“I had total left knee replacement four and a half months ago (due to age and an old injury). Two weeks ago I began walking a mile a day very successfully. Half the mile is straight down the hill and the other half is back up. Am I risking too much wear & tear on the old knee? Would it be safer to walk a flat mile? I like the hilly mile because I get a good cardio workout at same time. I am 63 and in good shape, but have about 15 more pounds to drop.”
Exercise After Knee Surgery
I would certainly discuss this with the doctor who replaced your first knee. It’s amazing how little we ask of our doctors when they can often be the best source of information – give him or her a call!
What you are asking is if the “good” knee will be harmed by the uphill or downhill walking. Recent research I have seen suggests that moderate activity is not a causal factor in osteoarthritis and in fact increases the joints’ ability to bear weight. However, I would be attuned to your body as you walk these hills – you could injure your knee if you land too forcefully or if you fall or twist your knee coming downhill. Injury can lead to osteoarthritis conditions. Also, be sure to do some strengthening exercises to build up the muscles around the knee and the quadriceps. That will make the hills feel easier and will help to protect the knee from stress. Again, ask your doctor or physical therapist for the best exercises. They should be able to give you pictures and demonstrate how to do them correctly!
Knee Replacement Rehab Exercises – From Surgery and Beyond
Total knee replacement surgical treatment is an important surgery performed after several other ways of conservative treatment failed. Through the surgery cuts are available in several areas, beginning with an extended longitudinal incision on the front of the knee at the top of the patella (kneecap), extending as a result of the tibial tubercle. A cut is then made deep into the capsule to succeed in the knee joint.
At this time, the knee is entirely exposed. Smaller cuts are created to eliminate cartilage inside the bone and also to correct deformities before trial hardware is fit within the knee and test for range of motion. When the right fit is manufactured, the permanent pieces are moved into place and sealed there with bone cement. Knee replacement rehab exercises will start immediately.
Right then and there with the surgery, the shin bone with the new knee will be put in a CPM, or continuous passive motion machine, that may gently start range of motion therapy for 4-6 hours. This will be repeated each day the sufferer remains hospitalized, usually three. Physical rehabilitation will start the next day and happen twice a day, with knee replacement rehab exercises including motion exercises, stretching and strengthening, and beginning to walk using a walker. The individual usually goes home around the 3rd day post-surgery, although according to their recovery, they might get a short 5-12 day stay at a rehab facility.
In a skilled nursing facility, if this sounds like in which the patient is transferred to before home, knee replacement rehab exercises continue two times a day, with general nursing care provided night and day, including any dressing changes, administration of pain meds along with other medicines, as well as any assistance the individual might still require. If the patient has gone home, they’ll have a house health nurse who will visit them Three or four times a week to complete the same items that the sufferer inside the rehab facility would be doing, including physiotherapy which could, at first, hurt, but ease with every successive week.
At about week 6 to 12 post-operative, most patients should be able to start working on knee replacement rehab exercises that include focusing more about rebuilding strength within the knee. Pain needs to be decreasing almost weekly at this point and also the patient can start coming off the more intense pain medications to presenting a NSAID or Tylenol. Around weeks 12 to 16, the patient needs to be resuming the majority of the normal activities just the occasional swelling and tenderness and after 6 months, patients should truly be feeling being a new person, with full healing taking about one year, more or less a couple weeks depending on rehab tolerance.