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How Much Walking After Knee Replacement

What Would I Have Done Differently In The Past Year

Walking After Knee Replacement – When? How Much?

As I mentioned above I am happy with the progress I have made to date. When thinking back, I dont think I would have done anything different during my rehab.

I must stress that I was concerned and fearful about the surgery and the rehab so much so that I strictly followed my doctors orders and was especially diligent following the plan my physical therapists set out for me.

Talking with friends that have also had TKR, the ones that seem to be having the most trouble post TKR are those that didnt take their physical therapy as seriously as I did.

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Sports With High Impact Or Quickly Changing Directions

While recovering from knee replacement surgery, avoid participating in contact sports or sports that may lead to a sudden twisting or jerking of the knee. Some examples include:

  • soccer

. Its important to work with your orthopedic surgeon after surgery to build the best program possible.

Here are some examples of exercises that surgeons recommend at different stages of recovery.

When Did I Feel The Biggestimprovements During The Healing Process

As I mentioned in previousarticles, the first month to six weeks was a tough but important time for me.

The rehab was demanding and Itook it very seriously. The pain and swelling required constant icing.

After the first two months I began to feel much better. The rehab exercises were easier and the need for ice diminished considerably.

I was able to get back in the pool and swim laps. I was also able to ride my bike again. I started off swimming and biking short distances and after a few weeks I was back to my pre-surgery routine.

I was able to take longer and longer walks but I was far from ready to return to my normal activities.

After four months I began toplay 9 holes of golf and I returned to the pickle-ball courts. I alsowas able to resume hiking 5 to 7 miles.

Early on I iced my knee regularly after activity. Now a year later, I seldom ice my knee at all unless I do strenuous activity.

Dont get rid of your ice machine or gel pack and keep your wedge pillow for occasional elevation!

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These Boots Were Made For Walking

Osteoarthritis causes severe pain as well as problems with daily activities. When other interventions have failed to provide relief, a physician may recommend a total knee replacement. Surgery can significantly reduce pain and restore function to the knee joint. Daily physical therapy is a crucial part of the recovery process.

Sitting Supported Knee Bends

Patient walking four hours after surgery

While sitting at your bedside or in a chair with your thigh supported, place your foot behind the heel of your operated knee for support. Slowly bend your knee as far as you can. Hold your knee in this position for 5 to 10 seconds.

Repeat several times until your leg feels fatigued or until you can completely bend your knee.

Sitting supported knee bend

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What Happens At 5 Months After Knee Replacement

Most clinical literature and the conventional wisdom agree that at five months after a kneereplacement it is unlikely to see much gain. It is believed that kneereplacementpatients will need at least six months or more to regain their pre-injury range of motion. However, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that there may be a window of opportunity for patients who have had kneereplacements to return to a normal ROM.

This window is thought to be between six and 12 months post-surgery, depending on the severity of the injury and the patients age. It has been suggested that this window could be as short as one to two years, or as long as three to five years.

The reason for this is not known, but it may have to do with the fact that many patients do not fully recover from the initial injury, so that they may not be able to fully re-engage their knee joint in the same way as they did prior to the surgery.

Returning To Activities / Sports

With knee replacement recovery time is one of the biggest healers. Over time the swelling will reduce, your muscles will get stronger and your knee should free up becoming more flexible than beforehand.

It is important to take things easy for the first few weeks but after that, you can start thinking about returning to your favorite activities. Here are some helpful tips on knee replacement recovery time:

  • You can resume most activities after 6-12 weeks, for example swimming
  • Some activities should be carried out with care e.g. golf dont wear shoes with spikes
  • Some activities are not advised following a total knee replacement as they put too much stress on the new knee joint. These include: jogging, contact sports e.g. basketball and football, squash, badminton, jumping activities and skiing. If you are unsure, discuss things with your doctor.

Pain and swelling can take up to 3 months to settle and knee replacement recovery time continues up to 2 years after your operation.

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Walking Two Weeks After Knee Replacement

In this article I will talk about my experiences walking after TKR surgery. I will begin with my first walk 4 hours after my surgery and continue sharing my experiences walking during the first two weeks post surgery. I had a few questions for my physical therapist that included?

  • How much should you walk after surgery?
  • How far should you walk after knee replacement surgery?

I began walking with a walker, transitioned to walking poles, then one walking pole and finally to walking on my own without support. I was surprised that my medical team had me up walking so fast.

During my first walk I felt like I would need the walker for a long period of time. This wasnt the case as I made steady progress until I was able to walk without any support.

