Rehab begins quickly
Typically, on the day after your surgery, you’ll get a visit from your physical therapist and begin learning how to use your new knee.
You may be fitted with a “continuous passive motion” machine that will gently straighten and bend your knee. Other exercises that promote blood flow to your legs include ankle pumps and pedaling your feet.
Getting up and around soon is important. If you had considerable pain before surgery, you probably cut back on your activities, so your leg muscles may be weak. You’ll need to build up enough strength to control your new knee, and early activity encourages healing, too. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you specific instructions on wound care, pain control, diet, and exercise.
You and your physical therapist
Since rehabilitation is crucial to a successful outcome, your doctor will likely recommend an early and aggressive rehabilitation regimen after surgery and after you leave the hospital. After discharge, your physician will refer you to a physical therapist who will work with you to help you regain your strength, balance, and range of motion. Your commitment to following proper prescribed home exercises and additional rehabilitation is essential to regain your ability to perform deep-knee-bending activities.
Excessive physical activity, injury, and obesity also can result in loosening, wear, and/or fracture of your knee implant. Failure to follow through with the required rehabilitation program or failure to govern your physical activities as directed by your physician also may cause your knee implant to fail.