knee replacement what if you don't follow rehab

by Zoe Morar V Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago

Here are some of the negative consequences that can potentially occur in patients recovering from knee surgery who don’t continue on with physical therapy: Supporting muscles and soft tissue can begin to atrophy due to nonuse and swelling. Increased strain can be put on the knee from improper movement.

Why you shouldn't skip physical therapy after knee surgery
Supporting muscles and soft tissue can begin to atrophy due to nonuse and swelling. Increased strain can be put on the knee from improper movement. Range of motion can be diminished. The healing process can be slowed down due to lack of blood flow to the area.
Nov 2, 2019

Full Answer

What happens if you don’t do physical therapy after knee surgery?

Nov 02, 2019 · Here are some of the negative consequences that can potentially occur in patients recovering from knee surgery who don’t continue on with physical therapy: Supporting muscles and soft tissue can begin to atrophy due to nonuse and swelling. Increased strain can be put on the knee from improper movement. Range of motion can be diminished.

How to recover from a total knee replacement?

Nov 02, 2019 · This is especially true if a more extensive procedure such as a knee replacement has been performed. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are very important to this process, and not following through with your program can increase the risk of negative outcomes.

When can I bend my knee after total knee replacement surgery?

Sep 11, 2021 · It doesn't matter if it is a total knee replacement or a partial knee replacement, the rehab process is essentially the same. When done correctly, rehab will help you regain movement, strength and balance, enabling you to get back to the activities you love, or even allow you to take up new ones. Knee replacement rehab exercises will help to increase the amount of …

Do you need a knee replacement?

Apr 05, 2021 · Typically the follow-up is scheduled about two weeks after the knee replacement and is something every patient should markdown as “must-attend.” Phase 2 of knee replacement rehabilitation also includes patients becoming more active with therapy. Some patients start treatment at home, while others can attend an outpatient clinic.


What happens if you don't do PT after knee replacement?

Neglecting physical therapy after knee surgery may result in complications including: Decreased range of motion. Atrophy of the supporting muscles. A slowing of the healing process due to the decreased blood flow that may result from a lack of movement.Jun 21, 2021

Is rehab necessary after knee replacement?

A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) finds that patients who go home after knee replacement and receive physical therapy at home do as well as those who go to an in-patient rehabilitation facility.Mar 24, 2015

Can you mess up a knee replacement?

Knee replacement complications can result from surgery or a faulty implant. Loosening is one of the most serious complications after knee surgery and pain is the most common one. Loosening can cause bone fractures, instability and serious falls. Almost all serious complications require revision surgery.

How long is physical therapy needed after knee replacement?

Outpatient physical therapy after a total knee replacement typically lasts 4 to 8 weeks. Remember that everyone heals at different rates, and your recovery time may be shorter or longer. Be sure to work closely with your healthcare provider and physical therapist to understand your specific rehabilitation process.Apr 13, 2020

What activities can you not do after knee replacement?

Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, jogging, rock climbing, hang gliding, parachuting and high-impact aerobics are activities that should be avoided.Nov 5, 2015

How many times a week should I do physical therapy after knee replacement?

You likely will need in-home physical therapy several days per week for 4-6 weeks. A third way is to do your PT at an outpatient rehab clinic. Some people have even the knee surgery itself as an outpatient, without an overnight stay. Your doctor will decide the best option for you based on your age and health.Dec 18, 2020

Can you kneel down with a knee replacement?

Impact. Kneeling is important for many activities and areas of life and is considered a valued activity for most patients with TKR. In one study with patients who were 12 months post TKR, 63% of patients had needed to kneel in the past four weeks but only 14% of patients were able to kneel easily.Jul 7, 2019

How do I know if I have damaged my knee replacement?

The 7 most common symptoms of a loose knee replacement are:Pain.Swelling.Difficulty Walking.Instability.Redness and Warmth.Painful Popping.Reduced range of motion.May 10, 2021

How can you tell if your knee replacement is too big?

If the replaced femoral component is too large, the outer edges hang over the femur and irritate tissue. If the implanted femoral component is larger than the patient's natural femur, it can result in the patient struggling to regain acceptable flexion and complain of “tightness” when they try to bend their knee.

How much should you walk after knee replacement?

Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend that you exercise for 20 to 30 minutes daily, or even 2 to 3 times daily; and walk for 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times daily during your early recovery.

Can you walk too much after knee replacement?