How Long Does Tightness Last After Knee Replacement

Walking Pattern After Knee Replacement

By 6 weeks, the pain should be gone and isokinetic exercises can be done. By 3 months, most patients should have achieved at least 85% of their pre-injury level of strength. TKA should be considered a chronic condition and should not be treated as a one-time event.

It is important to note that the majority of patients will not have a complete recovery within 3-6 months of the initial injury. Therefore, it is recommended that patients be monitored closely throughout the course of treatment.

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How Soon Can I Walk After Knee Replacement Surgery

The speed at which you can return to normal activities following knee replacement surgery depends on a number of different factors, however, normal function will be faster if the surgical team and the hospital employs ‘rapid recover’ or ‘enhanced recovery’ standard operations as part of the overall procedure. Following surgery, normal function can be achieved within three hours of the operation and a same-day discharge is theoretically possible.

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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How Far Should I Walk After Knee Replacement Surgery

The answer to this question depends on you. Most patients are able to walk out of the surgery center with the assistance of a device such as crutches or a walker. It makes sense that you want to get back on your feet as soon as you can, but you also need to be careful not to overdo it. Too much strain and youll have more pain than necessary.

Fortunately, your physical therapist and healthcare team are standing by to help determine what is right for you. Usually, about three weeks after the surgery, youll be able to walk without crutches for about 10 minutes. Your physical therapist will push you to add more to your regimen. Generally, it takes about a year for everything to settle, the knee to regain its strength, and all normal activities to become possible again.

At Louisville Hip & Knee Institute, we are devoted to helping you heal. We provide state-of-the-art orthopedic treatment, including knee replacement surgery for our patients. If youre struggling with knee pain, help is just a few clicks away.

How Far Should Someone Walk After Knee Replacement Surgery

Walking one week after knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is one of the largest, most complicated orthopedic surgeries you can have 12. It involves the removal of bone and the insertion of prosthetic devices. Muscle, tendon and sinew are rearranged and reattached. After the body recovers, many patients wonder how much of their old lives they can reclaim. They will be fearful that they may not be able to do normal activities. One of the most common concerns is how far to walk as recovery is taking place.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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Returning To Everyday Activities

Surgeons may lift activity restrictions that were assigned during the first 4 weeks after knee replacement surgery. For example, patients may be given permission to use pools, baths, or hot tubs. A person should not do so until the surgeon tells them it is OK.

Similarly, a surgeon may give a patient permission to drive and ease back into activities that involve limited knee twisting, such as golf, gentle yoga, and dancing. This typically happens at the 6- to 8-week mark. For example, 8 weeks after surgery, a person used to playing 18 holes of golf may be given permission to start to work toward playing 9 holes.

Returning to workThe ability to return to work will depend on factors such as pain levels, medications being taken, stamina, and job requirements. If the employer allows, a person may return to work part-time before committing to a full-time schedule.

Interesting Fact About Physiotherapy Funding In Ontario

To date, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays for a brief amount of physiotherapy following your total knee replacement. This can occur in a hospital or clinic setting. Given the restrictions to funding for physiotherapy services, often you will be seen by a physiotherapy assistant or be placed on machines. Many patients will not have access to a complete plan of care that will help them reach full recovery.

At MUV Therapy Physio & Sports Medicine, we believe that high quality physiotherapy should be delivered by Registered Physiotherapists and that everyone should have a 100% customized plan to help them achieve their maximum recovery.

If you would like to speak with one of our expert physiotherapists, please request a call using the button below

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Learn All About It Before Your Surgery


1. Waking in Recovery Room and what you can do

2. Starting to get the leg working

3. Moving the foot first helps move the knee

4. Getting upright and weight bearing

5. The important points about taking the first steps

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  • Why Is My Knee So Tight After Knee Replacement Surgery

    Walking Normally After Total Knee Replacement

    Arthrofibrosis is also known as stiff knee syndrome. The condition sometimes occurs in a knee joint that has recently been injured. It can also occur after surgery on the knee, such as a knee replacement. Over time, scar tissue builds up inside the knee, causing the knee joint to shrink and tighten.

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    Recommendations For Patient Activity After Knee Replacement Vary Among Surgeons

    We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .

    During recovery after knee replacement surgery, exercise is critical. After initial recovery, patients will want to resume more strenuous activities. In addition to exercise prescribed by a physical therapist, several studies have shown patients who participated in athletic activities prior to surgery will want to continue this practice after surgery. However, how much activity and how strenuous this activity should be remains unclear.

