Physical Therapy After Knee Surgery in Visalia & Hanford

Committing to physical therapy after knee surgery will boost your outcomes

The knees are built for durability, but they also take on a fairly constant array of strain throughout the course of a normal day. When structures within the knee joint are pushed past their limits, they can become damaged through various injuries. And due to the frequency that the knees are used, knee pain of any type ranks as the second most common disorder affecting the body’s movement, behind only back pain.

The Knee Sometimes Requires Surgery and Physical Therapy Afterward

The knee is a hinge joint that’s responsible for bearing weight and allowing the leg to extend and bend back and forth with minimal side-to-side motion. It primarily joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia), but also includes the kneecap (patella) and other lower leg bone (fibula). Other important structures of the knee joint include the meniscus, which acts as a cushion and shock absorber, a thin layer of protective articular cartilage that helps bones to move smoothly, plus several muscles, tendons, and ligaments—including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)—which connect bones and stabilize them by preventing too much motion in any direction.

Any of these structures can become damaged, either through a traumatic incident, due to sustained wear and tear over time, or from a combination of both factors. Knee osteoarthritis—in which articular cartilage gradually wears away and leaves bones more vulnerable—is by far the most prevalent knee condition, particularly later in life.

Common Knee Injuries that Respond to Physical Therapy

Strains, sprains, and tears of knee ligaments and the meniscus are particularly common in athletes and active individuals, as are runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, and iliotibial band syndrome.

If you happen to experience a knee injury of any sort, it’s important to understand that you have options. Many knee-related conditions can be managed effectively with (conservative) non-surgical interventions like physical therapy, and this approach is generally recommended for most patients.

However, if conservative treatments don’t lead to notable improvements or in the event more serious injuries like a severe ACL tear or advanced knee osteoarthritis, surgery may be needed. ACL tears are typically treated with a surgical procedure called ACL reconstruction, while advanced knee osteoarthritis is most often managed with a total knee replacement.

Reap all the benefits of surgery through personalized physical therapy after knee surgery in Visalia

While surgery can lead to significant improvements, the buck does not end there. In order to experience the best possible outcome, you will also need to complete a course of physical therapy after surgery. Your physical therapy program will be personalized based on your needs and abilities, will help you work towards your goals, whether that’s getting back on the playing field or being able to play with your grandkids again. Knee surgery rehabilitation programs will vary depending on the surgery performed, but several components are likely to be involved:

  • Strengthening exercises to build back up the weakened muscles of the leg
  • Stretching and range of motion exercises to increase flexibility and regain normal mobility that may have been lost
  • Plyometrics, or jump training, for patients recovering from ACL tears
  • Recommendations on how to modify your activities in order to minimize the risk for future injuries
  • Exercises to improve body awareness, balance and neuromuscular control, which is the body’s ability to stay strong and stable during all movements
  • Activity-specific training for athletes and active individuals

Be sure to consider all treatment options available and evaluate the risks and benefits of each before determining if surgery is right for you. And remember that if you opt for surgery, adhering to your physical therapy plan afterwards can significantly increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about how we manage patients recovering from knee surgery or to schedule an appointment today.

Call Us in Visalia at (559) 733-2478 or Hanford at (559) 582-1027 for More Information

 

Physical Therapy to Treat Knee Osteoarthritis

Study shows that physical therapy produces
greater improvements than injections for knee arthritis

In our last blog, we discussed the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis and examined the role of imaging tests in the diagnosis and follow up of patients with this condition. We also explored why seeing physical therapist for knee pain first is always a smart choice because it will get you started on a movement-based program to regain your abilities from the start.

Should You Consider Steroid Injections?

But physical therapy is just one of many treatments available for knee osteoarthritis. Another popular option is the use of steroids that are injected into the affected knee to alleviate symptoms. Steroid injections are frequently used for patients with knee osteoarthritis, but there is conflicting evidence regarding their effectiveness and how long these benefits last. The guidelines regarding these injections also vary, and although rare, they have been associated with complications like infection and accelerated loss of articular cartilage.

