Post Rehabilitation - Knee Replacement

From an orthopaedic surgeon standpoint there are varying types of Total knee replacements (TKR) protheses and procedures.  These can vary because of the patient’s weight, age, gender, anatomy, activity level, medical history and general condition.  With this in mind, the patient’s success level post-surgery is dependent upon the nature of the Protheses + Post-surgical care (absence of vein thrombosis and other post-surgical complications) + Rehabilitation + PRE-surgical condition.

Depending on the surgical recommendations and system you are involved with, your success can be limited or even undermined without your knowledge. 

It cannot be expressed enough the first IMPORTANCE: good pre-surgical condition for the patient.  For instance, if you know your surgery is coming six months in advance, it is good practice to enroll into a good quality pre-habilitation program

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?  It means to improve the health of your cardiovascular system to reduce both the strain on your body and risk of thrombosis, it means to improve the health and strength of your musculoskeletal system especially the muscles that relate to the affected knee.  ...Sounds like a great idea!  WHAT STOPS PEOPLE FROM DOING THIS?...Often by the time the TKR has been scheduled the patient is in so much discomfort, the thought of extra activity/exercise is scary.  In a good pre-habilitation program the professionals you are working with can accommodate for your feeling and even reduce the pain somewhat.

The second part of IMPORTANCE: the Rehabilitation component.  Now in many cases the acute or post-surgical part (1-4wks) part is taken care of by health care providers. In Ontario its often up to 6 weeks with post-surgical physiotherapy.  However the real work starts after this. Most criteria for success such as range of motion, stiffness and strength are far lower than expectations should be.  We advocate for near full range of the knee as well as better than prior functional capacity.  This takes time, consistent effort, good advice and equipment.  This part of the process can take up to a year after the TKR, but you will have greater function and feel younger than you ever thought imagined.

c/o the BODIWORKS Institute


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