The therapy is intended for a complete functional recovery of the operated knee, allowing the overall patient rehabilitation and recovery of their level of activity and functionality after performing Arthroplasty of the knee. Total knee arthroplasty, a surgery that replaces this joint with a knee prosthesis, is the ultimate solution for many patients and has a high success rate.
Degenerative joint disease at the level of the knee, the so-called knee arthrosis or gonarthrosis, is a widespread joint pathology that often affects the patient’s health and well-being. As it progresses, knee osteoarthrosis makes it impossible for the patient to adequately carry out their daily activities, either because of the pain or the mobility deficit it causes. The decision to perform knee arthroplasty is up to the patient and their specialist knee orthopedist doctor.
What Does Physiotherapy Consist Of?
Physiotherapy after knee replacement surgery (ผ่าตัด เปลี่ยน ข้อ เข่า which is the term in Thai) is done through techniques and methods that speed up and optimize the patient’s recovery so that maximum performance can be obtained from this surgery.
Throughout the rehabilitation process after knee arthroplasty, it is necessary to evaluate the results obtained and the proposed goals frequently. It is often necessary to adjust these goals and make changes to the treatment, depending on how each patient progresses.
The internationally accepted and instituted rehabilitation protocols are fundamental as guidelines. Still, the knee and the patient who was operated on impose the evolution of the Physiotherapy program, that is, the transition or not to the next phase of the protocol.
Right After Surgery
In the immediate postoperative period, it is essential to teach the patient and their family how to get out of bed, get up, sit down and move to a chair, and the correct way to walk, always with the aid of a walker or crutches.
Appropriate exercises for mobilizing the knee and other lower limbs and muscle strengthening, namely the quadriceps and hip extensors, should be started.
When the orthopedic doctor understands this and follows their indications, continuous passive mobilization of the knee with an arthrometer device is included in the treatment, usually only performed while the patient is hospitalized.
The patient and family should also be taught that a pillow should not be placed behind the operated knee when lying down but under the heel to achieve full knee extension. Another essential aspect is teaching techniques to protect the operated knee, such as on stairs, where the operated lower limb must be the first when descending and the opposite must be done when going up.
The application of static ice is indicated to control inflammatory signs and should not exceed 12 minutes. Dynamic ice (continuous movement of an ice cube in the region) is an excellent option.