Physical therapy has been recommended by some guidelines and was traditionally utilized frequently to treat knee osteoarthritis, but its use has been declining in recent years. According to one large study, four times as many patients with knee osteoarthritis received a steroid injection as physical therapy before undergoing knee surgery. It’s also been found that steroid injections don’t lead to any additional benefits to physical therapy for these patients.

For these reasons, a recent study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of steroid injections to physical therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Researchers randomly assigned 156 participants with knee osteoarthritis to receive either ≤3 steroid injections over one year or ≤8 treatment sessions with a physical therapist over 4–6 weeks. In each session, the therapist would perform a series of hands-on, manual techniques to the knee and surrounding area that were intended to make it easier for the patient to perform various exercises and knee movements.

All patients were assessed before treatment began and then again one year later with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) Index, which scores patients from 0 to 240, with higher scores indicating worse pain, function, and stiffness. Another outcome measure called the Global Rating of Change Scale was also used to assess patients’ symptoms, with higher values indicating greater improvements.

After one year, patients who received steroid injections reported WOMAC scores of 55.8, while those who received physical therapy reported scores of 37.0. In addition, scores on the Global Rating of Change scale were +4 (“moderately better”) in the steroid injection group and +5 (“quite a bit better”) in the physical therapy group.

Physical Therapy for Knee Arthritis is the Clear First Choice…But Some Still Need Surgery

Together, these findings show that physical therapy was more effective than steroid injections for patients with knee osteoarthritis, as they experienced greater improvements in pain, physical function, and stiffness one year after undergoing the intervention. Other studies have also identified a similar trend, with both injections and physical therapy producing similar outcome, but the benefits of therapy lasting for at least one year. Therefore, physical therapy appears to be the better option of the two since it outperformed steroid injections in the long term.

With this in mind, if your knee is bothering you and osteoarthritis may be responsible, we strongly recommend seeing a physical therapist first before considering other injections and other possible treatments.

Knee Arthritis Treatment in Hanford

For knee arthritis treatment in Hanford, we suggest you skip the imaging test and start physical therapy right away instead

If you are searching for options for knee arthritis treatment in Hanford, read on.  I’d like to share with you why our type of treatment is what you should try first.

Knee pain can be seriously detrimental to the flow of your life. Regardless of your activity level, you need your knees to function well in order to get around, and anything that gets in the way can slow you down and throw your days out of whack.

Such is the case with knee osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common causes of knee pain. Osteoarthritis describes several disorders in a joint that lead to inflammation-related symptoms due to the loss of cartilage and other changes to the structures within it. Any joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis, but it occurs most frequently in the knees, with knee osteoarthritis accounting for more than 80% of all cases.

Patients who develop knee osteoarthritis typically experience pain that gets worse with physical activity, swelling around the knee, a feeling of warmth in the joint, stiffness (especially in the morning or after sitting for a while), and sometimes a creaking sound that’s heard when the knee moves. These symptoms in turn lead to less mobility of the knee, which make it more difficult to walk and perform basic movements like getting in and out of a car and climbing stairs.

The Pictures Rarely Tell It All When It Comes to Knee Arthritis

Knee osteoarthritis is often diagnosed with a clinical evaluation—which includes a patient interview and thorough physical examination—and imaging tests like an X-ray and MRI. Many doctors use imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, but the value of these tests and whether or not they are always needed has been called into question.

For example, one study investigated the connection between the loss of cartilage and pain in the knees of 600 patients with knee osteoarthritis. The reason is that when knee osteoarthritis is discussed, there is often an emphasis on depleted cartilage being the primary driver of pain, which leads some patients to request an MRI or focus too heavily on its findings. Results of this study showed that while there was some relationship between cartilage loss and knee pain, it was “modest at best.” A loss of 0.1 mm of cartilage over 24 months was only associated with <1 point of worsening on a pain scale from 0–20.

