Use of Crutches or Walker
This phase includes the use of crutches or walker that aid the patient to get out of the bed and take a few steps. This usually starts after a few hours of surgery. However, the time can be increased depending on the condition of the patient. In some cases, the patient may also be attended by a therapist who will provide guidance to them and teach them to perform certain routine activities.
Staying at Hip or Knee Replacement Rehabilitation Center
This phase begins when the patient is discharged from the hospital, usually 3 days after their surgery. It is to be noted that not all the patients are required to stay at hip or knee replacement rehabilitation center. It greatly depends on their condition. However, even if the patient is allowed to go home, they will have to attend knee or hip replacement physiotherapy sessions from a professional therapist. Each session lasts for a day. Most of the doctors recommend the patients to take this session thrice a week.
During the rehab program, the first thing therapists will do is to check the condition of the replaced joint. After its condition and mobility have been evaluated, a knee or hip replacement physiotherapy exercise regime will be created by them, keeping into consideration the recommendations of the doctor who performed the surgery.
This exercise plan created by the therapist is targeted to achieve three objectives. These are:
- The first objective is to enhance the range of motions. It is common for patients to experience a pain or discomfort while moving after the surgery. They may also have swelling on the affected area, which can make it difficult for them to move. To achieve this objective, a certain set of exercises will be recommended by the therapist for the patient. These exercises will relate to bending the affected part or straightening it.
- The next objective relates to increasing the strength of the muscles around the replaced joint. Due to the pain prior to the surgery, there is a possibility that those muscles have lost their strength. Certain exercises including quad sets are recommended by therapists to improve muscle strength.
- The third, and the last, objective in this phase is to improve the balance of the patient. This prevents them from falling and getting more injuries.
Return to Normal Routine
This is the last phase of the knee or hip replacement physiotherapy. This typically starts when the rehab program ends i.e. after 6 to 8 weeks of surgery. During this phase, the patient is asked to perform different activities i.e. walking, climbing stairs, getting on escalators, getting in the car and out from it etc. If they show no difficulty in doing these activities, it implies that they are fit to resume their routine activities otherwise time of the rehabilitation period can be increased.