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What happens if you don’t do physical therapy after knee surgery?

October 2nd, 2019
Post-surgical Physical Therapy

When it comes to knee injuries, most people prefer to treat them with conservative methods like physical therapy. However, some knee injuries are too severe for conservative treatments and need surgical intervention. 

Surgery may help repair the damage in an injured knee, but it comes with a cost. Surgeons must make incisions that may go through muscles, tendons and ligaments to reach the area of operation in your knee. This means that your recovery from surgery can be long and painful. Fortunately, physical therapy can help.

Why you need physical therapy after knee surgery

If you’re scheduled to have knee surgery soon, you’ve probably heard that you should visit a physical therapist to help you recover. However, you may be wondering why this is important and why you can’t just exercise at home instead. Well, home exercises are actually a part of many people’s recovery plans, but there are many treatments a physical therapist can provide to help improve the quality of your recovery from knee surgery, including:

  • Therapeutic exercise — Physical therapists know which exercises to guide you through that can help build back the strength and flexibility of your muscles and soft tissue. Not only does this help improve your recovery speed, but it also helps reduce pain since stronger muscles help reduce pressure off the recovering injury.
  • Manual therapy — Physical therapists can use hands-on techniques to mobilize the knee. These mobilizations involve moving your knee into positions that you would be unable to do on your own. Moving your knee into the right positions can help reduce pain and improve your range of motion. Physical therapists also use hands-on techniques to help break down scar tissue that limits your range of motion.
  • Balance training — It can be difficult to balance while recovering from knee surgery, which increases your risk of falling and getting hurt. Physical therapists can guide you through balance training exercises and can also show you how to safely use assistive devices like crutches or walkers.

Without surgery, your knee may recover more slowly and may develop painful scar tissue that limits your range of motion.

Visit Rehab Access for physical therapy after knee surgery

Are you scheduled to have knee surgery soon or are you thinking about knee surgery? Our physical therapists can help you prepare in advance for your operation and help you recover afterward. Contact our team today for more information about physical therapy after knee surgery or to schedule an initial appointment.