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  • Dr. Melody Medley-Keith

Knee Pain After Surgery

Updated: May 4, 2021

A total knee arthroplasty involves removing the arthritic parts of the bones at the knee joint and replacing them with artificial parts. Total knee arthroplasty are often performed due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or fractures that cause difficulty with walking or performing daily activities due to knee pain and/or alignment problems that have not responded to more conservative treatment options.

Are you aware of the benefits of physical therapy before and after a total knee arthroplasty? Physical therapy can help individualize a treatment program to help improve strength and flexibility of the knee joint and surrounding muscles to reduce your recovery time after surgery. The physical therapist can also discuss precautions, home adaptations and educate on the use of an assistive device that will make modifications easier before having surgery.

What can you expect from physical therapy after surgery?

The first two weeks after a total knee arthroplasty the goal is to manage pain, decrease swelling, incision healing, and initiate exercise. Following the first two weeks during the sub-acute stage (four days to six weeks) up to the remodeling phase (six week post-op) and the final stage (three months to 12 months) of healing the focus of your individualized physical therapy plan of care is to restore range of motion, strengthen muscles of the lower extremity, proprioception, and functional/activity-specific training.

Still having pain after surgery?

There may also be other underlying health issues that can cause persistent knee pain such as: persistent swelling, infection, spontaneous osteonecrosis, or arthritis in the joint. Participating and staying physically active can improve the strength and flexibility of the lower extremity muscles that support and give mobility to the knee. Modalities such as ice application, compression, dry needling, electrical stimulation and neuromuscular re-education and aquatic therapy can help reduce and/or eliminate knee pain after surgery.

We would love to help you with your rehabilitation post knee surgery.

Call us at 512 261-0620

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