A Few Alternative Exercises I Prefer
I have been very active all of life and I continue to be active after knee replacement. I have been able to continue with some of my old activities but I have also found new activities that I can enjoy.
Until I was 55, I played softball and basketball on a regular basis. I still play catch now and then, shoot a few baskets, and make a trip to the batting cages but I no longer engage in competitive play.
Pickle-ball has taken the place of softball and basketball. I play doubles and the reflex reactions and cardio workout keep me fit and sharp.
I can choose to play recreationally or I can opt for more competitive games. Pickle-ball was a great way to meet new friends when I moved to a new area.
Occasional games of golf and ping-pong also help to fill the gap left by basketball and softball. Before knee replacement I walked, hiked, swam and cycled.
All four are enjoyable ways to get outside and build up the muscles in my legs and get some cardio benefit as well.
Swimming as become one of my favorite exercises because I am able to get a full body workout. Continue to work out 3 to 4 times in the gym .
Have your physical therapist develop a workout program for you once you complete formal physical therapy.
Crab Walk With Loop Band
Step 1: Stand with loop band around both thighs, just above the knee
Tip: Make sure the band is tight enough that you feel some tension when your ankles are slightly separated
Step 2: With a slight bend in both knees, step sideways to the right with one foot so that youre standing with feet wide apart
Step 3: Step your other foot to meet the first one, keeping your feet pointing forward the entire time
Step 4: Continue to walk sideways until youve taken 10 steps, then reverse and walk sideways to the left
Increase Strength With Physical Therapy Exercises
After surgery, its normal to have some weakness in your leg muscles. Therapeutic exercises will help you get back to your old self. Most patients will start with simple, easy exercises that are done sitting or lying down. Later, you can expect to progress to more strenuous exercises that involve standing, putting weight on your leg or even climbing steps.
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What Are The Benefits Of Doing Exercises After Knee Surgery
Your home exercise program will help to decrease swelling while helping to increase your knee range of motion and strength. The more youre able to gently push your body and anticipate it will function as designed, the faster your recovery will happen. The benefits of strengthening your legs and keeping them in good shape will last you for years to come.
If you recently had knee surgery and are looking to start exercising again, make an appointment today with Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, NY. Well provide the most effective, forms of treatment to help relieve your pain and restore your range of motion.
Bed Supported Knee Bends
To begin slide your foot toward your buttocks and bend the knee so that your heel stays on the bed.
Hold this position so that your leg is bent as far as it can go without causing pain. Stay for 5 to 10 seconds before returning to the start position.
Repeat several times and stop if you start to feel any pain or discomfort in your injured knee.
You can continue this exercise until you can fully bend your knee again.
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First 2 Weeks After Total Knee Replacement
Ive got to be honest here. The first 4 weeks is particularly unpleasant. Mobilising with crutches or a stick. Sleeping poorly. Probably on a few good medications to cope with the pain. No driving. You dont want to go through this stage too much in your life.
Once the wound has been checked around the 7-10 day mark, you should start to be able to put more weight through the joint. It is a good time to commence Physiotherapy. The focus here is range of movement. Using a skateboard, for example, is an excellent exercise to partake in. Not to cruise down the street mind you! A seated exercise with your foot on the board, the goal is to improve the bend in the knee by gently stretching the quad muscle.
What Should I Avoid After Knee Replacement
It goes without saying that high-impact exercises and activities should be avoided after knee surgery of any kind.
You should keep the joint well-rested in order to heal in a reasonable timeframe.
There are also some more specific things that you should avoid. Make sure first of all to listen to your doctor or physical therapist.
The knee should be bent out and stretched in the way that they have instructed and the exercise regime they give you upon release from the hospital.
You should avoid sitting on stools, sofas, soft chairs, rocking chairs, and chairs that are too low to the ground.
All of these will put unnecessary pressure on the joint. Only sit in chairs with a straight back and armrests.
