What Can You Expect as a Patient with Knee Surgery?

The primary goal after implanting an artificial knee joint is to regain independent mobilization. Our physiotherapists will therefore see you on the very first day after the surgery.

Patients often have a wrapped dressing around the knee joint and wound drainage on the first day , which restricts movement in the knee. Both of these are usually removed on the second day at the latest, but you can still be mobilized from the bed the day after surgery, even with lower mobility. After stimulating the circulation, the transition is made together with the therapist from lying to sitting and, if you feel well, a few steps on the walker around the room. If the attending physician has prescribed partial weight-bearing, this will, of course be explained by the therapist beforehand and practiced together with you in a standing position. The motorized splint is also applied on the first or second day, adapted to your individual mobility to support the knee joint’s mobilization.

Physiotherapeutin Exercises

Step by Step to Old Strength

Over the next two weeks, you will learn how to get out of bed on your own with your operated knee and how to use forearm crutches properly. Besides, you will be given a targeted strengthening program that is adapted to the particular surgery. For knee patients, the focus is particularly on active knee flexion and extension and stabilization of the thigh and standing up. Climbing stairs is also trained in due time (usually in the course of the second week during the stay). Especially in the case of knee joints, passive mobility is also important, which is why the motor splint is used regularly and increased in accordance with the patient.

Due to frequent swelling after surgeries on the extremities, manual lymphatic drainage is started from the second or third day on the ward. It continues regularly until the patient is discharged. This helps the leg draining the lymphatic fluid and also reduces possible bruises more quickly.

Independent Mobility at Hospital Discharge

The goal by the time you are discharged from the hospital is to achieve independent mobility on crutches (or even a walker, depending on how mobile you were before) and mobility of 90° flexion in the knee joint, and the ability to climb stairs. After your hospital stay, you will usually go to follow-up rehabilitation, where further training will prepare you for everyday life at home.

After your stay at the rehabilitation facility, it is recommended that you continue physical therapy in a practice to improve any remaining muscle or movement deficits further. It may also be advisable to have rehabilitation sports or water gymnastics prescribed.

Have It Easier After Surgery

To make it easier for you in the hospital after surgery, there are ways to prepare yourself accordingly in advance. If the doctor recommends a surgical intervention with knee joint replacement due to severe discomfort and arthritis at the joint, the surgical intervention usually never takes place immediately but after a few weeks. You can use these weeks to train the muscles beforehand.

The attending physician can issue a prescription for physiotherapy, which you can obtain from a local physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will show you specific strengthening exercises that build up the muscles so that you can get back on your feet better after surgery. Initial instruction for using crutches can also be given and you will have the opportunity to clarify any questions that may have arisen in advance.

Physiotherapy for the Knee at a Glance

The therapy of knee patients who have undergone surgery is carried out according to a set standard but without losing sight of the patient’s individuality.

From preventive to rehabilitative care – we offer our knee patients a comprehensive range of physiotherapy services:

  • Knee prostheses surgeries
  • Knee prostheses exchanges
  • Arthroscopies
  • Replacement of the anterior cruciate ligament
  • Aligments
  • Physiotherapy – individually adjusted to the particular clinical picture
  • PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)
  • Therapy, according to Brügger, manual therapy, according to Cyriax and Maitland
  • Training therapy
  • Apparative techniques (e.g., knee motion splint after knee surgery)
  • Massage (Marnitz therapy, reflexology, acupressure, etc.)
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Thermal therapy, cryotherapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Elastik therapeutic tape