Knee prosthesis surgery is a wellness-focused intervention.
It involves replacing the knee joint with synthetic materials and, as such, necessitates a follow-up rehabilitation period to enable optimal recovery of one’s routine as soon as possible.
It is a treatment generally recommended for individuals experiencing pain due to arthritis or bone necrosis, with no benefit from conservative treatment.
The main objectives you can achieve include:
- Pain reduction
- Improved joint mobility
- Enhanced motor skills and, consequently, an improved quality of life.
In this article, I address frequently asked questions about rehab from knee replacement to provide you with all the guidance needed to resume activities you love without pain.
A clarification before we begin: recovery times vary from patient to patient. Each case is unique and must be assessed based on factors such as:
- Bone quality
- General health status
- Type of prosthesis used: uni-compartmental or total prosthesis.
What are the rehabilitation goals?
Post-operative rehabilitation after knee prosthesis surgery is crucial because it allows you to achieve goals such as:
- Quickly regaining independence in daily activities
- Managing pain
- Preventing immobilization-related complications: thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, pressure sores, stiffness
- Attaining adequate knee mobility
- Strengthening muscles
- Restoring joint mobility and muscle tone
- Returning to everyday life with peace of mind.
This is why you should avoid sedentary behavior both before and after the prosthesis implant: the sooner you start rehabilitation with correct movements, the better the rehabilitation results will be.
When does rehab from knee replacement start after the surgery?
Thanks to the Rapid Recovery approach used by Dr. Vanni Strigelli, the recovery times are much faster compared to traditional prosthetic surgery.
After the knee prosthesis surgery, you can stand up just a few hours after the procedure. Rehabilitation begins immediately, and on the same day, you can walk and move with the assistance of physiotherapists.
What type of rehabilitation should you undergo after knee prosthesis surgery?
From the initial hours after the surgery, you are assisted and educated in the hospital for knee prosthesis rehabilitation exercises designed to maintain joint mobility and extension, preserving muscle strength and tone.
You are shown procedures and precautions for sitting after a prosthesis implant, how to lie down in bed, how to correctly use crutches, and gradually abandon them.
The physiotherapist teaches and corrects you during the short hospitalization period on exercises you will continue at home to complete the rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy exercises can be divided into two main categories:
- The first is aimed at maintaining joint functionality: it includes mobility and articulation exercises along with muscle strengthening exercises—simple and easily executable exercises.
- The second focuses on regaining proper walking and proprioception management: how to use crutches, how to climb and descend stairs with a recently operated knee, and suggestions on overcoming potential difficulties.
Where should you undergo rehab from knee replacement?
There are various options for guidance in this rehabilitation journey:
- In the healthcare facility where you had the surgery
- You can consult a physiotherapist
- At home
- Rely on the MyMobility application, designed to accompany you in the pre- and post-operative process and can be combined with traditional physiotherapy.
If you choose to use MyMobility, you have the convenience of a specially designed exercise program delivered through your mobile phone or computer.
Dr. Vanni Strigelli leverages collaboration with MyMobility to modernize recovery techniques, fostering an increasingly connected doctor-patient relationship.
Through the app, you can:
- Directly access videos with rehabilitation exercises
- Communicate with your doctor through text messages, videos, or images and get answers to your questions
- Receive support throughout the rehabilitation process.
How long does rehabilitation after knee prosthesis surgery last, and what is the duration of each session?
After knee prosthesis surgery, the “new joint” functions perfectly from the start.
However, the soft tissues around the prosthesis need time to heal completely.
It is equally important to walk, undergo physiotherapy, and rest.
Rehabilitation after knee prosthesis surgery lasts about 8 weeks, with 15-20 post-operative outpatient sessions, although sometimes a lower number of sessions may suffice for healing.
The duration of each individual post-operative rehabilitation session is approximately one hour; the exact time depends on the individualized rehabilitation program established.
If you would like more information about post-operative rehabilitation with Dr. Vanni Strigelli, please contact us on this page for a consultation.