After discussing what to expect from receiving a total knee replacement, it is also important to discuss how receiving this surgery will impact your short term function after the surgery! Addressing weakness and range of motion deficits will return you to the things you love to do! Continue reading to find out what exactly patients have trouble with after receiving a total knee replacement and what to expect out of physical therapy:
Patients typically have quadriceps weakness and a loss of knee range of motion for about 6 months until they feel that they have returned to the strength and range of motion they had prior to surgery. Every month of Physical Therapy has shown to gradually improve strength and range of motion following a total knee replacement. In 6 months, most patients feel completely restored and confident to return to the things they love to do!
When going through the rehabilitative process following a total knee replacement, patients should expect a recovery time between 3-6 months. Having a good Physical Therapist that focuses on aspects such as improving quadriceps strength and range of motion can help speed up your recovery time! Here at Empire Performance PT we focus our process on improving strength and range of motion so all of our patients can return to their preoperative conditions.
Below is a list of exercises that will help you achieve your range of motion and strength back to where you were before your symptoms started:
By: Dr. Kyle Ioos, PT, DPT
Did you know that Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in America affecting approximately 27 million Americans? Did you also know that by the year 2030, it is projected that the number of total knee replacements performed will be around 3.48 million? In fact, it is reported that getting a total knee replacement reduces pain and improves health-related quality of life in 90% of patients who are battling osteoarthritis in their knees. That said, following surgery it is imperative that these patients receive physical therapy services to restore their prior level of function. Additionally, seeking out PT services prior to receiving a total knee replacement can help maximize muscle performance in order to prepare for surgery. This can help with the rehabilitation process following the surgery!
Below is a list of things to know prior to getting a total knee replacement:
By: Dr. Kyle Ioos PT, DPT
Below are five myths “reasons why people don’t come to physical therapy”. Don’t let these stop you from seeing a physical therapist!
Myth 1: You need a doctor's referral or prescription to start physical therapy.
Good news - you do not need a prescription or doctor referral to start physical therapy. Many people think you need to go through a doctor but you can skip the long scheduling wait times and unnecessary copays and go straight to scheduling an evaluation with us!
Myth 2: Physical therapy is only for people who have been in an accident or have an injury.
Physical therapy is targeted to more than just helping those with injuries or who have been in an accident. While physical therapy aids in the recovery of many injuries, physical therapists can decrease the symptoms experienced by common conditions such as sciatic, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, hip pain and so on. During assessment, physical therapists can also diagnose potential problems.
Myth 3: Any healthcare provider can provide physical therapy.
Physical therapy should only be performed by a licensed physical therapist - health care professionals without a license should not be providing this service. Beyond the standard license, many physical therapists earn board certifications to specialize in specific areas (i.e. neurology, orthopedics, sports medicine, etc.). Some other physical therapy clinics use PT techs to assist in parts of the therapy - here at Empire Performance PT all our therapists have their Doctorate of Physical Therapy so you know you’re getting the best possible care!
Myth 4: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance.
Physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans! Because physical therapy can help people avoid the use of prescription drugs or undergo surgeries, it can help decrease your future health care costs, too. It doesn’t end there, physical therapy can also lower health care costs by preventing re-injuries or by addressing conditions before they escalate.
Myth 5: Surgery is the only option for a full recovery.
Physical therapy has helped many people avoid unnecessary surgeries —from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. Those that seek physical therapy before undergoing surgery know this to be true.
How many of these did you think were true? Leave a comment below!
A typical physical therapy session is always targeted to a patient’s goals and specific needs. Initially, during the first visit, a physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what areas are most limiting a patient. This includes looking at the specific joint or area that is bothering the patient, examining range of motion, strength, and close inspection of the joint anatomy. The patient’s comfort is always of utmost importance and a PT will try to determine as much information as possible without causing pain. Once the PT has finished the evaluation, goals will be created and specific ways to achieve those goals will be determined. A patient’s input is always a part of forming goals and determines how their sessions will be structured. For those following sessions the physical therapist will use different tools such as:
A session varies based on the patient but always involves at least 2 of the above areas and often begins with manual therapy. Sessions may end with ice if appropriate and/or electrical stimulation to help with pain and inflammation. Towards the end of a patient’s time at PT, the sessions will mainly involve exercises that are specific to whatever activity or task the patient wants to return to.
Questions are always welcome from a patient! Our goal is to make the patient comfortable and excited to return to whatever they love to do!
By: Elizabeth Bynum, PT, DBT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Choosing a Physical Therapist may be more important than you think! I am saying that because choosing my physical therapist was an influential part of my life.
At the young age of 11 years old, I dislocated my right shoulder requiring physical therapy for 6 months. The day I was allowed back to sports I then dislocated my shoulder for a second time. I required another 6 months of physical therapy which was followed by a shoulder surgery that had a rehabilitation timeline of 1 more year in total. That said, I was in PT for 2 straight years.
For 2 years I would attend my physical therapy appointments 3x/week for 12 months! Sounds familiar? I know, PT can become a routine…..but an important one!
Anyways, during that time I was able to observe all the different types of people my physical therapist was helping. From the pediatric population, like myself, to the geriatric population, he did it all! As a 6th grader, I started looking up to him as a role model. I soon realized that not only did I want to become a physical therapist, but I also wanted to help people of all ages like he did.
So, I sit here today writing this blog post with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy explaining how my Physical Therapist inspired me to become a PT as well. Now for most of you, it is probably a bit too late to become a PT but it is not too late to motivate those around you to choose a good PT! At Empire, we hope to be that influential factor that my therapist was on me! We hope you have enjoyed your experience with us so far and continue to enjoy it with us as your journey to recovery continues!
By: Kyle Ioos PT, DPT
To read Kyle's full bio, click HERE
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach