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How Far To Walk After Knee Replacement

Swimming 2 Months After Tkr

Walking After Knee Replacement – When? How Much?

My doctor gave me the okay to swim on the 3rd-week post surgery.

I started swimming and have consistently been swimming 3 to 4 times a week. The first day before swimming I walked in 4-feet of water, marching and flexing my leg before trying to swim.

I started off slow, only swimming 24 total laps. I would swim one breaststroke lap and 3 freestyle laps, rest and then do 5 more cycles

In the beginning, I was afraid to kick hard. When swimming you are looking forward and it is difficult to see what your leg is doing.

I had my wife come in and take a short video with her phone so that I could see what my leg was actually doing. Today, 8 weeks post surgery Im swimming a half mile, every other day, using the same routine described above with no resting.

After swimming I move to the hot tub and spend 5 to 10 minutes relaxing and bending my knee in the warm water. Afterward, I shower on site and usually walk a mile home where I immediately apply ice.

What Not To Do After Knee Replacement

Post-Total Knee Replacement Surgery, you will have to take some precautions like how much walking or How Far to Walk After Knee Replacement is required.

Here are some Things You Cant Do After Knee Replacement Surgery:

  • Dont cross your legs
  • Dont kneel and place anything behind your knees
  • A pillow or any item for that matter should not be placed behind the knees
  • If you require elevation and/or support under the operative leg, it is to be placed under the heel
  • You should not torque or twist on your new knee
  • You also have to avoid running, trekking, and playing contact sports like football, cricket, etc.

I Continue With Physical Therapy

I started offsite therapy three days a week on the third-week post surgery. The first week I was introduced to new exercises including the stationary bike and the Total Gym.

It was easy going at first. I started out on the stationary bike as a warm-up for 5 minutes before moving to the Total Gym for 5 minutes of leg presses.

After those exercises, I would get a short massage and work on my range of motion exercises.

At 2 months, I am warming up with 10 minutes on a stationary bike . The load has increased on the Total Gym with more leg presses.

I am doing wall squats, stretches using bands, and an exercise ball for ankle slides. At least once a week the therapist measures my range of motion.

All of my offsite therapy sessions end in 10 minutes of icing. I continue to ice my knee at home after any activity.

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How To Stop Limping After An Injury

Has your injury caused a limp for you? If thats the case, youre not alone! For those who injured their leg this is a common challenge.

So how do you stop limping?

Many people I speak to want to get rid of the limp because of the esthetic aspect in their own words It just doesnt look good. People view them differently and they view themselves differently.

But in reality there is a much better reason why you should work on getting rid of the limp. Using your body in a way that its not designed for can lead to other problems in the future pain in ankles, knees, hips, back, or even neck.

Most of the advice that you can get online or in your PTs office focuses on exercises and taking care of the gait and technique.

And its mostly sound advice BUT in many cases it is not enough.

In todays video Im going beyond the general advice. I talk about 3 things that you need to do if you want to be limp-free.

Tune in to learn how to stop limping after an injury.

Stair Climbing And Descending

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The ability to go up and down stairs requires both strength and flexibility. At first, you will need a handrail for support and will be able to go only one step at a time. Always lead up the stairs with your good knee and down the stairs with your operated knee. Remember, “up with the good” and “down with the bad.” You may want to have someone help you until you have regained most of your strength and mobility.

Stair climbing is an excellent strengthening and endurance activity. Do not try to climb steps higher than the standard height and always use a handrail for balance. As you become stronger and more mobile, you can begin to climb stairs foot over foot.

Stair climbing and descending using a crutch

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Walking The First Week After Tkr At Home

My first two days home I relied heavily on my walker. I put the majority of my weight on my arms and on my good leg walking very gingerly with my surgical knee.

This was my first experience with a walker. I had used crutches for 6 months when I was in my twenties. The big difference is that you dont put any weight on your surgical knee with crutches.

With a walker you are encouraged to put weight on the surgical knee. On the 3rd day post surgery I had my first visit from my home therapist.

She encouraged me to put more weight on the surgical knee and to walk heel to toe and to push off with my toes.

She also encouraged me to take multiple short walks in the house with my walker. For the next 3 days I followed her advice.

I walked frequently and was concentrating on good technique. She returned 3 days later.

After the therapy session she had me walk in the house with a cane and with a hiking pole. She told me that it was time to transition to either a cane or hiking pole.

