How Long PT After Knee Replacement (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Three To Four Weeks

Knee replacement is also medically termed as knee arthroplasty, referred to as a surgical procedure carried out to replace one or all of the weight-bearing surfaces present on the patient’s knee joint. It helps relieve pain and disability. The surgery is most commonly performed for a medical condition known as osteoarthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are also two common medical conditions in which a knee replacement surgery can be performed. Sometimes, there is a need to replace the knee because it might have been damaged in a road accident or from falling off a high altitude. A damaged knee generally causes a lot of pain and is also responsible for internal bleeding.

How Long PT After Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement is a surgery which is needed to be carried out with a lot of precision and accuracy. The patient must be handled with immense care and sensibility. Negligence can also nullify the efforts put in while carrying out the surgery. Multiple reasons can lead to severe pain in the knees of the patient. One of the most common causes is meniscus tears in the knee. Ligament tears and cartilage defects also contribute significantly to causing pain to the patient. Older patients are more likely to get troubled because their bones become weak as they grow older.

The knee replacement surgery is either done partially in which some part of the knee is replaced. It is not considered practical to replace such parts in proper conditions and is good to work with. The other knee replacement surgery is known as complete knee surgery, in which the entire knee is to be replaced. It is a very tough surgery, and the surgeon must have prior knowledge of the surgery. This surgery is carried out on patients whose knees are completely damaged and cannot be used for fruitful work.

Type Of Physical TherapiesTime After Knee Replacement
Basic physical therapiesThree to four weeks
Intense physical therapiesSix to seven weeks

It is advised not to get indulged in any physical therapies immediately after a knee replacement surgery. Primary physical therapies can be resumed after three to four weeks. However, to perform intense physical therapies, the patient must wait six to seven weeks post-surgery.

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Why Does It Take That Long To Resume PT After Knee Replacement?

In most knee replacement surgeries, plastic or metal components replace the damaged knee parts. These components are placed in such a way that they support the functioning of the knee. But whether a metal component or a plastic one is to be used is decided by the medical staff operating. The patient can start continued motion slowly after the surgery. The operation is harrowing, and the patient can feel a lot of pain on a surgical day for a few days after the surgery. Local anesthesia is given to the patient at the time of the surgery.

It takes that long after knee replacement to resume physical therapy sessions because the knee needs ample time to rest and recover. Putting additional pressure on the knees immediately after the surgery can be very painful and excruciating for the patient. Medical experts advise not to use the knees early and recommend putting the knees in a straight position for some days after the surgery. It is crucial to make a rehabilitation routine with the medical expert and follow it properly.

After the surgery is completed, the patient is shifted to the restroom for healing and monitoring purposes. Most of the patients are asked to walk with the help of crutches as the knees are feeble just after the surgery. It is essential to contact the medical expert immediately if the patient feels any discomfort.

Conclusion

Overall, it can be concluded that knee replacement surgery which is also termed as knee arthroplasty, is a process of removal of damaged knee parts from the knee of a patient, and they are replaced by either metal or plastic components depending on the conditions of the patient.

On average, it takes three to four weeks for the patient to resume regular physical therapies. However, if the patient wants to start practicing intense physical therapies, six weeks must be given to the patient to recover and heal properly. Medical assistance should be sought in case of any emergency.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673611607526
  2. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article-abstract/51/10/1804/1819928
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