Physiotherapy’s vital role in knee surgeries

For many people with knee injuries the first step to recovery is physiotherapy. A physiotherapist can diagnose the cause of your knee pain, reduce pain, provide a treatment plan to get you moving better and provide exercises to increase your strength until you’re back doing all the things you love. 

However there are some instances where physiotherapy alone won’t give you the results you want or need and surgery may be required. It is important to remember though that surgery is often only one small part of the recovery plan, prehab ( rehabilitation pre-surgery) and rehab (rehabilitation post surgery) are just as important in ensuring you get back to living life to the fullest.

What to expect after having knee surgery 

Knee surgeries, such as knee replacement for knee osteoarthritis or arthroscopies for what is commonly referred to as cartilage or meniscus tears, are common. While these procedures can provide increased mobility and reduced pain, the road to recovery is only just starting once you exit the operating theatre. Some surgeries such as arthroscopies you may be discharged home the same day, whilst others such as total knee replacements can require a 2 week stay in hospital. Often you’ll go home on crutches, with a sore, swollen and painful knee (which is all very common). 

Physiotherapy: the key to successful rehabilitation 

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in recovery after knee surgeries. Your physiotherapy pan goes beyond prescribing exercises; it encompasses a personalised and comprehensive approach to healing. Here’s how the physiotherapists at SiSU supports overall wellbeing post knee surgeries:

Tailored Rehabilitation Plans: Our physiotherapists understand that each patient’s needs and goals are unique. We create customized rehabilitation plans that address specific challenges, incorporating a mix of exercises, manual therapy (like massage and joint movement), and modalities to enhance mobility and alleviate pain. We take into consideration things like if you live in a ground floor apartment of a 3-story house with lots of stairs and a big back yard. 

Pain Management: Pain is a common side effect after surgery and its different to the pain you went in to get fixed! Our physiotherapists employ techniques that target pain relief, facilitating a positive mindset and aiding in the restoration of daily activities.

Progressive Exercise Regimens: Gradual progression is key to preventing setbacks. Our physiotherapists will guide you through exercises that build strength, flexibility, and stability, ensuring a gradual return to normal functioning.

Functional Training: Relearning daily activities is crucial. Physiotherapy focuses on functional training, teaching you how to perform routine tasks safely and efficiently while minimizing strain on the knee joint. For example in the initial days you’ll need to learn how to do simple things like get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and get out of a chair!

Once you start to get back to your usual daily activities we can then focus on the more challenging things, like getting back into the gym, skiing on the slopes, playing with the grandkids or walking the off-road tracks during your camping trip around Australia! 

Mental Wellbeing: The journey to recovery can be emotionally taxing. Things often take longer than you wish they would and it can be frustrating that even the smallest tasks are difficult to complete, especially in the early days. It isn’t unusual for it to take 6-12 months to feel “back to normal’ post surgeries such as total knee replacements. That is a long time and staying positive and optimistic is important. Our physiotherapists are there to provide emotional support, motivation, and share some coping strategies that foster mental resilience. We also have links to other great health professionals such as psychologists if you need a little extra help.

The holistic impact

For most individuals choosing to undergo knee surgery is more than just regaining mobility or reducing pain. It’s about reclaiming a fulfilling life filled with family activities, personal pursuits, and a strong mental state. Our physiotherapists at SiSU empowers you to make health and wellness a priority. 

To book in to see one of our physiotherapists call (07) 3741 2808, email hello@wearesisu.com.au or book online here.

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