It is important to gradually increase your out-of-home activity during the first few weeks after surgery. If you do too much activity, your knee may become more swollen and painful.

Should I still have pain 8 weeks after knee replacement?

The total knee replacement smile After a total knee replacement, I'll see my patients again in 6-8 weeks. Often, they won't be full of the joys of spring at this point. The knee will often still be sore, and we'll be managing this with physio once or twice a week, ice packs and over the counter painkillers.Oct 26, 2019

What is the recovery process after knee surgery?

Next to the procedure itself, the recovery process from knee surgery is one of the most important parts of your treatment journey. Any procedure requires some degree of tissue disruption and an incision, both of which require healing.

Can rehab access help with knee surgery?

Whether you’ve just scheduled knee surgery or you are in the recovery process, the Rehab Access team can help you get back to action. We’ll provide a personalized evaluation to develop a custom-tailored physical therapy plan that is right for you.

What is a total knee replacement?

A total knee replacement (TKR) surgery is typically done when severe arthritis causes knee pain, limited motion, and extreme difficulty with walking. If you have had a TKR or are expecting to have one, you may benefit from physical therapy after surgery to help you regain your normal mobility. 1 . A knee post-operative protocol is ...

What to do after TKR?

As your surgical incision heals, your physical therapist may begin gentle scar tissue massage and mobilization to help improve the mobility of your incision.

What is TKR protocol?

A knee post-operative protocol is a general guideline that your surgeon and physical therapist may follow to ensure that you are progressing properly after your surgery. The TKR protocol provides you and your physical therapist (PT) a framework on which to build your rehabilitation program.

What is the best treatment for arthritis in the knee?

If you have severe arthritis in your knee or knees, you may benefit from physical therapy to help improve your knee range of motion (ROM) and strength. Sometimes the pain, limited motion, and joint degeneration are too severe, and surgery is necessary to restore optimal function of your knee. A total knee replacement (TKR) surgery is typically done ...

What is NMES in physical therapy?

Your physical therapist may also wish to use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to help improve the muscular activation of your quadriceps. This therapeutic modality helps to contract your quadriceps muscle for you and improve your ability to contract this muscle on your own. 5 .

What is a CPM machine?

When you wake up after your TKR surgery, your knee may be in a device called a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. This machine helps to gently and slowly bend and straighten your knee while you are lying in bed. There are settings on this machine to adjust the amount of motion that occurs at your knee joint.

When Does Rehab Start?

Knee replacement rehab should start before you even have surgery. By doing exercises before surgery, you can improve the strength and flexibility of your knee.

What Does Rehab Involve?

Before your surgery, as well as talking things through with your surgeon, you should also be given the opportunity to see a physical therapist.

Successful Knee Replacement Rehab

All the info you need about knee arthritis, top tips, exercises & loads more.

Want To Know More?

To find out more about knee replacements, what they involve and the recovery process, choose from the following sections

How long after knee surgery can you move?

The truth is that getting up and moving around after surgery is encouraged but for the first two weeks you should be protecting the joint from full weight bearing forces by using the walker. This allows you to carry a percentage of your body weight through your arms instead of on your surgical knee.

How long does it take for a knee to hurt after surgery?

The first 7-10 days after surgery, you will be struggling with chemical pain induced by the trauma that your knee has undergone. Marines, and other really tough guys get humbled by this pain and you do yourself a grave disservice to try to muscle through this period.

Can a knee replacement be painful?

During your knee replacement surgery, the ends of your long bones have been cut and a prothesis placed over the top. Bone that has been cut can be very painful, just ask someone who has had a small piece of bone taken from their iliac crest for use in a back surgery. That bone removal site can ache for months.

Can you baby the knee when bending?

The rule is baby the knee went it comes to walking (see above) but don’t baby the knee when it comes to bending. That doesn’t mean you aggressively bend the knee. You must use frequent low loads and the knee will respond delightfully and give you back your range of motion in steady increments.

How long does it take to get off narcotic pain medication?

However if you take your pain meds as prescribed, and work hard, you can be off narcotic pain medicine in two weeks or at least by the time you finish gaining back your range of motion. Gotta get the range then you can back off pain medicine.

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Can you walk without a walker after knee surgery?

Patients mistakenly think that walking is a major achievement after surgery and that walking without a walker is even better. Other healthcare professionals can misguidedly feed into that misconception making the problem even worse. The truth is that getting up and moving around after surgery is encouraged but for the first two weeks you should be protecting the joint from full weight bearing forces by using the walker. This allows you to carry a percentage of your body weight through your arms instead of on your surgical knee.


