Rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery

Post-surgery rehabilitation care

After surgery and with the help of our specialists’ team, you will be expected to quickly start your rehabilitation program and gradually do more and more exercises. You will be able to get up and walk, initially using a walking aid, and then without any support.

Learn more about knee surgery

It is very important that you closely follow the rehabilitation program to ensure your procedure is as successful as possible. Please only do the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist and/or surgeon.

PHYSIOTHERAPY REHABILITATION

  • Recover joint amplitudes
  • Recover adequate muscle activation
  • Decrease edema and post-operative pain
  • Promote healing
  • Recover adequate walking pattern

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY REHABILITATION

  • Promote set up of auxiliary methods and training
  • Provide joint protection advice
  • Check application of instructions via diverse scenarios
  • Suggest practical home adaptations

ADAPTED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REHABILITATION

  • Improve overall and specific joint mobility
  • Inform and support the patient to maintain physical activity at home

You will stay in hospital for between three and seven days, depending on how quickly you recover. You can usually return to driving after a few weeks, depending on how quickly you recover and which knee was replaced. You can also expect to return to sports after a few months, depending on the type of physical activity. However, we recommend that high-impact contact sports should still be avoided.

Postoperative rehabilitation exercises

Here is a list of physiotherapy exercises for postoperative rehabilitation. Please note that only the exercises specifically recommended by your physiotherapist and / or surgeon should be performed.

FAQ

How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

You will usually be in hospital for five to seven days. You can then either receive rehabilitation as an outpatient or as an inpatient at a rehabilitation centre. An inpatient rehabilitation programme is usually two weeks, while outpatient rehabilitation depends on the progress of each patient and the surgeon’s instructions.

What exercises should I do after knee replacement surgery?

Below is a selection of physiotherapy exercises for post-operative rehabilitation. Please only do the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist and/or surgeon.

Selection of physiotherapy exercises

When can I play sport again after knee replacement surgery?

You can gradually return to sport in the months following your operation, once the swelling in your knee has gone down and you are pain free. However, high impact and contact sports, such as football and karate, should still be avoided. We recommend that you seek advice from your doctor.

When can I drive again after knee replacement surgery?

You can drive again when you are able to walk without support and put all your weight on your operated knee without any difficulty. Driving is usually possible four to six weeks after surgery. However, your doctor may allow you to drive sooner if you drive an automatic car.

How can I regain my range of motion after knee replacement surgery?

In order to regain your range of motion, it is important to attend your physiotherapy sessions and practise the exercises recommended by your therapist at home.

What movements should I avoid after knee replacement surgery?

There are no specific movements to avoid after knee replacement surgery. However, you need to know and respect the limits

Why is my knee clicking after knee replacement surgery?

In most cases, this clicking noise is totally painless and caused by the various artificial parts (the prosthesis), mainly the patellar component. A small gap is left in the joint when the prosthesis is fitted and the noise is louder in the first few weeks due to the collection of fluid in the knee joint. It is usually nothing to worry about, but it is best to get it checked by your doctor to avoid complications.

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