According to the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), approximately 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the US. Knee replacement surgery is typically used when patients’ pain, usually due to osteoarthritis, has reached a level that precludes participation in normal daily activities.
Knee replacement surgery involves fewer stringent precautions than hip replacements and spinal surgeries, but certain motions, such as pivoting and deep squatting are contraindicated following your operation. Physical therapy following a knee replacement typically focuses on obtaining range of motion, the most important of which is knee extension. Surprisingly, many patients do not have full extension before their operations, which makes it even more difficult to achieve this goal after the operation. If one cannot fully extend the knee, the joint is unstable, which can lead to a permanent limp and/or falls.
Prehab, or rehabilitation before surgery, for your knee involves additional focus on range of motion, strength, and home safety concerns. We also look for ankle pronation/supination, gait abnormalities and leg length discrepancies that played a factor in the knee degenerating in the first place, and will recommend corrective measures you can apply to footwear that will ensure that your new knee stays in great shape for as long as possible!