Total Knee Replacement Considerations
Having your knee replaced is a decision that thousands of people virtually all over the world have to decide on every day. There will be a multitude of reasons why or why not to have it done that all of us can come up with however, the biggest reason that helps make the final decision for us is the amount of pain you have to endure every day.
Once the pain becomes a problem to your every day activities then you need to consider having the procedure done as soon as possible. One of the biggest problems I see as a physical therapist is the patient that waits too long to have the procedure done in the first place. By postponing your surgery if in fact you have been advised to have it done, creates muscle and soft tissue contractures to develop which in the long run complicate your rehabilitation further and, can also create muscle imbalances in your hips and low back leading to hip and or back pain.
The rehabilitation therefore is longer, you ability to get back to work is delayed longer and, you are put through possibly more pain and swelling than you may have had to encounter if you had been more proactive in getting the surgery completed when first advised. Now I am not talking about someone that has been told they need a knee replacement and give it a month or two to consider their options, I am talking about someone who has put off the surgery for two to five years in hopes that something will miraculously change.
Another important consideration you want to take a look at is that you are preparing your mind and body for the surgery. In other words if you have decided along with your surgeon on a date to have your knee replaced, then you want to get into the best physical condition you can. In most cases you are in so much pain that physical conditioning has gone by the way side. I would recommend you start on a pre-operative home exercise program that your orthopedic surgeon or local physical therapist can give you to start getting your affected leg or legs in condition for the rehabilitation.
Aquatic therapy also is a wonderful exercise to strongly consider. It is easy on your joints and allows you to get a complete full body workout in. I can assure you I can tell immediately during our first rehabilitation session who has prepared for the surgery and who has not. Most orthopedic surgeons today like to get you involved in a pre-operative exercise program to increase your chances of a full recovery in the minimal amount of time.
Take into consideration these two important aspects when considering to have knee replacement surgery.