Knee surgery can be a big step towards recovering from pain and increasing mobility in cases of health conditions or injuries affecting the joint. But the road doesn’t end when you’re discharged after your operation — post-op knee rehabilitation is just as important for a great result.
Knee rehab is essential for ensuring that you retain sufficient range of motion and build up strength in the affected area, and at JAG Physical Therapy, pre- and post-operative PT is one of our top specialties. Our experienced therapy team will work with you after your procedure to guide you to full recovery after your knee replacement or other knee surgery. Schedule an appointment at your nearest NJ, NY, or PA JAG PT location today or read further to find out more answers on post-operative recovery for the knee joint.
Why Is Post-Operative Knee Rehab Necessary for Successful Recovery?
Knee surgery is a major procedure, so immediately after your operation, you may experience reduced mobility, strength, and stability of your knee joint and similar issues affecting the leg.
The role of knee rehab is to build up these areas so you can get back to living an active life. It’s also important to reduce the risk of complications during your recovery period.
When you go to see a physical therapist for knee rehab, they will put together a personalized recovery plan based on your procedure and your unique needs.
This means that you have a better chance of achieving your post-operative goals sooner.
What Does Post-Operative Knee Rehab Involve, and How Can It Help Optimize Recovery?
Post-operative knee rehabilitation is offered in three phases:
- One to three days after surgery: While you’re still in the hospital, you’ll see a physical therapist who can advise you on how to carry out simple everyday activities safely and introduce you to exercises to aid recovery.
- Two to three weeks after surgery: During this stage, you can continue with exercises at home and also work with a physical therapist to achieve your long-term goals.
- Up to four months post-surgery: Your physical therapist will continue to work with you using advanced exercises to strengthen your muscles and increase mobility and flexibility.
The kinds of techniques your physical therapist will use include targeted exercises to improve your range of motion and build up strength. They may also offer manual techniques such as specialized massage to reduce swelling and promote tissue healing.
Following a structured rehabilitation program is an important step in restoring your knee’s function as well as preventing stiffness and reducing pain.
How Can Physical Therapy Address Specific Knee Surgeries, such as ACL Reconstruction or Meniscus Repair?
Following these types of procedures, your physical therapist may include exercises and techniques to promote healing and prevent complications, such as:
- Patella (kneecap) mobilizations
- Exercises to work on the quadriceps muscle and hamstrings
- Balance exercises
- Cardiovascular exercise to improve your overall fitness level
For knee replacements, your post-operative rehab program is likely to take around four months. For other procedures like meniscus repair, you may be working on a program for up to four months, or for ACL reconstruction, up to six months.
The length of each program depends on different factors, such as the type of surgery you have had, your previous fitness levels, and your goals. Your physical therapist will be able to advise you on how long you can expect your individualized program to take.
The Importance of Working with a Skilled Physical Therapist During Knee Rehab
You will achieve the best results following your knee procedure with a skilled and experienced physical therapist by your side. That’s because they have the expertise to guide you through a post-op knee rehab program that’s tailored exactly to your needs and goals.
As you progress through your program, your physical therapist will closely monitor your progress while providing hands-on care and making any necessary adjustments to your rehab plan.
After undergoing knee surgery, having a caring professional by your side means you will feel motivated and supported as you work toward recovery.
Schedule an Appointment with JAG Physical Therapy for Optimal Knee Rehab
If you’re scheduled to undergo knee surgery, the empathetic and skilled professionals at JAG PT are here for you. With a pre- and post-operative physical therapy program, you’ll be better prepared going into your surgery and get better results faster afterward. Contact us today to learn more about the post-surgical knee rehabilitation we offer or find your local JAG PT clinic and book an appointment.