Dealing with knee pain, particularly due to conditions like osteoarthritis, can significantly impact your daily life. If you've reached the point where your surgeon recommends a total knee replacement surgery, it may feel daunting. However, there's good news – total knee replacement surgery has seen remarkable advancements, making it one of the fastest-growing surgical procedures, especially as the Baby Boomer generation ages. In this blog, we'll explore the stages of osteoarthritis, available treatment options, and the vital role that physiotherapy plays in the recovery process, focusing on the Mississauga, Etobicoke, and Oakville regions.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common age-related condition characterized by the gradual deterioration of joint cartilage and underlying bone. While it's normal to experience some degree of OA as we age, severe OA in the knee can lead to debilitating pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. As the condition progresses through various stages, daily activities like climbing stairs or even walking can become challenging.
Treatment for Knee Pain and OA
In the early to later stages of knee OA, physiotherapy is a valuable option to alleviate discomfort. This treatment may involve modalities like interferential current and ultrasound to reduce pain. Hands-on physiotherapy techniques, along with tailored exercises, can also play a significant role in managing knee OA.
For individuals with OA, using a cane in the opposite hand can help unload the sore knee, reducing pain and improving mobility. In some cases, cortisone injections or synovial fluid replacement injections, administered by orthopedic surgeons, can provide relief. However, there's a limit to the number of injections that can be performed, as guided by your surgeon.
Deciding on Total Knee Replacement Surgery
The decision to undergo total knee replacement surgery is a significant one. Most individuals opt for surgery when the pain becomes unbearable and significantly interferes with their daily life. The waiting period to consult with a surgeon and be placed on the surgical list can be lengthy. It's advisable to consult with a surgeon well in advance of deciding on surgery to minimize waiting times.
Preparation and Goals of Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Meeting with your physiotherapist before total knee replacement surgery is an excellent idea. They can guide you through the post-surgery process, prepare you for post-operative exercises, and address any questions or concerns you may have.
The primary goal of total knee replacement surgery is to eliminate the pain by replacing the arthritic knee joint with an artificial one, providing a smooth surface for pain-free movement.
Physiotherapy After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Starting physiotherapy immediately after surgery is crucial. Hospital physiotherapists will initiate exercises while you're in the hospital. To manage post-operative pain, your doctor will prescribe medication, which you should take to enable stretching of your knee shortly after the procedure. Post-surgery pain can be challenging, so staying ahead of it with medication is essential.
Your hospital or doctor will provide instructions for exercises to continue once you leave the hospital. In-home physiotherapy may be arranged for the initial weeks, as visiting a clinic can be difficult initially.
Early stretching is essential for a positive outcome after surgery. Delaying stretching can lead to scar tissue formation in the joint. This scar tissue forms rapidly after surgery and can significantly limit your range of motion. Achieving approximately 110 degrees of knee flexion is essential for daily activities like sitting and using stairs. You also need a fully extended knee to walk correctly. Failing to achieve full extension or flexion can result in the need for a cane or walker, which you'd want to avoid.
Physiotherapy For Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery
Stretching is key. Work with a physiotherapist experienced in post-op total knee replacement cases, as they can guide you through specific exercises to combat stiffness. You have about 12 weeks from your surgery day to achieve full movement. After this period, scar tissue can become too rigid, restricting further progress.
Formal physiotherapy treatment in a specialized clinic is recommended within two weeks of surgery, and attending three times per week is advised. Physiotherapists may use modalities like Interferential Current (IFC) to reduce swelling and pain, enabling better knee mobility.
The Role of Physio Now
At Homecoming Physio we specialize in physiotherapy for post-total knee replacement patients. We understand the importance of immediate post-operative rehabilitation and ongoing support. Our team is highly trained to help you achieve the best outcomes and reduce post-surgery discomfort.
Don't hesitate to reach out to us at +918791497306 for guidance on total knee replacement surgery and post-operative physiotherapy. We're here to support you throughout your journey to improved knee health.
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