I could feel a big difference on my knee if I wore soft soled athletic shoes. Shoes give cushion and I began to wear shoes as soon as possible to take some of the stress off my knee. I wrote about the best shoes to wear after knee replacement here.

Improper Positioning Of The Implants

Surgeons make an effort to balance the knee at the time of surgery. This means finding the proper size and alignment of the knee replacement so that the knee joint is not too tight and not too loose. The goal is to make this balancing the same whether the knee is straight or bent.

This is precisely why a knee replacement is a difficult procedure. In fact, the art of perfecting this takes many years. Errors in the positioning of an implant may not be apparent on the operating table. They may only become noticeable when the patient is slow to recover from surgery.

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How I Progress My Patients With Walking

I always request my patient to not take pain medications at least two hours before my arrival, otherwise, the pain medications mask the pain. I need unmasked pain responses from my patient during treatment to be sure the treatment is within the patients pain tolerance limits.

At the initial evaluation, I walk my patient, usually with a front wheeled walker, to the distance that they begin to feel like that is as far as they should go. I request they walk until their body gives them the first sign that they should consider stopping.

Since I am asking the patient to stop at the first signs of discomfort, I have to pick a walking route that will allow the patient to be seated as soon as any discomfort is felt. This means I cant walk the patient in a straight line until discomfort , so I pace out a 50-foot lap within the home that we walk until the patient needs to sit down.

Usually, that first session, the tolerated distance is somewhere between 150 feet and 500 feet.I always stop the patient at 500 feet on the initial visit, even if they feel they can go further.Many years of experience have taught me that allowing the patient to walk further than 500 feet on the first visit is safe for all my patients, but allowing them to go further on the first visit can cause some patients to experience increased pain after walking further.

I do not want them to walk as far as they walked with me, only ½ that distance, but to repeat that distance 2-3 times daily.

Try To Recover Using The Least Possible Pain Medicine

3 Tips To Walk ð¶â?âï¸? Normally ðº After A Total Knee Replacement

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. You will waste valuable time feeling poorly and will have limited success advancing your range of motion, the most improtant goal. This tactic will also ensure that you are taking narcotic pain medication for a longer period.

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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Tips To Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery

Nearly half of American adults will develop knee arthritis at some point during their lives. Pain, stiffness, and limited mobility are often the result of knee arthritis. Knee replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore function when your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury. The average recovery time from knee replacement surgery is approximately six months, but it can take roughly 12 months to fully return to physically demanding activities. Though the recovery process can be long, there are steps you can take to heal well and enhance your recovery speed.

What To Expect When Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery

Whether youre an athlete, someone who enjoys an active leisure lifestyle, or you simply want to walk your dog every day without pain, knee replacement surgery can help you get your life back. When the time is right for you to replace an injured or diseased knee for a new, functional one, Dr. Jeremy Woodson, an expert orthopedic sports medicine surgeon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and his highly qualified team are here to guide you through the entire process.

Heres what to expect during your recovery from knee replacement surgery.

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What Is Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a health care service that helps you restore body movement and your physical functionality through non-invasive methods.

For example, a physical therapist may help someone learn to walk again following a stroke or injury. For those who have had a knee replacement, a physical therapist is an important part of the healthcare team. By working closely with your physical therapist, you can regain the range of motion in your leg, helping you return to the activities you once enjoyed.

How Long Were You Using The Walker: How Is Your Balance


The next thing to consider is how is your balance? The walker is there to help you balance so you dont fall, if your balance isnt good then you need to continue using the walker. A good test is can you stand on one leg at a time while holding onto a counter with only 1 hand and do this for 10 seconds? You need to be able to do this on your surgical and non-surgical leg. If you can do this then you can likely start using a cane. Then if you can stand on each leg by itself without holding onto anything for 10 seconds you can stop using the cane. These arent hard and fast rules, you should have your physical therapist evaluate your balance, but these are typically true balance techniques.

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Why Would I Need Surgery

Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage — the cushion between the knee and the bone joints — breaks down.

Other reasons include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is when the bodyâs immune system attacks and destroys the lining of the knee.
  • Deformities: People with bowed legs or âknock-kneesâ often get surgery to restore the position of the knee.
  • Knee injuries: A broken bone or torn ligaments around the knee sometimes will result in arthritis that causes great pain and limits your movement.