These findings suggest that imaging tests like MRIs and evaluating the thickness of cartilage may not always be necessary for patients with knee osteoarthritis. This holds true for the diagnosis, which can be reached many patients with a clinical evaluation alone—especially those who are aged ≥50 years—and as patients continue to be examined in the long term. Imaging tests are also expensive and frequently lead to unnecessary or invasive procedures to treat abnormal findings that may be unrelated to pain.

Physical therapy is a smart alternative

An alternative approach is to see a physical therapist before any other medical professional if you’re experiencing knee pain. Physical therapists perform a detailed clinical evaluation during the first visit and generally aim to avoid imaging tests unless they are completely necessary. Another advantage of physical therapy is that it begins right away during this first visit, with less of an emphasis on the diagnosis itself and more on addressing your limitations and impairments with a movement-based strategy. This allows you to work through your problems with guided assistance while developing activity-related habits that will translate into long-term improvements and avoidance of pain in the future.

In our next blog, we’ll look at why physical therapy is a better option that steroid injections for knee osteoarthritis.

Patellar Tendinitis Treatment in Visalia

This post is for those that are looking for patellar tendinitis treatment in Visalia or Hanford.

Patellar tendinitis, which is often referred to as jumper’s knee, is a type of painful overuse injury to the tendon that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia).

As the name implies, athletes in any sports that involve a significant amount of jumping—like basketball, volleyball, high jump, and soccer—are at an increased risk for developing jumper’s knee. All the jumping, landing, and changing direction that are part of these sports can strain or damage the patellar tendon, which is problematic.

Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendinitis) Comes from Excessive Stress

Too much stress on this tendon can create small tears, and over time, these tears can add up and eventually lead to symptoms. The most common symptoms of jumper’s knee are pain just below the kneecap, stiffness in the knee (especially while jumping, kneeling, or climbing stairs), pain in the thigh muscles (quadriceps) or weakness in the legs or calves. When this pain progresses, it will usually interfere with one’s ability to participate in sports or perform normal daily activities.

While some athletes might shrug off jumper’s knee and continue participating in sports, this strategy can be dangerous. Jumper’s knee is a serious injury, and pushing through the pain will only lead to larger tears and more pain, making the injury even more difficult to treat. Instead, one of the best choices you can make is to address your condition right away with a course of physical therapy. Physical therapists provide movement-based strategies that will alleviate your symptoms and improve your functional abilities. A typical treatment program for jumper’s knee will consist of the following:

  • Manual (hands-on) therapy techniques
  • Stretching exercises to reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility
  • Strengthening exercises for your quadriceps and calves, which will build leg strength and help prevent further injury
  • Taping techniques to realign the patella
  • Education on how to best return to sports in a gradual and safe manner

The Benefits of Seeing a Physical Therapist that’s an Expert in Patellar Tendinitis Treatment

The benefits of physical therapy for jumper’s knee are frequently supported by medical literature. In one study published in 2016, which was the first of its kind, 29 jumping athletes with knee pain underwent two types of exercises (isotonic and isometric) that are often used in physical therapy. The conclusion states:

This is the first study to show a decrease in patellar tendon pain without a modification of training and competition load and the first study to investigate isometric exercises in a clinical setting.

Most patients who actively rehabilitate from jumper’s knee will eventually be able to return to their sport symptom-free, but the first step is seeking out help.  So, if you’re involved in a jumping sport or are experiencing any pain in your knees, we can get you started.

Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment

Click here for the contact information from our two clinics.

 

Knee Arthritis Treatment in Visalia

Research suggests that hands-on techniques may be best.  So, if you are in need of knee arthritis treatment in Visalia, this post may help.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is by far the most common. Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that most frequently occurs in people who are older than 50, but it can be seen in younger people as well. In a normal joint, articular cartilage serves as a natural cushion between bones that absorbs shock and prevents the bones from rubbing against one another. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage gradually diminishes, which creates an environment where bones have less protection and can eventually come in contact in severe cases.

