What should I expect during my rehabilitation?
When you visit Peak Physical Therapy, our physiotherapist may first use heat, ice, or electrical stimulation to reduce any remaining swelling or pain.
You should continue to use your walker or crutches as instructed. If you had a cemented procedure, you'll advance the weight you place through your sore leg as much as you feel comfortable. If yours was a noncemented procedure, place only the toes down until you've had a follow-up x-ray and our physiotherapist directs you to put more weight through your leg (usually by the fifth or sixth week postoperatively).
We may use hands-on stretches for improving your range of motion, then strength exercises to address key muscle groups including the buttock, hip, thigh, and calf muscles. Endurance can be achieved through stationary biking, lap swimming, and using an upper body ergometer (upper cycle).
Our physiotherapists sometimes treat patients in a pool. Exercising in a swimming pool puts less stress on the knee joint, and the buoyancy lets you move and exercise easier. Once you've gotten your pool exercises down and the other parts of our rehab program advance, you may be instructed in an independent program.
When you are safe in putting full weight through the leg, our physiotherapist can choose several types of balance exercises to further stabilize and control the knee.
Finally, we'll use a select group of exercises to simulate day-to-day activities, such as going up and down steps, squatting, rising on your toes, and bending down. Specific exercises may then be chosen to simulate work or hobby demands.
Many patients have less pain and better mobility after having knee replacement surgery. Our physiotherapist will work with you to help keep your knee joint healthy for as long as possible. This may require that you adjust your activity choices to keep from putting too much strain on your new knee joint. Heavy sports that require running, jumping, quick stopping or starting, and cutting are discouraged. Cycling, swimming, and level walking are encouraged, as are low impact sports like golfing or bowling.
At Peak Physical Therapy, our goal is to help you improve knee range of motion, maximize strength, and improve your ability to do your activities. When your recovery is well under way, regular visits to our office will end. Although we will continue to be a resource, you will be in charge of doing your exercises as part of an ongoing home program.
Peak Physical Therapy provides services for physiotherapists in Lethbridge.
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