated below is the recovery of one of our exemplary patients. Although he had very severe arthritis he was determined to get back to playing golf and other recreational sports. Literally hours after his surgery he was up and walking about with minimal pain. Follow along as we update his recovery progress on the website!
For more information on knee replacement and joint pain check out the following-
Total Knee Replacement General Information