You plan to have or you just undergo a knee replacement surgery. This brochure explains how appropriate rehabilitation programme helps you to prepare your knee replacement surgery or helps you to recover early independence after surgery and have a successful recovery.
HOW DO I IMPROVE MY PHYSICAL CONDITION PRIOR KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Improvement of your physical condition is a part of the surgery’s success:
- Reduce overweight and eat a well-balance diet,
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol,
- Stay active. Exercise and do regular activity reducing pain, increasing your strength and your flexibility and keeping your heart healthy,
- Prepare your body with a physiotherapist
HOW PHYSIOTHERAPIST CAN HELP ME PRIOR A KNEE REPLACEMENT?
Your physiotherapist is the most appropriate person to help you to implement a well-adjusted activity programme which can be started a few weeks prior your surgery.
Your physiotherapist helps softening your joint and leg muscles as well as recommends safe and effective exercises or activities to increase your physical abilities. When practicing your exercises, you may start slowly, began for a few minutes a few times a day, then increase gradually until 20 or 30 minutes per day. Exercising can benefit your heart, lungs, circulation and muscles. Some pain free activities can be suggested by your physiotherapist including walking (on land or in water), swimming or stationary bike.
During physical preparation, you might be taught how to use walking aids and how to prepare a safe home environment for your immediate home return after surgery.
WHY DO I NEED REHABILITATION AFTER KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Rehabilitation after knee replacement is an important part of the success of your surgery. Rehabilitation helps you returning early to an active and healthy lifestyle through effective pain control, stretching and strengthening, improving your mobility and independence.
WHEN SHOULD I START REHABILITATION AFTER SURGERY?
The day after surgery, you will be recommended by your surgeon to start daily inpatient rehabilitation. This programme helps you to:
- Maintain comfortable and safe position,
- Control your knee pain and swelling,
- Do your 1st stand and first steps with walking aid,
- Improve your joint mobility and muscle strength,
- Improve your transfer and autonomy,
- Prepare to return back home and to your activities
DO I NEED ASSISTIVE DEVICES OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AFTER SURGERY?
Based on your physical condition, your physiotherapist provides you safe and well-fitted walking aids (crutches, walking frame) to walk independently. You will use them for several weeks until you will recover pain free and normal gait mechanics. Use your walking aids as recommended by your physiotherapist.
Prior hospitalization, you can prepare your home environment for a safe and comfortable post-surgical return. It should be best to have your bedroom, bathroom and living room on the same floor. If it is not the case you may want to place a bed on that floor for a short while. Remove throw rugs, electrical cord out of the line of the path way. Ensure that you have at home a high and firm seat chair with armrest. Some other specific equipment could be suggested to be more comfortable for your daily activities such as elevated toilet seat, toilet safety rail, and tub or shower bench.
While your rehabilitation progresses, you will be able to return to your normal daily life activities without any equipment.
HOW SHOULD I COPE WITH PAIN?
The key of your pain management treatment is to stay ahead of your pain.
The physiotherapist will help you to manage your pain while recovering through a wide range of medication-free techniques such as:
- Ice therapy and Ice compressive therapy programme
- Leg positioning and exercising
- Active joint mobilization
- Knee Continuous Passive Unit increasing joint and metabolic exchange
- Transcutaneous Electro Neuro stimulation (TENS) controlling acute or chronic pain as needed
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP RECOVERY?
Your recovery will progress day-by-day and your physiotherapist will guide you to increase your participation during the rehabilitation process. This includes:
- Exercise as recommended by your physiotherapist. Do not over exercise,
- Control your pain prior and after exercise using ice pack no more than 20 minutes 4 to 6 times per day,
- Control your leg swelling by elevating your leg,
- Re-position frequently your knee, alternating maximal flexion and full extension,
- Walk as recommended to avoid joint stiffness,
- Use compressive socks as recommended by your doctor.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD I TAKE AFTER KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Respect the instructions given by your surgeon and your physiotherapist.
- Do not put more weight on your operated leg than instructed by your surgeon and your physiotherapist.
- Do not keep your knee with few degrees of flexion and lateral rotation. Keep knee completely straight or completely bend.
- Do not twist your knee when turning your body. When sleeping on your good side, use a pillow under your affected leg.
- Do not cross your legs when sitting.
- Use stairs as instructed by your physiotherapist.
- Do not lift weight.
- Always use your assistive devices until your physiotherapist approves advancement
DO I HAVE ANY FALL RISKS?
After your knee replacement surgery your leg will be weak and standing more unstable. You are at fall risk. To limit the risk of falls you should:
- Avoid wet floor,
- Wear rubber and well-fitted shoes
- Provide good lighting in bathroom, corridor, bedroom during night transfer,
- Change position frequently to avoid joint stiffness.
- Ensure that your phone is easy to reach,
- Ask for assistance if you feel dizzy or tired
- Respect instructions given by your physiotherapist.
WILL I NEED REHABILITATION AFTER DISCHARGE?
At hospital discharge, your surgeon provides you medical referral to continue a supervised rehabilitation. Based on your condition, this outpatient programme will take a few weeks for a full recovery including recovery of normal gait and returning back to high level of activities. Rehabilitation at outpatient setting will be coordinated with a comprehensive home programme adapted to your needs. Do not hesitate to talk with your physiotherapist to implement the best programme.
WHEN WOULD I RETURN TO MY ACTIVITIES?
This depends upon the type of your work you do. You may need 4 to 6 weeks off work. You can discuss with your surgeon and your physiotherapist ensuring the best time and the best condition to return to work.
To maintain your health after your surgery, you are encouraged to participle in low-impact physical activity. These activities include walking, swimming, cycling, tai-chi, golfing, aquatic gymnastic. High-impact physical activities such as running, tennis, basketball, soccer, aerobic, jumping activity are not recommended.
You are not advised to drive your car or motorbike while taking pain medication or using crutches. Generally driving resumes four to six weeks later. Ask your surgeon prior to returning to driving. If authorized, you can drive your car or motorbike by following the precautions outlined by your physiotherapist.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT MY PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
During or after your rehabilitation programme, do not hesitate to contact your physiotherapist when:
- Your exercises programme increase pain,
- You would like to adjust or increase your exercising programme,
- You would like to plan a new sportive activity.
Tel direct line (028)54 33 33 40
Tel standard (028)54 33 33 33 extension 1085 or 1485