Q. My mother will be having surgery (knee replacement) in the next few weeks. What can we expect in the way of Physical Therapy?
Are there things we could (should) do at home in addition to the therapists office or should we just leave it up to them?
A. Most patients do extremely well after knee replacement surgery and the newer non-cemented techniques have really shortened the recovery phase.
The key to a successful rehab is to get moving and get moving QUICKLY! As soon as the doctor says it is OK (usually in the hospital), her knee must begin bending and extending completely.
The therapists in the hospital will show her home exercises aimed at keeping up her quadriceps and hamstring strength, but the more exercise and MOVING you can do at home, the better!
There is plenty you can do to prepare her home for her arrival as well - remove all throw rugs, move phone and electrical cords out of the way - look for hazards that may interfere with her walker or cane.
I also recommend that if physical therapy is recommended, that you utilize outpatient therapy if possible - getting outside (and getting dressed) is important for her mental health and interacting with other patients is really helpful.
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