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Wood Bridge Walking

Total Knee Replacement - Pre-Op, Post-Op and Beyond

Have you had a total or partial knee replacement, or are looking to have one in the future?

A knee replacement is a surgical procedure to relieve pain and normalise lower limb function after the knee joint develops moderate or severe osteoarthritis.

For the best experience and outcome, take steps to prepare for this surgery, and follow a rehabilitation program post surgery. We can help with this process. Here are a few considerations and expectations: 


Pre-operative Phase (often termed “pre-hab”)

  • Strengthening key muscle groups allows you to start your post-operative rehabilitation quickly, effectively, and with less pain. Your muscles will begin the post-operative phase with better baseline strength, better “muscle memory”, and this usually leads to faster normalisation of walking.

  • Optimising body weight helps reduce weight on the knees

  • Understanding the recovery expectations – short-term (first 6-12 weeks post op), medium-term (, and long-term – all help to plan your life post-op. These are typically when you can return to work, start returning to social commitments, and plan an overseas holiday.


Post-operative Phase

  • After a successful surgery, you will be asked to start moving and weight-bearing on the operated leg. Always ensure to follow your surgeon’s advice regarding movement and post-operative care! Every surgery is different.

  • Commence your exercises and recovery. You will leave the hospital with instructions regarding wound dressings, medications, weight-bearing advice, and exercises from a physiotherapist.

  • See a physiotherapist to commence a tailored set of exercises and rehabilitation program for your knee. Although there are common goals across all total knee replacement surgeries, not all exercises suit everyone.


Recovery, Rehabilitation & Return to Normal

  • For the next 4-6 weeks a structured rehabilitation program will help you improve your knee’s range of motion and strength. This includes normalising your walking, weaning off crutches, and safely navigating stairs and inclines/declines.

  • After your surgeon reviews your progress, further strengthening will take place to week 12-16 with our Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist. We work together with your surgeon to ensure a safe and successful recovery back to normal life. Often you will be able to do things you haven’t done for a few months (or years!) due to the prior pain and weakness in your knee, which is often exciting! 

Life after Rehabilitation

It takes months for your “new knee” to feel normal again, but the new prosthesis will allow you to do quite a lot of activity. A holistic assessment of your goals can help us determine what is realistic and safe for you.

Returning to golf, travel, and bushwalking are all common realistic and safe goals amongst our clients. What is your long-term goal? What do you want to get back to?

Call us to discuss what you'd like to achieve after a total knee replacement.

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