Any joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis, but it’s especially common in the knees. Patients who develop knee osteoarthritis typically experience pain that gets worse with physical activity, swelling around the knee, a feeling of warmth in the joint, stiffness (especially in the morning or after sitting for a while), and sometimes a creaking sound that’s heard when the knee moves. These symptoms in turn lead to less mobility of the knee, which make it more difficult to walk and perform basic movements like getting in and out of a car and climbing stairs.

Age is the most common cause of knee osteoarthritis, since the ability of cartilage to heal decreases as a person gets older. There are a number of other factors that may increase the chances of developing knee osteoarthritis, but being overweight is another major one. The knees absorb a great deal of impact when standing, and being overweight or obese will place even more pressure on the knees, which stresses the tendons and other structures of the joint. This can accelerate the process of cartilage thinning away, which will increase the chances of getting knee osteoarthritis or make pain worse for those who already have it.

This is why it’s strongly advised to lose weight if you have knee osteoarthritis or are at risk for getting it, as losing just one pound can reduce the amount of pressure on the knees.

If weight loss isn’t appealing and you are looking for natural knee arthritis treatment in Visalia, there are other options.

One effective way to address symptoms is by becoming more active and performing exercises that improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles surrounding the knees. Doing this not only relieves the pressure on the knees, but also increases fitness levels, which can allow you become more active and improve your quality of life.

A physical therapist can help in all of these areas, but they can also perform manual therapy, in which they use only their hands to move, massage, and manipulate the knee joint in various ways to further reduce pain and other symptoms. The effectiveness of manual therapy for knee osteoarthritis has been pointed out in a number of studies, including one published in 2018 that concluded with the following statement:

This review indicated orthopedic manual therapy compared with exercise therapy alone provides short-term benefits in reducing pain, improving function, and physical performance in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Physical therapists are movement experts that work with patients on a one-on-one basis to determine which treatments will be most beneficial for their condition. So if you’re experiencing any knee-related issues that may be knee osteoarthritis or want to reduce your risk for the condition, we strongly recommend that you take action by getting in touch with one of our physical therapist today.

For more on knee arthritis treatment in Visalia, you can contact us at (559) 733-2478

Treatment for Runner’s Knee

Treatment for Runner’s Knee in Visalia & Hanford – If runner’s knee is holding you back, physical therapy can put you back on track

Whether you’re entering the final stages of a long-term training program for an upcoming marathon or you’re a casual runner that logs a few miles every week, you’ve probably dealt with an injury of some sort in the past.

Runners can be affected by a wide array of potential injuries, but some consider patellofemoral pain syndrome—or runner’s knee—to be the most common. Accounting for about 20% of all running injuries, runner’s knee can actually result from any activity that requires repeated knee bending—such as walking, biking, or jumping—but as you might expect, it’s more prevalent in runners than any other population.

Runner’s knee is not a specific condition itself, but a loose term used to describe several similar disorders with different causes, and for this reason, it’s not always easy to peg down the exact reason why it develops. Misalignment of the kneecap (patella), weak thigh muscles, overuse, flat or over-arched feet, and direct trauma to the knee are all factors that can contribute, and if any one or a combination of these factors is strong enough, the result can be runner’s knee.