Avoid Mistakes To Recover Faster

How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement? Will it be relatively easy or frustratingly hard, speedy or last over a year? This is the million dollar question. You can make a big difference in your recovery speed by avoiding the 5 biggest mistakes that most people make. Not doing any of your exercises would be the stupidest mistake but I am going to assume you are MUCH smarter than that after all you are here searching out and seeking the best answers to all your questions.

Here it is for all the wise ones. Listen up and take notes so that you too can avoid the 5 biggest mistakes that will shipwreck your recovery from a total knee replacement.

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Is Walking Important After Knee Surgery

I soon learned that walking was an important part of my recovery process. 45 years ago after knee surgery I was put in a soft cast for six weeks and used crutches. Medical advances have changed dramatically. This time I was encouraged to walk on the day of surgery. Each day I was encouraged to walk more and to put weight on the surgical knee.

Naively Trusting Your Recovery To Rehab Professionals

3 Cues to Walk Normally After Knee Replacement Surgery

This is the toughest one for people to understand. The medical model is focused on you being treated by rehabilitation professionals on an intermittent basis.

This frequency is by necessity low because it is costly. At most you will be seen twice a day in a rehab facility, daily to start with in home care and then usually 2-3 times per week for further home care and then in outpatient therapy.

The problem is that you will have the most success and get well the quickest if you perform your knee replacement recovery exercises 4x a day. What you really need to get into your head is that you are responsible for your success and refuse to adopt the traditional knee replacement rehab timetable which will ultimately slow down your progress.

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What Are The Benefits Of A Tkr

Over 90% of people who have total knee replacement surgery experience significant pain relief and improved joint function. Patients wont be able to recover function lost before developing arthritis, but the improvements in daily living often far outweigh the risks. People enjoy a wide range of physical activities after recovery, including walking, swimming, hiking, biking, and other low-impact sports.

Eight Facts: All About The Recovery Time For Total Knee Replacement

The knee is the largest joint of the body and it is responsible for many of the common functions that we rely on to get through daily life. Have you ever considered what life would be like without your knees? We often dont even realize just how much work these important joints do for us on a daily basis. From supporting the bodys weight, to squatting, pivoting and more, the knees are essential parts of a healthy, active body.

  • Severe, chronic pain
  • Surrounding muscle weakness
  • Reduced function and limited range of motion

Where to Have SurgeryFacts About the Recovery Time for Total Knee ReplacementAfter ten years, a well-performed knee replacement surgery has a 98% chance of success!

For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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Guidelines After A Knee Replacement Surgery

  • Avoid the stairs. If you have to, just try to go down once in the morning and go back up once in the evening.
  • Get a good chair with a good lumbar support to make the healing easier. Avoid the use of a recliner.
  • Do not play with your children who dont know your condition or play with your pets that could sit on your knee and dislocate it instantly.
  • You wouldnt want to trip or slide during your recovery. That is why the floor should have a good surface, which your soles can grip firmly.
  • Before you decide on getting back to having sex, go swimming, or do exercises that involve lots of leg movements, consult your doctor first for medical advice.

Tips For A Smoother Recovery

How Far Should Someone Walk After Knee Replacement Surgery ...

Physicians and patients share their insights for safely and efficiently getting back on your feet:

If you have concerns or if youre experiencing something you dont understand, speak up. Your doctor and physical therapist will know if its normal or not. In my case I mentioned a muscle spasm issue to my physical therapist, and she got on the phone with my doctor and I ended up needing a medication change to address it. Patient Sharon Barnes

Walking is the best therapy you can do. Walking in the park or around your neighborhood is really how youll be able to get back to normal life quicker. Dr. Courtney

Ive had both done, 14 and 15 years ago. Best advice: Do your before exercises and build up your strength, then after surgery, do your exercise as soon as youre able and keep doing them to get your best range of movement. Its going to hurt, but its so worth it. Healing pain is different, its pain with an end in sight. My father-in-law told me before I had my first one done, to remember, short-term pain for the long-term gain, and that was my mantra. Patient Kathy M., via Facebook

I had bilateral knee replacements done two years ago. My advice? Build up your leg muscles before surgery. I started three months before so the muscles were in tip-top shape. It made a huge difference in making therapy so much easier. Cheryl W., via Facebook

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