Posted on: 10 September 2015Share
While you may expect to be laid up for a few days or even a week or more after knee replacement surgery, you won't be. Within at least 24 hours of your surgery, you will begin the arduous journey of physical rehabilitation. The process starts with your first attempt to get out of bed and ends when you resume your normal activities without pain and restriction. For most people, this takes approximately 12 weeks, but everyone is different. So be sure to follow your doctor's orders. During your recovery period, you may want to try these three physical activities that will help you recover quicker.
The second day after your surgery, you should begin walking unless your doctor tells you otherwise. In the beginning, you will probably only walk a few steps at a time and may need a walker. However, you will probably be walking the hallways before you leave the hospital, and you may even be able to navigate a few steps. By the third week, you should be able to go on short walks around your neighborhood. Gradually increase the distance you walk and be sure to walk daily for the best results.
Your doctor will send home with you a list of exercises that you should perform at least two to three times per day. Exercises may include stretches, leg extensions, knee bending, ankle pumps and thigh squeezes. Your doctor may also prescribe exercises to strengthen your core and improve your posture as this will help improve your entire physical fitness, which will change the way you move and may even take pressure off of your knee.
Around week 12, you can start to do low-impact activities, such as bicycling and swimming. Remember, high-impact activities are still off limits at this time. These activities include running, aerobics and most sports. At this time, you might want to think about starting some physical therapy classes or taking an aquatic exercise class. Water exercises are ideal because they give you an intense workout without putting undue pressure on your knee. You can talk to your physical therapist about water exercises or check with your local gym.
Never perform physical activities unless they are approved by your doctor first. The more closely you follow your doctor's orders after surgery, the faster you will recover. Staying consistent with your exercise regimen will also help you out immensely. For more information, contact Advanced Physical Therapy or a similar location.