After a lot of thought, you may have decided that knee surgery was the best option to get the results you wanted. Making this decision even has some exceptional statistics to back it up: The Cleveland Clinic reports that between 85% and 90% of knee replacements are successful. Not bad odds at all. However, it’s important to keep the positive momentum of your decision going. One decision that can stop this in its tracks is deciding not to do physical therapy after knee surgery. In fact, making such a decision can have several negative effects on your post-knee surgery recovery.
- You might need walking aids for longer
These days most knee surgeons aim to get you up and walking around as soon as possible after surgery. This could even happen the very same day as your procedure, and they’ll often have you use a walker or crutches. This helps you avoid putting too much weight on your healing knee. While these tools are very helpful, they can also restrict your independence in certain ways: They can make it harder to move around in tight areas, such as a small bathroom. These devices also make going up and down stairs much more difficult, and they can even cause you to lose your balance if you aren’t careful.
While you may be willing to put up with these difficulties for a short time, you’ll probably want to get rid of your assistance device as quickly as possible. However, not doing physical therapy after knee surgery can delay your recovery. This means you might have to keep using assistance devices for much longer than you want to.
- Regaining muscle strength can take more time
Another negative effect not doing physical therapy after knee surgery can have is delaying the return of muscle strength. Strong muscles are vital to normal knee movement. They support the knee when it bends, and these muscles also dictate how much range of motion the knee has. The muscles around the knee can become weak or overly tense after knee surgery. Issues like these can make it much harder for the knee muscles to do their job well.
Physical therapy can help reduce the time it takes for knee muscles to strengthen after surgery. Therapists can show you specific exercises to target these muscles, and the exercises are designed to increase in difficulty as your recovery progresses. These exercises can also help improve blood flow to the knee. This allows more oxygen and nutrients to get to the healing knee tissue, which can promote faster healing. Also, therapy exercises can encourage the body to produce more endorphins. These are helpful because they’re the body’s natural pain killers.
Come find out how SOL Physical Therapy can help you with post-knee surgery physical therapy
Our team at SOL Physical Therapy has helped many people recover after knee surgery. We offer free screenings to determine what issues you need help with after surgery. It will also give you the chance to let us know what your recovery goals are. Our team will then use all this information to build you a personalized recovery plan, and these recovery plans often include therapy methods like:
Don’t wait to start getting our help with your post-knee surgery physical therapy. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.