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Knee Physical Therapy

Exercise before surgery

  • If you exercise regularly, please continue your regular program as long as it is not worsening your symptoms.
  • If you are not exercising, we would like you to begin doing the exercises as described in our guidelines. If the exercises worsen your symptoms either modify or stop doing the exercises and notify the office.
  • You will continue with the exercises from the guidelines after surgery. Many patients do not need physical therapy. However, if we identify a need for help after your surgery, we will prescribe physical therapy.

Therapy in the Hospital

  • Your mobility will be checked by physical therapy and the nursing staff before discharge. The focus will be making sure you are safe to go home.
  • Friends and family are encouraged to attend your physical therapy session with you.
  • Most patients will use a walker, crutches or cane for assistance.

Physical therapy and home exercise programs

  • Many patients have successful outcomes following the exercises given in the guidelines making formal physical therapy unnecessary. Our emphasis is on self-directed home exercise programs to promote long term wellness.
  • For patients that require additional help we will prescribe formal outpatient physical therapy. This will require the patient to go to a facility for formal exercise 2 to 3 times a week. It is absolutely necessary to continue your daily exercises at home to get the best outcome possible.
  • In rare circumstances home therapy may be set up until you are ready to progress to outpatient therapy. We recommend transitioning to outpatient physical therapy as soon as possible. It is absolutely necessary to continue your daily exercises at home to get the best outcome possible.

Goals to Achieve by 2 Weeks

  • Bend you knee to at least 100 degrees (flexion)
  • Straighten knee to 0 degrees (extension)
  • Independent with activities of daily living (i.e., showering, dressing, etc.)

The best way to hit these goals is to follow the guidelines for exercise and elevation.

Related Topics

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  •  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Orthoinfo
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery