One of the most common concerns after knee replacement surgery is how much time it will take to recover and regain normal strength in joints. Knee replacement surgery is a major surgical procedure that may need considerable time to recover. A gradual return to everyday activities and regular exercises are crucial to a full recovery after knee replacement surgery.
Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend a few movements and exercises for 20-30 minutes daily 2-3 times per day or walking for 30 minutes 2- times daily for early recovery.
Early post-surgery exercises
The recovery period after knee replacement is as crucial as the surgery. It takes a few weeks to strengthen and return to your daily routine. Recovery begins from the very first moment your surgery is complete, and the next 12 weeks are critical to regaining your movements.
From the very first day after the anesthetic effect wears off, your physical therapist helps you to stand up and makes you walk for a few steps with the help of some external support. And within one week, your doctor and therapist encourage you for brief walking sessions and knee bending. Till the end of 3rd week, the physiotherapist starts a daily workout schedule and rehabilitation.
You may feel uncomfortable while performing exercises, but they will shorten the recovery period and help reduce postoperative pain and muscle discomfort. The following are a few early activities that aid in recovery and strengthening:
- Slow walking with the help of a walker or crutches
- Evenly walking with adjustment in length and speed
- Stair climbing and descending with the support of hand railing and crutches
Advanced postoperative exercises
Try to increase your activity level as soon as you can walk short distances on your own. The swelling and pain after surgery may diminish with time, and the exercises will help speed up the healing. The following are some exercises that help in recovery:
- Stand straight with the help of crutches or a walker and bend the knee as much as possible. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat this exercise for few times.
- Perform the same knee bending exercises while lying down with a hold of a towel at your feet.
- Repeating the above exercises by binding lightweight around ankles after 4-6 weeks of surgery help regain knee strength.
- Cycling an exercise bike can help you regain knee strength and muscle movement.
- The leg-strengthening exercises are beneficial, such as heel slide, straight leg raising, quad sets, hamstring rising, and gluteal sets.
Benefits of exercises after knee surgery
Exercises according to your doctor and physiotherapist after surgery are beneficial. Some of the benefits of these exercises are:
- Increases knee range of motion and strength
- Faster recovery
- Decreases swelling and pain faster
- Strengthening of legs and
- Exercise keeps legs in good shape