How to restore knee function after endoprosthesis?

There is no doubt that the insertion of a knee replacement is linked to the need for rehabilitation. Surgery alone is not enough to talk about recovery. Rather, it’s only the first step to getting it back. In order not to squander the opportunity provided by the implantation of an endoprosthesis, it is essential to ensure proper management after knee surgery. It is the key to getting rid of pain and stiffness in the knee. What does the treatment look like in practice?

What is a knee endoprosthesis?

A knee endoprosthesis is an artificial knee joint that is implanted in a patient to replace a degraded or damaged joint. It is the last line of treatment for people who have not been helped by drug treatment and rehabilitation. Knee surgery is performed when pain is severe and degeneration prevents normal function. The surgery alone will not restore mobility. Rehabilitation with well-chosen intensity and type of exercises is necessary. You need to trust professionals when it comes to choosing methods and length of treatment.

Management after endoprosthesis

It might seem that a patient requires peace and rest after surgery. This is not entirely true in this case. Rehabilitation after knee replacement should begin as soon as possible. After the procedure, the knee is swollen and painful. The right exercises can help get rid of both of these problems. The simplest and at the same time most effective solution at this stage is a rehabilitation splint for the knee joint. It can be used for just a few hours after the procedure. Continuous passive motion (CPM) rails use the idea of continuous passive motion. It allows to minimize the amount of blood inside the joint and reduce its swelling. It also prevents joint stiffness and can be used in the first few weeks after surgery to rebuild muscle strength and restore full range of motion. Exercises after knee surgery must not be too intense. Immediately after the procedure, the aim is to increase the patient’s comfort and speed up the joint’s recovery, rather than forcible exertion.

Upright standing is possible as early as the next day after the procedure. The patient should walk with the support of elbow crutches for a minimum of four weeks. They will allow you to relieve pressure on the operated joint and transfer your body weight to the healthy leg. Sometimes this period needs to be extended. Most often, this situation occurs when rehabilitation with CPM was started too late.

Rehabilitation after knee endoprosthesis – passive exercises

Healing after knee surgery can take up to several months. Much depends on how serious the procedure was and how motivated the patient himself is. If he is willing to cooperate with the rehabilitator and exercise regularly, he has a chance to return to good form faster. Rehabilitation after knee surgery begins with passive exercises. Most often, they take place using the CPM rail. These devices allow you to adjust the speed of movement, the angle of flexion, straightening and the interval time between movements. They are a very good complement to the work of the rehabilitator. Passive exercises take up even the first few weeks after surgery. For this reason, it is worth taking an interest in how much a rehabilitation splint or its rental costs. It will certainly be very useful during these crucial weeks for knee fitness.

Knee rehabilitation – activity

Exercises with an endoprosthesis should be well thought out. It starts with passive exercises, but over time the rehabilitator will recommend activity. To begin with, one exercises in positions that relieve pressure on the operated joint, i.e. lying down or sitting. It then moves on to walk training on a straight surface and on stairs. At this stage, a leg stabilizer may be useful after surgery to help relieve pressure on the joint. The next step is to introduce more complex exercises and sensorimotor exercises to restore deep sensation. Finally, the patient is ready to exercise on the stationary bike. Rehabilitation with an endoprosthesis should proceed at a pace tailored to the needs of the individual patient. This can restore normal neuromuscular function and achieve the best health results. Such treatment after an endoprosthesis can take up to six months. The sooner rehabilitation begins, the greater the chance of a shorter recovery.

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