All Offices CLOSED Memorial Day Monday, 5/27

Skip to main content

What to Expect After a Knee Replacement

What to Expect After a Knee Replacement

By: Brandi Kinard, PTA

Bowie Location

Having a recovery and rehabilitation plan is crucial for overall success following a knee replacement.

Patients are spending less time in the hospital following knee replacements, typically ranging from 0-5 days. Roughly, patients are able to resume most activities within 6 weeks following surgery. General healing and rehabilitation time are typically 3 months, though it can take up to 6 months to a year.

Early performance of exercise is key. Patients should be provided with a list of exercises to begin directly following surgery. Home health or even an inpatient rehabilitation center may be the initial steps for rehabilitation following a hospital stay. Though, a quick introduction to outpatient, more aggressive therapy can assist in a more successful recovery.

During physical therapy, patients should expect to push knee mobility into a range of some discomfort. Leg strengthening exercises will be performed, focusing on retraining and regaining the strength of the thigh muscles (the quadriceps), and supporting the knee during functional activities. Pain medications provided by the surgeon should be taken roughly one hour prior to physical therapy, allowing for better tolerance to the exercises.

Ice packs and elevation are pivotal to reducing knee soreness, pain, and swelling. Be sure to eliminate pillows that may cause a slight bend in the knee during elevation. This can cause a knee bend contracture, leading to deformity and rigidity of the knee, which is often harder to correct.

Be mindful that every patient heals and recovers differently and at different rates. The more work and effort applied to recovery by the patient during the time spent outside of physical therapy, the better of a recovery you will have.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Exercises to Alleviate Patellofemoral Pain

Patellofemoral pain, also known as runner's knee, can be a frustrating condition that affects individuals of all activity levels. Fortunately, there are specific exercises that can help alleviate pain and improve the function of the knee joint.

How to Treat Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are a common injury that can happen to anyone, from athletes to regular individuals going about their daily activities. Fortunately, there are proactive steps we can take to minimize the risk of ankle sprains.

How Physical Therapy Helps Frozen Shoulder

Dealing with a frozen shoulder can be a frustrating and painful experience. The limited range of motion and persistent discomfort can significantly hinder your daily activities. However, the good news is that physical therapy offers a beacon of hope.

The McKenzie Method

Developed by world-renowned expert physiotherapist Robin McKenzie in the 1950s, this well-researched and well-known exercise-based approach has been used all over the world for years by a variety of healthcare professionals.