Stress from running causes irritation where the patella rests on the thighbone, and symptoms of runner’s knee include tenderness behind or around the patella, pain—especially when walking downhill—swelling and a popping or grinding sensation in the knee. For runners of any level, these symptoms can really interfere with training and prevent you from keeping up with your running schedule. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid runner’s knee by making these basic changes to your running routine:

  • Run on softer surfaces, keep your mileage increase to less than 10% per week and gradually increase your hill workout without overdoing it
  • Go to a specialty shoe store and have a gait analysis to ensure you’re using proper shoes for your foot type and gait
  • Be sure you’re using proper running form; click here for more information
  • If you do experience any pain, cut back your mileage significantly and avoid knee-bending activities and downward slopes until it subsides

If pain continues even if you’re following these tips and after cutting down your mileage, it’s best to see a physical therapist for further guidance. A physical therapist will help to identify any issues that may be causing your pain and provide you with an exercise program that focuses on improving the strength and flexibility of your thigh muscles. The program may also include manual therapy, in which the therapist carefully and systematically moves your joints and muscles to alleviate pain and improve your function. The benefits of this type of approach to runner’s knee are highlighted in a study published last year, which concludes with the following statement:

The data from this review cautiously suggest that manual therapy may be helpful in the short term for decreasing pain in patients with patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee). Several studies integrated manual therapy into a comprehensive treatment program.

So if you’re concerned with your risk for runner’s knee or are looking for treatment for runner’s knee in Visalia or Hanford, we strongly recommend seeing one of physical therapist as soon as you can to figure out what’s causing your pain and how to properly address it.

Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis

Physical therapist-guided exercises are best for patients with knee arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition in which cartilage—the natural cushioning between joints—gradually wears away. Over time, this causes the bones of these joints to rub more closely against one another and leads to symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling, and a decreased ability to move the joint normally.

OA is the most common form of arthritis, and although it can occur in any joint in the body, it’s seen most often in the knees. Knee OA can also occur at any age, but the risk for developing it increases with older age because the body gradually loses its ability to heal the damaged cartilage. This is why about 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60 have knee OA. Being obese or overweight also increases the chances of developing knee OA, since the additional weight puts added pressure on the knees and accelerates the damage to cartilage.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for knee OA, but treatments like physical therapy are strongly recommended to reduce patients’ symptoms and help them function better in their everyday lives as a result. Physical therapy treatment programs typically consist of a number of components, such as education, manual (hands-on) therapy, and pain-relieving interventions like heat/ice and ultrasound, but the most important part of treatment is structured exercises.

Since the muscles of the leg affected by knee OA tend to become weaker and less flexible due to symptoms, a specific set of exercises are needed to target these areas. In particular, stretching and strengthening exercises should be performed for muscles of the calves, hips, and those in the front of the thigh (quadriceps) and the back of the thigh (hamstrings). Completing these exercises will help to better support and stabilize the knee, reduce stiffness, and increase fitness levels, which will allow patients to do more and improve their quality of life in the process.

For these reasons, doctors like general practitioners should be referring patients with knee OA to physical therapy for an appropriate treatment program, which research has shown to be a beneficial approach. But according to a recent study, this is not always the case. The study examined the attitudes and beliefs of 5,000 general practitioners regarding the use of exercise for knee OA patients, and it concluded with the following:

While general practitioners’ attitudes and beliefs regarding exercise for knee OA were generally positive, initiation of exercise was often poorly aligned with current recommendations, and barriers and uncertainties were reported.

These results suggest that although most doctors regard exercise and physical therapy in a positive light, many of them are not referring patients to receive these treatments. The reasons for this are not clear but may be related opioids and other treatments being prescribed, which can actually serve as a barrier to knee OA patients’ road to recovery. This is why individuals who are currently dealing with knee OA should see a physical therapist first, as doing so will lead to a faster start to treatments that are intended to help them improve, without delays or obstacles to their care.

Meniscus Tear Treatment in Visalia

If you recently suffered a meniscus tear, and are looking for knee treatment in Visalia, recent research shows we can help.

If you have a meniscus tear and have been told that surgery is the only answer, that’s not accurate.  Surgery is not always necessary after a meniscus tear.  In fact, specific types of tears, called non-obstructive tears, often don’t need any surgery at all.

Background Information About the Knee Menisci

The meniscus is a tough, rubbery, C-shaped piece of cartilage that rests between your shinbone (tibia) and thigh bone (femur) in the knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus), with one on the inner and the other on the outer side of the knee. These menisci both serve the same purpose: to absorb shock and stabilize the knee.

Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries in sports. Athletes, especially those that play contact sports like football and soccer, have a higher risk of sustaining a tear to the meniscus, but the injury can occur in anyone at any age. In most cases, the meniscus tears as the result of twisting or turning quickly on a bent knee, often when the foot is planted on the ground. Older adults, on the other hand, are more likely to have degenerative meniscus tears after the cartilage weakens and wears thin over time.

Whatever the cause, the symptoms of a meniscus tear are usually quite similar. Some patients experience a “pop” or tearing sensation immediately after the tear, and there will usually be some sharp, intense pain either right away or soon after. This is typically accompanied by stiffness and swelling, an inability to move the knee normally and difficulty walking.

The Knife Is Not The Only Option

If a meniscus tear occurs, many people assume that surgery will be needed to repair it. Although this may be accurate for certain tears and for certain patients, it is not always the case. Treatment for these injuries depends on the size, type and severity of the tear, and in many cases, a patient can recover with conservative (non-surgical) treatment. A major component of conservative treatment for meniscus tears is physical therapy, which usually consists of the following:

  • Ice and compression to control pain and swelling
  • Laser therapy in increase blood flow and to facilitate healing
  • Exercises to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf and hip muscles, such as quad sets, heel raises, hamstring curls, knee bends and straight leg raises
  • A home-exercise program consisting of a variety exercises and educational advice to avoid aggravating your knee
  • An optional treatment called neuromuscular electrical stimulation, which applies an electrical stimulus to improve muscle strength of the quadriceps
  • Instructions on how to maintain your fitness and activity levels, and guidance on when you can return to full activity

A recently published study shows how physical therapy compares to surgery and why it should be regarded as a strong alternative option when patients are making treatment decisions. The clinical scientists concluded in their research publication:

Among patients with nonobstructive meniscal tears, physical therapy was not inferior to surgery for improving patient-reported knee function over a 24-month follow-up period. Based on these results, physical therapy may be considered an alternative to surgery for patients with nonobstructive meniscal tears.

Meniscus tears are serious injuries, but as you can see, they do not always require surgery. If you have a meniscus tear and would like to know more about your treatment options, contact us here at Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy and schedule an appointment.  We are the conservative choice for meniscus tear treatment in Visalia.

Looking for a Knee Pain Specialist in Hanford

If you’re currently dealing with knee pain, you may find yourself in a difficult predicament. Sometimes you need some guidance from a knee pain specialist in Hanford.  If so, this article and a visit with one of our physical therapists can help.

The best—and worst—types of physical activity for your knee pain

You probably want to continue doing the things you love, but when you do, your pain holds you back, and you might be concerned that you’re damaging it even more when you exercise. This situation is common, but as physical therapists, we can assure you that staying active is still very possible and strongly encouraged.

Knee pain is actually the second most common musculoskeletal condition in the general population behind back pain, and its prevalence is increasing as a result of the obesity epidemic and our aging population. Some cases of knee pain develop over time and are classified as overuse injuries, such as runner’s knee and iliotibial band syndrome. In others, though, knee pain results from traumatic injuries sustained in sports, usually as the result of a sudden change in direction or quick weight shift. This can lead to a tear of the meniscus, ACL or some other soft tissue within the knee.

But whatever the cause of the knee pain, it doesn’t have to put an end to your participation in physical activity. All it means is you’ll need to switch to exercises that have less of an impact on your knees while still working out the rest of your body. In turn, strengthening the muscles around the knee joints will protect you from injury by decreasing the stress and protecting them from normal wear and tear.

