Happy Physical Therapy Month: How PT Can Help with Your Knee Replacement

Every October is Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of physical therapy (PT). Patients are typically referred to a physical therapist when they need help returning to their prior level of functioning. PT can also reduce pain, improve mobility, manage chronic health problems and avoid surgery. 

In the case of knee replacement surgery, PT is almost always required as part of the healing process. This may surprise you, but you can start PT on the first day of your surgery. Because each plan is customized to the patient’s needs and abilities, physical therapy can be made safe for just about anyone. 

If your doctor has suggested a knee replacement to improve your symptoms, you probably have a lot of questions about what your recovery will look like. Here are the ways that physical therapy will help you in the weeks following your knee replacement. 

Rehab Begins in the Hospital 

After your surgery, you’ll be up and walking, probably with the help of a cane, crutches or a walker. You will meet with a physical therapist who will walk you through various exercises you can do to increase movement and improve blood flow. You don’t want to stay in bed all day, otherwise your risk for developing a blood clot is higher. 

Your physical therapist will also show you how to get in and out of bed, perform activities of daily living and use your cane or walker. This way, by the time you go home, you will know how to do these things safely. 

Early Goals after Knee Surgery 

Once you’re able to go home, your home health aide in NJ will have some goals for you to work on. These include walking for short periods of time, slowly climbing stairs, doing everyday activities and continuing with knee-strengthening exercises. Over time, it should be easier to do these things. Most patients are back to their normal activities in 3-6 weeks. 

Here are some of the exercises your physical therapist may recommend. They all work to build strength in your leg and reduce pain. 

  • Leg lifts
  • Ankle pumps
  • Short-arc squads 
  • Straight leg raises 

Long-Term Benefits 

Receiving post-surgical rehabilitation from a physical therapist offers long-term benefits. They will make sure that you fully recover from the surgery and are able to lead a normal, active lifestyle with your new knee. Any complications that arise can be addressed by your visiting physician services in NJ.

By working with a physical therapist early on, you will: 

  • Restore normal movement to the joint
  • Build up strength in your joints and muscles
  • Ease pain and swelling
  • Improve circulation, avoid blood clots 
  • Return to normal activities 

Physical therapy can be delivered in the home where you are most comfortable. To learn more about the in-home services you can take advantage of following knee replacement, contact VNA Health Group today. 

Have questions about home care? Contact us today at 800.400.0981