    We just have gut instinct as to what is best for the implant and what is not,Richard Iorio, MD, told Orthopedics Today. In general, if it feels comfortable with the patient, if they are educated and trained well in the activity and they can do it without pain or discomfort and it is good for their cardiovascular fitness, we will encourage participation.

    A literature review by Michael R. Bloomfield, MD, and his colleagues showed total joint procedures are increasingly being performed in more active patients, with 19% of patients returning to athletic activities after knee replacement. However, other research has shown there is limited peer-reviewed information to help orthopedic surgeons advise their patients on the appropriate athletic activity after knee replacement.

    Low vs. high impact

    Image: Frank Martucci, NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases


    Patient factors

    UKA and revision TKA

    Return to sport possible

    Calf And Ankle Pain After A Knee Replacement

    Since a new knee changes the alignment of the whole leg it is common to experience ankle and calf pain during your recovery.

    If the knee curved inward before surgery Genu Valgum then the new, straight knee will increase medical ankle compression and may cause pain on the inside of the ankle.

    * Recommendation: Your physical therapist may prescribe several exercises that increase ankle eversion to improve the mobility of the inside ankle.

    Conversely, if the knee curved out Genu Varum before surgery then pain at the outside of the ankle may be more commonly experienced after surgery.

    * Recommendation: Your physical therapist may prescribe several exercises that increase ankle inversion to improve the mobility of the outside ankle.

    These are normal symptoms and should improve in a few weeks of walking and joint specific exercises.

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    When Can A Patient Return To Work

    This is a common question after knee replacement surgery and entirely depends on the nature of work the patient performs as part of their occupation. For those patients who work in jobs that are relatively sedentary such as office work, returning to work after 2 to 3 weeks is perfectly reasonable however, for patients whose work demands more of them physically, e.g., fireman, police officer, these patients are usually recommended to wait at least 6 weeks before returning to work.

    This is because muscle recovery is usually sufficient by 6 weeks to allow for the normal duties of these more physically demanding occupations at this point in time. However, it is also a case that even for the more physically demanding occupations, if a modification of these duties is available to the patients for the postoperative recovery period then this would potentially allow for an early return to work.

    Length Of Time Bandage Stays On The Surgical Site:

    Total knee replacement

    Different doctors have different protocols for surgical wound cleaning and bandaging.

    How the surgical site was closed can make a difference in how long a total knee replacement surgery bandage is left in place.

    I receive some referrals from an orthopedic surgeon that has the lowest documented infection rate in the entire United States Of America.

    He closes the surgical site with biological glue and steristrips and then applies a Mepilex/Optifoam bandage over the top to make it water-resistant.

    The bandage is then removed on day 7. Counting the day of the surgery as day one.

    Other referring doctors dont remove the bandage until the follow-up visit with the surgeon. Follow-up visits for patients I see are generally 3-4 weeks post-surgery.

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    Malpositioning 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, and so this balancing is the same with the knee straight and bent.

    This is precisely why a knee replacement is a difficult procedure, and the art of perfecting this takes many years. Errors in the positioning of an implant may not be apparent on the operating table and only become evident when the recovery is stalled.

    Newer patient-specific knee replacements are tailor-made and may reduce the risk of malpositioning.

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    Whats It Like To Recover From Knee Replacement Surgery

    The rehabilitation period after knee surgery is just as important as the surgery itself. Recovering from knee surgery is a weeks-long process that gradually strengthens the knee and returns you to your normal level of activity. The 12 weeks after surgery are critically important to regain your mobility, and your recovery begins the very day your surgery is complete.

    A typical timeline for recovery after knee replacement looks something like this:

    Day 1. After youve recovered from the anesthetic, your physical therapist will help you stand up and walk slowly by using an assistance device.

    Day 2. You may walk for brief periods with the aid of an assisted device. Youll work during this time on flexing the knee as much as possible.

    Week 1. You should be able to bend your knee by 90 degrees, although the pain and swelling may make this comfortable. Youll start to bathe, dress, and use the toilet on your own and likely change your own bandages, although you may still require the help of a caregiver.

    Weeks 2 3. Youll start work with a physical therapist. You will have a daily work schedule to keep the knee mobile. You will likely use a continuous passive motion machine that keeps the joint slowly moving while preventing the buildup of scar tissue and stiffness. During this time, your healthcare team will work closely with you to rehabilitate the joint safely.

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