We evaluate and treatment many patients whom have undergone total knee replacements. In this blog, I wanted to discuss some of most important points for patients to understand prior to or during rehabilitation for total knee replacement.
Here at Peak Rehabilitation, Fitness, and Performance Center, we target restoration of joint range-of-motion as a primary emphasis in early TKA rehab. Specifically fully straightening the knee (knee extension) is a critical component to allow for normal walking and standing without pain or dysfunction. We accomplish this with an early emphasis on hamstring and gastroc (calf) muscle stretching as well as passively stretching the knee by sitting and propping the affected ankle to allow the knee to straighten with gravity. Manual knee stretching (mobilizations) are also an effective way to help improve knee straightness (extension).
Improving your knee bending, also known as “flexion”, is also an early emphasis and we utilize different treatment approaches again to improve this important component of proper knee function. It is important to really get a lot of ice and elevation to your knee to help reduce your soft tissue/joint swelling as a very swollen knee will not bend very well. Sitting on the side of a table, rocking chair, porch swing, or even the tailgate of a pickup truck and gently swing/bending your knee can help you improve your knee flexion. In the clinic we utilize different positions and exercises as well as manual stretching and riding a stationary bike to help improve your knee bend.
Early motion is the key when you are talking about rehab after Total Knee Replacement so get that ice going and get that knee moving…remember Motion is Lotion!