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Is It Ok To Elevate Legs While Sleeping
When youre sleeping, when youre lying on the couch for a night of TV or movie-viewing, and even if you can get horizontal for a little while during the day, arrange some pillows in a comfortable formation to get your legs elevated 6 to 12 inches above your heart. Leg elevation, youll notice, feels good immediately.
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One To Two Weeks After Surgery
During this time, physical therapy concentrates on balance, range-of-motion and strengthening exercises. This may include:
- Leg raises
- Practice getting up from a sitting position
- Knee straightening exercises
- Supported knee bendswith the goal of eventually having the knee bend to a 90-degree angle
- Walkingif you need to use a cane or walker, the physical therapist will work with you ensure youre using them properly
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Exercises To Get You Back On Your Feet After Knee Replacement
By Mark Zamerowski, PT, MPT, Physical TherapistVirtua Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Todays advanced and minimally-invasive surgical techniques mean you can expect to be up and walking before you leave the hospital after your knee replacement. Most patients find that arthritis pain is gone immediately, though post-surgical discomfort can persist for a while .
Once youre discharged, youll begin a course of physical therapy that can start as early as your second day home. Doing these exercises with your physical therapiststarting gently and increasing in intensity over timecan shorten your recovery and get you fully back on your feet. And, the recovery is often faster than you might imagine. Committing to these exercises, at the gym and at home, is the single most important component of successful long-term recovery. Each physician has a slightly different surgical technique, please check with your physician when you can begin each of these exercises.
Here are a few physical therapy basics that I always share with my knee replacement patients:
The regimen I choose for each patient is always customized. However, its always built around these range-of-motion and functional exercises, or those that help you do everyday tasks at home.
How To Relieve Hip Pain
In most cases, hip pain after knee replacement surgery is a typical part of the healing process and will go away on its own.
However, it is important to have realistic expectations for the recovery period. Mild to moderate pain is typical after this kind of surgery and should gradually improve with time.
People can relieve pain and discomfort with the following strategies:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation: Rest is a crucial part of the recovery process. Without proper rest and reduced activity, healing may take longer, and the risk for complications may increase. Additionally, applying ice, using a compression dressing, and elevating the affected knee can also help relieve pain and swelling.
- Pain relievers: People may also find it helpful to use prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. Examples of pain relievers that can help reduce swelling and pain include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, acetaminophen, and prescription opioids.
- Other medications: A doctor may also recommend other medications, such as muscle relaxers, to help with recovery.
- Exercises: Some people may find that exercises may help strengthen hip muscles that have weakened over time due to favoring one leg.
If a person experiences chronic pain in the hip that does not resolve with rest and home treatments, they may wish to follow up with a doctor.
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Stair Climbing And Descending
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
Seated Supported Knee Bends
Sitting on the edge of a chair or bed, let your leg hang down. Make sure whatever you are sitting on is supporting your thigh. Cross your uninvolved leg under your ankle and use it to slowly straighten your leg. Then use it to slowly lower your leg and bend it as far as possible. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat until your leg is tired. You can do this exercise 3 to 4 times a day.
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Lower Extremity Strengthening Exercises
Great Balance Exercises To Do After Knee Replacement
Knee replacements help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with damaged or worn-out knee joints. After knee replacement surgery, its crucial to do balance exercises after knee replacement to maintain your stability and help prevent another knee injury. Knee pain can often be due to weakness in surrounding muscles and other issues such as inflammation or misalignment of the kneecap. When you work on balance exercises after knee replacement, you can simultaneously avoid further injury and improve your posture!
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Staining On The Bandage:
Any staining on the bandage is an indicator the patient is too active.
I see patients in their home a couple days after the total knee surgery. Patients still have their surgical incision covered with a Mepilex/Optifoam bandage, a thin absorbent stick-free pad with an adhesive layer that seals the pad and surgical site from moderate water exposure, such as in a shower.
On the Mepilex/Optifoam bandage, the first sign of staining can be just a small spot even smaller than a pencil eraser
If the spot is not large enough to warrant a bandage change, draw a circle around the outer edge of the stain spot and watch it over time to see if it is getting bigger.
