The Long Haul: Knee Rehab

Knee rehabilitationIt’s easy to want everything to happen immediately, especially in our “fast food” culture. People want everything right now and don’t like waiting for it. However, sometimes for things to be successful, they require time and effort. That’s certainly the case for most things in health and physical fitness, especially when it concerns a recovery. For your knee rehab, this means you need to be investing for the “long haul” so you can restore your joint completely.

Knee rehab takes time, whether you’re having it for pain or for healing after surgery. Depending on why you need it, it could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Rehab is especially important—and takes quite a while—after a joint replacement, however. You can expect a couple months of rehabilitation and recovery as long as all goes well.

Immediately after the surgery, you’ll avoid full weight on the joint. However, therapy to begin carefully moving and using your knee will still start right away. This ensures that you’ll rebuild muscle, strengthen connective tissues, and retain or regain your range of motion as you heal. It also helps you avoid building up scar tissue that could prevent your knee from working properly.

For the first few weeks, you’ll need to walk on your recovering knee and perform all bending or stretching exercises prescribed for you. You should be able to go from sitting to standing by yourself. You’ll use walking assistants like crutches or a cane, but after a few weeks, you should need them less and less. As long as you perform your exercises at home and attend all your appointments in this early period, you’ll be able to wean yourself off the cane or crutches.

After the first month or so of knee rehab, you may move on to more complicated and challenging exercises. These are meant to increase your strength and stability. This is crucial for your full recovery. Without this challenge period, your knee may not reach full strength.

Knee rehabilitation takes time, but every step is important, especially if you’ve replaced a joint. Let our experts at Castle Pines Physical Therapy and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy help you take great care of your knees. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines or Denver offices online or by calling us at (303) 805-5156.
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