One of the most critical factors in achieving successful total knee replacement depends upon your diligence in physical rehabilitation. You must actively participate in the rehab process, working diligently on your own, as well as with the physical therapists, to achieve optimal results.
Your recovery program usually begins the day after surgery. The rehabilitation team will work together to provide the care and encouragement you need during the first few days after surgery.You may be given a device called an incentive spirometer that you inhale and exhale into. It measures your lung capacity and assists you in taking deep breaths. These exercises reduce the collection of fluid in the lungs after surgery, preventing the risk of pneumonia. Coughing is an effective tool for loosening any congestion that may build in the lungs following surgery.
The physical therapists will begin as early as 1-2 days after surgery. They will teach you simple exercises that can be performed in bed to strengthen the muscles in the knee and lower extremity. They will also guide you through safe technique to Moving up and down in bed, Going from lying to sitting, Going from sitting to standing, Going from standing to sitting, Going from sitting to lying. Whilst these are all simple movements it is important that they are done correctly following surgery.
Another important goal for early physical therapy is for you to learn to walk safely with an appropriate assistive device (usually a walker or crutches). Your surgeon will determine how much weight you can bear on your new knee, and the therapist will teach you the proper techniques for walking on level surfaces and stairs with the assistive device. Improper use of the assistive device raises the chance for accident or injury. The occupational therapist will teach you how to safely perform activities of daily living, and will provide you with a list of hip precautions which are designed to protect your new knee during the first 8-12 weeks following knee surgery. The occupational therapist will also instruct you in the proper use of various long-handled devices for activities of daily living.