What To Expect In PT After A Knee Replacement

January 11, 2023

If you have severe knee pain caused by a fracture, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other bone diseases, your physician may suggest a total knee replacement. The surgical procedure will address the cause of your pain, but you’ll need physical therapy to regain your knee’s former strength and mobility. 

So, how long is physical therapy after knee replacement? The timeline varies, but most people can expect an outpatient therapy program that lasts between six and ten weeks. Your physical therapist can tell you everything you need to know about your recovery. We’ll cover questions about therapy after knee replacement below.

When Do You Start Physical Therapy?

It may surprise you, but you can expect to start physical therapy on the day of your operation.

A physical therapist will come to your hospital room and show you exercises you should start doing immediately. You’ll have fresh stitches and a brand-new body part. Trust that the moves are safe, though. They’re designed to:

  • Strengthen your leg
  • Restore knee movement
  • Help you walk on your new knee

The sooner you get up and moving, the better outcomes are.

Where Do You Do Physical Therapy?

Most people spend one to three nights in the hospital. After you’re discharged, you might check into a rehab facility. There, you’ll usually get physical therapy six days a week for a couple of weeks. One advantage of a rehab clinic is that you will have help, and you’re sure to do your exercises every day.

Most people will go straight home. Done right home physical therapy is just as helpful as in-patient rehab. You likely will need in-home physical therapy several days per week for a couple of weeks. In-home therapy is an excellent option if you don’t have someone to take you to outpatient therapy initially. Care is limited in the home, and as soon as you get to an outpatient facility, it is recommended to do therapy there. 

Another way to do your physical therapy is at an outpatient rehab clinic. Some people even have the knee surgery itself as an outpatient, without an overnight stay. But, again, your doctor will decide the best option for you based on your age and health. 

What Happens When You Finish Therapy After Knee Replacement?

Even after you learn from your therapist how long your physical therapy program will continue after knee replacement, keep in mind that rehab doesn’t end there! Rebuilding your knee’s strength, balance, and mobility takes time—and, likely, you won’t feel like you’re at 100%, even after you complete your course of physical therapy. Your therapist will provide you with an exercise program to maintain at home following outpatient therapy after knee replacement, designed to build on the gains you’ve already made.

Call Country Roads Physical Therapy Today!

You shouldn’t have to suffer from pain––with a few tips and simple changes, you can experience comfort and relief today. 

With our state-of-the-art equipment, aquatic facility, and ASTYM/Functional Dry Needling treatment options, our hands-on techniques are perfect for treating aches, injuries, age-related pain, and other muscle and body discomfort. Make an appointment today or find additional information at www.countryroadspt.com. We have locations in West Fairmont, East Fairmont, Buckhannon, Wheeling, Morgantown, and Whitehall, West Virginia.