Is there a reason to not do physical therapy after knee replacement surgery?

A total knee replacement is a complex and lengthy procedure. It can also cause lots of residual damage to soft tissue around the knee. Additionally, it’s common to feel post-surgical pain for days or weeks after this procedure. In spite of these challenges, some people might think that it’s OK to do no physical therapy after their knee replacement surgery. 

Unfortunately, far too many of the people who could benefit from physical therapy simply don’t use it. One study shows that less than 10% of people who needed it sought physical therapy. Yet, physical therapy can help knee replacement patients avoid specific problems after their surgery. 

No physical therapy after a knee replacement could mean facing these challenges

Soft tissue damage and residual pain are just two of the challenges you can face after a knee replacement surgery. Choosing not to do physical therapy after your knee replacement can add more challenges to this list. 

Some of these challenges can include: 

  1. Muscle atrophy — This issue occurs when muscles shrink due to a lack of movement. Muscle atrophy can become an issue for people who don’t move enough after surgery. 
  1. Reduced range of motion (ROM) — Range of motion is the extent to which you can move a joint. It can be severely reduced after a knee replacement, and people might have to deal with reduced ROM longer without help from a physical therapist. 
  1. Falls — Falling is a serious concern when you’ve just had a knee replacement. Often, patients are given assistive devices, like crutches, after this surgery. Patients who haven’t used such devices before are more likely to move incorrectly. This increases the risk of falling and reinjuring the recovering knee. 

What can physical therapy do to help you recover from a knee replacement?

Not having physical therapy after your knee replacement also means you’ll miss out on many benefits. Some of the benefits post-surgical therapy can offer include: 

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved range of motion
  • Increased function
  • Training on proper use of assistive devices
  • Decreased recovery time

Back in Motion offers high-quality post-surgical therapy 

Still considering saying no to post-knee replacement physical therapy? Before you do, consider talking to one of our therapy specialists at Back in Motion. They can evaluate the condition of your knee and reveal challenges you’ll face after surgery. Our specialists can also build you a personalized physical therapy plan that can reduce your post-surgical pain and get you back to your normal activities faster. 

In addition, we can help you prepare your body for surgery with pre-surgical therapy. Even better, we can help you get care from home thanks to our at-home care and virtual therapy services. 

Contact us today for more information about how we can assist you after a knee replacement or to schedule an initial appointment.