So if you’re trying to stay active while rehabilitating your painful knee, this list should serve as a great starting point for you:

  • Swimming: any type of water activity, including swimming, is ideal for the knees since it’s low impact; however, the butterfly stroke should be avoided
  • Brisk walking/biking/elliptical machine: the elliptical is a great alternative to jogging, while brisk walking and biking are always smart low-impact option
  • Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi: if you’re able to get a personal class, tell your instructor about your knee pain, and they’ll be able to personalize your program for you
  • Stretching: the hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch and iliotibial band stretch all target muscles in your thigh that help stabilize the knees
  • Wear a brace: you should also consider wearing a quality knee brace while performing these activities, which is designed to protect an injured knee and ensure the knee moves in a controlled manner without being constricted; consult with a doctor or physical therapist for help picking out a brace
  • Use insoles: cushioned insoles are also helpful in shoes to reduce stress on knees
  • Avoid: any high-impact exercise or any physical activity that involves sudden stops, starts, pivots or jumps and landings, including jogging, basketball, tennis, soccer, football and racquetball; these activities can make knee pain worse

Physical activity is just one part of the equation, and a comprehensive physical therapy program is also needed to properly rehabilitate most knee conditions. This is why we strongly recommend giving us a call to set up a consultation that will determine the best path forward for you based on your situation and personal goals.

For More Information You can Contact Our Hanford Office at (559) 582-1027

If the the Visalia Office is More Convenient, You can Call Us at (559) 733-2478

Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement in Visalia

Physical therapists play a vital role throughout both before and after knee replacement

Are you looking for physical therapy after knee replacement in Visalia?  If so, this information below might help.  We summarize why seeing a physical therapist pre and post knee replacement is a good idea.

Your knees take on a great deal of impact, especially if you’re actively involved in sports that consist of lots of running, jumping and/or cutting. As a result, the knee is one of the most commonly injured regions of the body, and the most commonly replaced joint. If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, it’s important to realize that physical therapy is a crucial part of the entire process.

Knee replacement surgery—or total knee arthroplasty—is a very popular procedure, but deciding to have it performed should only come after all other options have been unsuccessful. Almost all sources of knee pain should be treated conservatively (non-surgically) first with physical therapy and certain lifestyle modifications. If knee pain continues to be bothersome after attempting various types of conservative treatment, patients should evaluate the option of surgery with their physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon.

If you’re found to be a good candidate for knee replacement surgery, your surgeon will explain the procedure itself, as well as the preparation and recovery process that will come with it. Physical therapy is integral at all stages, and your physical therapist can help ensure that the surgery is successful by providing evaluation and treatment before and after the procedure.

Before Surgery

  • Your physical therapist will teach you a number of exercises and show you how to walk with an assistive device (e.g. cane or crutches) after the procedure
  • They will also discuss important precautions and adaptations to make at home

Immediately After Surgery

  • Most patients will stay in the hospital for 2-3 days following surgery, and rehab typically begins almost immediately after waking up: your physical therapist will attempt to have you standing up and walking around within 24 hours
  • Your physical therapist will help you with the process of walking with an assistive device again and begin some range of motion exercises

After Being Discharged From Hospital

  • This is when the bulk of your rehabilitation will begin with a program that includes range of motion and strengthening exercises, and body awareness and balance training
  • As you gradually regain your physical capacity and motion, you will start an active recovery process that includes exercises that help will help improve activities of daily living

The benefits of physical therapy after total knee replacement surgery are frequently identified in related research, and in one recent study, it was found to reduce the amount of time patients spent in the hospital after their procedure. The conclusion states:

After total knee replacement, there is low-level evidence that accelerated physical therapy regimens can reduce acute hospital length of stay.

Making the decision to have surgery for your knee pain is a difficult one, and with it, you’ll probably want to do everything you can to ensure a positive outcome and quick return to the things you love. Physical therapy before and after this procedure is one of the best ways to increase the chances of a successful recovery, and this is why we strongly encourage you to contact us for a consultation if you’re considering knee replacement surgery.

If you have any questions about physical therapy after knee replacement in Visalia or Hanford, we can help.

Click here for the phone and address information for each of our clinics.

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