Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should my grandmother have therapeutic exercise after her knee replacement?"
What types of exercises should she do once done with therapy? I want to do this safely.
Exercise after a knee replacement is a very important part of the healing process. To answer your question -- YES -- it is not only recommended but essential that therapeutic exercises are started in order to allow for the best possible recovery of function after the knee replacement. I would recommend that you discuss this with your grandmother's orthopedic surgeon. He or she will most likely refer your grandmother to a physical therapist -- who will be able to formally discuss what exercises are best for your grandmother and tailor a specific regimen for her. The goal of a knee replacement is to allow for the patient to regain function of the joint. While relieving pain is a big part, the reason we ask people to take the risk of the operation is so that they can function and be able to walk or exercise. After the operation, the bone and joint is hopefully now functional. But the muscle surrounding the joint must be retrained to work on the joint. A physical therapist can give exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles (like the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf). Without these exercises the knee joint cannot function normally because the surrounding muscles are not functional. Talk to your surgeon for more information.
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