When one or more parts of the knee are damaged it can become painful and movement becomes restricted. Over time cartilage (the smooth covering at the ends of the bone in the joint) starts to crack or wear away. When this happens, the bones making up the joint, rub together. It may be hard for you to perform simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you're sitting or lying down.
If medications, changing your activity level and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. A total knee replacement replaces the worn out surfaces in your knee with plastic and metal. Total knee replacement surgery can relieve your pain, correct your leg deformity and help you resume your normal activities.
More than 90 percent of individuals who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living. But total knee replacement won't make you a super-athlete or allow you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis.
With normal use and activity, every knee replacement develops some wear, but with appropriate activity modification, knee replacements can last for many years.
You are in hospital approximately 5-7 days. You will start walking again on a frame and then you progress to crutches and then a stick usually by 4- 6 weeks.
Normally by three months after surgery you can play sports like golf, bowls, stationary bike ride, bush walk, doubles tennis and swim.
Physiotherapy treatment is vital to hasten the healing process and ensure an optimal outcome in all patients following a knee replacement. It can play a part both before and after your knee surgery.
Prior to surgery, the Physiotherapist can help you build up the muscles that control your knee. The better these muscles are working before surgery, the better they will work again after surgery.
Following surgery, regaining movement early is extremely important. The Physiotherapist will help you regain knee straightening, as well bending.
Physiotherapy may comprise of Soft tissue massage, the use of a compression support, Joint mobilization, Hydrotherapy, Progressive exercises to improve flexibility, strength (especially the quadriceps muscle) and balance, Activity modification advice and a gradual return to activity program.
If you have any questions about knee replacement surgery or the rehabilitation, you can speak to the friendly staff at Lifestyle and Sports Physiotherapy on (02) 4647 3373.
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