Have you had a knee replacement recently? Complete recovery from knee replacement surgery can be difficult if not approached the right way. Each of the precautions and exercises given after surgery is there for a reason.
Short Term Recovery
Short term recovery is key initial phase of healing. It is also the most painful phase, but medications
can make the pain manageable. During short term recovery, your role is crucial. The good news is that most patients notice vast improvement during this phase, as they experience their new, smoothly moving joint for the first time.
While in the hospital, you’ll be prescribed activities to prevent blood clots from forming in your veins.
You’ll also perform exercises to help your joint heal properly, minimize scar tissue and strengthen your muscles to support the new joint. Your pain will be controlled via medications. Be sure to talk with your nurse or doctor if you feel the medications are not effective. Also be sure to take your medications in advance of each day’s therapy exercise. Controlling pain intensity is important in order to effectively rehab the joint.
Within a few days, you should be able to move well enough to leave the hospital and return home.
Therapy within the first six weeks continues to be very important. This will improve the motion of the knee and allows for a natural transition back to more normal knee movement in daily activities. Therefore speeding up the healing process. With continued treatment the range of motion in the knee is slowly restored.
The average time for this short-term recovery is 6 to 12 weeks.
Long Term Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery (3-6 months post surgery)
Long term recovery involves the complete healing of the surgical wounds and the internal soft tissues that were involved in the operation. When you are ready to return to work and your normal activities, consider laser therapy, chiropractic, taping and rehab;
Reduce joint inflammation and reduce pain.
Avoidance of aggravating factors, use of a support, sports tape
Ice to reduce inflammation, muscle spasm and pain.
Soft tissue healing: laser, ultrasound and electric stim.
Increase range of motion.
Specific chiropractic mobilization techniques are applied to areas of restricted motion in the knee and surrounding joints to increase movement, improve function and reduce pain.
Deep soft tissue massage, and trigger-point therapy.
Post Operative Study
In the following study, a chiropractor's multimodal approach for treating a post surgical knee was successful in restoring function and complete subjective pain relief.
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