The following is a brief guide to rehabilitation after a total knee replacement procedure.
- The time-lines mentioned are approximate and actual progression depends on individual recovery.
- Patients can weight bear as tolerated from day 1. Please use a walker or crutches till good pain control, quadriceps strength and walking mechanics are achieved.
- Avoid pillow under knees and focus on knee extension and quadriceps exercises from day 1. Limb elevation with pillow under ankles / calves when lying is recommended.
First 2 weeks
- Apply icepacks 3-5 times daily for 10 minutes each time.
- Quadriceps and gluteal sets, proprioception and balance exercises (e.g. Heel-to-toe walking).
- Straight leg raises.
- Active and passive Range of Movement exercises.
- Gait training.
- Upper body conditioning.
- Please remember to apply Ice packs thrice daily for 10 min; take pain medication as advised and follow the advice of your therapist.
2 to 6 weeks
- Continue with the Home exercise program.
- Progress to walking outside.
- Progress with Quadriceps, ROM and proprioception / balance exercises.
- Start Core strengthening exercises.
- Hydrotherapy / Pool work-outs once incisions have healed.
- Aerobic exercises after 4 weeks as tolerated (e.g. Static exercise bike).
6 to 12 weeks
- Add lateral steps and step-ups.
- Single leg stance (eccentric exercises initially).
- Progress with all functional activities including household chores, gardening, gentle sporting activities.
- Low impact activities only till 3 months.
- No twisting, pivoting till 3 months.
- Wean into a home / gym program.