When I see the first sign of bandage stains I immediately take a picture of the stained bandage and text it to the physician. The physician makes the decision if the bandage needs to be changed or not, and if yes, they dispatch a nurse to change the bandage.
About 10-15% of referring doctors prefer the older technique of dry sterile pads taped in place over the surgical site.
A dry sterile gauze pad bandage seems to be a bit more absorbent and minor staining frequently does not show up on the surface of the bandage as quickly as on a Mepilex/Optifoam bandage. Because of the thickness of the gauze padding, it is not unusual for the bleeding to be non-visible until a more significant bleed happens.
I personally prefer the Mepilex/Optifoam bandage.
When To Contact A Doctor
An individual should contact a doctor if hip pain interferes with their daily activities. And if pain persists after the wound has fully healed, they can discuss this with a healthcare professional.
Additionally, if someone suspects they have a joint infection or blood clot, they should seek emergency medical care.
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Why Do Some Patients Experience More Pain After A Knee Replacement Than Others
For a majority of people, a knee replacement can alleviate chronic knee problems, such as persistent pain and limited function. A relief from symptoms allows a return to a normal, active lifestyle. However, in some cases, patients may go on to experience prolonged knee pain following surgery. Find out more about knee replacement pain and what you can do to treat it.
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Flexor Exercise In Your Routine
Your hips support your body weight, also. Your hip flexors play an important role in optimizing your total knee replacement. Strong, flexible hips make for a healthier, happier person! Keep your hips lubricated and flexible by doing the following water-based maneuver:
Get into waist-deep water. Place your right side against the poolâs wall. Hold onto the side, if needed. Slowly lift your left leg sideways, away from you. Do not bend your knee. Return to the original position. Repeat this maneuver five times.
Turn your body around so your left side is against the poolâs wall. Repeat this exercise with your right leg.
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Best Rehab Plan After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
New knees! TKR! A bionic knee!
Whichever you like to call it, a total knee replacement is fast becoming a very important operation within our society. Replacing a joint is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain. Furthermore, correcting leg alignment and the ability to assist you to return to normal activities can be a life changing experience!
Improvements in surgical materials and techniques have greatly increased a replaced knees effectiveness and longevity. I have seen cases where an 18 year-old replaced knee was still going strong for a client in her 90s. A total knee replacement is one of the most successful procedures in modern medicine. And we are very blessed to have access to some brilliant orthopaedic surgeons here in Canberra. If you or your GP are unaware of a good surgeon, then Sport and Spinal Physiotherapy can lead you in the right direction.
Pain Or Swelling After Exercise
You may experience knee pain or swelling after exercise or activity. You can relieve this by elevating your leg and applying ice wrapped in a towel.
Exercise and activity should consistently improve your strength and mobility. If you have any questions or problems, contact your orthopaedic surgeon or physical therapist.
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Learn What To Expect And How To Prepare From The Doctors Who Perform This Operation Every Day And The Patients Who Have Been Through Knee Surgery Successfully
If your knee arthritis has gotten so bad that your medication and physical therapy are no longer enough to keep the pain at bay or prevent mobility issues, it is a good time to consider knee replacement surgery. The procedure has come a long way from the extended hospital stays, bed rest, and narcotics-based pain relief of the past.
Fifteen to 20 years ago we told patients to wait until they could no longer take the pain of osteoarthritis to consider surgery, but thats not the case anymore, says P. Maxwell Courtney, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. With todays advances, minimally invasive techniques, and accelerated rehab and recovery protocols, we now tell patients if the pain is limiting your daily activities and youve exhausted conservative options like injections and physical therapy its time to consider surgery.
That was certainly the case for Sharon Barnes, a teacher from Maine whose pain got so bad she couldnt sleep. My doctor said I had osteoarthritis in both knees it was literally bone on bone, she remembers. We did hyaluronic acid injections, and that got me about a year then didnt work as well. Thats when we started discussing surgery.
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