Find out how long it will take to recover from a knee replacement surgery. This general, 13 week timeline is an overview of common things to expect during your hospital stay, at home, and outpatient physical therapy.

Knee Replacement Recovery Timeline

Generally, someone who undergoes a knee arthroplasty takes about 12-14 weeks to recover fully. With the help of the Wisconsin School of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation and Healthline, we have broken down the recovery process into 5 phases:

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase 1: Hospital Stay and Discharge

A typical hospital stay after a knee arthroplasty ranges anywhere from 1-3 days. Some patients even leave the same day, which depends on the type of procedure that is performed.

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase 2: Weeks 1-3

The first week after undergoing knee arthroplasty, patients can expect to be back in the comfort of their own homes. One of the first and most important things to know during this period is your follow-up appointment with your surgeon.

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase 3: Weeks 3-6

The third phase of recovering from a knee replacement is typically outside the home, in an outpatient physical therapy setting. A follow-up appointment around the six-week mark is also required, just like the one at the two-week mark.

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase 4: Weeks 7-12

When recovering from knee arthroplasty, the fourth phase is when most patients see the most rapid improvement to mobility and range of motion. It is an exciting time where the hard work of attending physical 2-3 times a week and staying compliant with home exercise programs starts to pay off.

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase 5: Weeks 13 and Beyond

After 13 weeks since your surgery, most patients are happy to see the finish line. Some patients may still be attending physical therapy to reach the goals you set entirely, while others are safe for discharge. Both scenarios are expected, and it varies from person to person.

How to recover from knee surgery?

Ice and elevation are the keys to your recovery. You can ice throughout the day and you can elevate your knee anytime you are sitting or lying down. If you are like me, you will find yourself sitting around in your recliner a lot between exercise times.

How to reduce swelling in knees after exercise?

Ice your knee after exercise and after walking. If your knee feels good after exercise and you don’t notice any swelling or pain, ice anyway. Also, if you are sitting, reading or watching TV, ice between exercises. The more you ice early on the sooner the swelling will decrease.

What to do before TKR?

Before TKR, invest in a couple of new pairs of shoes. Your old shoes may have wear from walking incorrectly. Spend a little more than usual and get a good athletic shoe with cushion (air) for your walks. Consider a pair of slip-ons or Velcro tie shoes for around the house.

How to get out of a recliner?

Make yourself get out of the recliner and outside for at least 3 walks a day once your therapist gives you the go ahead. If your caregiver or a friend or family member will walk with you, their encouragement and conversation make taking walks easier. Do ankle pumps and ankle rolls even when you are sitting down.

How to recover from a syphilis?

The more comfortable you are and the easier you can access needed items the better your recovery will be. Choose the right clothing and shoes. Prepare meals and have easy access to food, water, and snacks. Use walking aids to help you regain proper walking form.

How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

The first 12 weeks after knee replacement surgery are the most critical time for rehabilitation and recovery. During this time, you need to be committed to following the doctor’s recommendations, which will help to improve your long-term prognosis.

What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery (also commonly known as total knee replacement or knee arthroplasty) is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.

How long does it take to get discharged from the hospital?

Discharge Day: Most people are discharged from the hospital within a few days. You will be sent home with specific instructions for care, medication, and therapy. Week 3: By the time you reach week three, you will be able to move around a little more, and the pain will be decreasing.

Can knee replacement surgery be done for arthritis?

This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knee’s strength, stability, and range of motion.

How long does it take to recover from knee surgery?

Here's what recovery looks like: "For the first 3 to 4 weeks after surgery, it's like a full-time job," Fay says. "You're icing your knee every hour, taking your pain meds every 4 to 6 hours, and doing your exercises 3 times a day for a half-hour to an hour.".

What is knee replacement surgery?

In knee replacement surgery, surgeons cut away damaged bone, cartilage, and a ligament or two and add an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. For people who’ve suffered years of pain and limited mobility—not being able to climb stairs or bend down to tie their shoes—a brand-new knee can be life-changing.

Can you get hooked on opioids?

As many as one-fourth of people prescribed opioid painkillers get hooked, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in July. One major downside to long-term opioid use: It can actually make you more sensitive to pain over time, the same researchers found in a separate study. 7.

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