Five big risks of not completing a physical therapy program after knee surgery

When undergoing knee surgery, it’s natural to have apprehensions about the procedure and that it is completed successfully and without complications. By selecting a qualified surgeon who has experience performing the procedure you need and doing everything you can to prepare for your operation, you can give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome. 

One important aspect that you do not want to overlook is the recovery and rehabilitation period. In many ways, this is just as important as the surgery itself — and it’s one that you have more control over. After the procedure, your knee needs to heal. In many cases you will also need to learn how to move properly with your knee to ensure that you are not putting excessive stress on the joint. This is particularly true if you have been living with a knee injury for an extended period of time that has required you to make compensatory adjustments to your biomechanics. 

Physical therapy plays an absolutely central role in the recovery process. To help you understand just how important it is, we’ve compiled some of the primary risk factors that are associated with patients who choose to skip post-operative physical therapy and rehabilitation. 

Here is why physical therapy after knee surgery is so important

Not committing to a therapy program post-surgery can lead to these problems: 

  1. Diminished healing process — To heal correctly, the knee needs as much activity as rest. Physical therapists can use specific techniques to increase blood flow and mobilize soft tissue. 
  2. Increased instability — Inactivity after surgery can lead to the atrophy of important supporting muscles in the legs. Physical therapy and rehabilitation is designed to strengthen these muscles and promote stability. 
  3. Improper biomechanics — Many knee surgeries can alter the way the knee functions in subtle ways. A physical therapist can train you in correct movements that help decrease knee pain and stress. 
  4. Risk of reinjury — Weak muscles and improper movements can stress the knee to the point of reinjury, even to the point of requiring an additional procedure. 
  5. Risk of compensatory injury — Patients who have knee surgery often must relearn proper movement after years of adjusting for knee pain. If this isn’t done carefully, patients can increase the risk of a compensatory injury to another joint, such as the hips.

Post-operative physical therapy at Back in Motion

Whether you’re planning to undergo knee surgery or already recovering, the post-operative rehabilitation experts at Back in Motion can help. We’ll assess your needs and create a personally tailored treatment plan that will help you stay active on a long-term basis.

To learn more and schedule your initial appointment, contact us today.

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