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If you are a senior who requires a knee replacement, then you may need to go to an orthopedic rehab facility for a period of time. And, you will likely need to start working with the rehab professionals immediately after your surgery. There are a few things you can expect on day one or two post-op. Keep reading to learn a little bit about what you may experience.
Patients used to remain in bed for some time immediately after orthopedic operations. This allowed the individual to heal for a few days to a week and it also helped them to recover from some of the surgical pain. However, individuals started developing blood clots and prolonged immobility issues due to the reduced movement. So, you will now be expected to move the same day or the day after you go through surgery.
Since your new knee can be injured, both physical therapy and rehab professionals will work with you to teach you how to move safely. Specifically, you should not bend your knee backward to more than 30 degrees at first. This means learning how to sit up and get up from bed without bending your knee significantly and walking with a walker without placing pressure on the surgical knee.
In addition to walking, you will learn some new exercises to keep your feet and toes moving. So, expect to learn about ankle and toe movements and how often to perform them.
Each day after surgery you will need to bend your knee a little bit more until you reach full range of movement. You will add about five degrees of bend each day and a special machine will help with the movements. The machine is called a continuous passive movement (CPM) machine and it is programmed and utilized by your rehab professionals.
The CPM Machine is strapped to your knee as well as your upper and lower leg. As you sit or lie in bed, the machine moves slowly to bend your knee to the desired position. It then straightens your leg. The movements occur for several hours throughout the day and will continue for the first week post-op.
During CPM use, your rehab professional will assess you for fluid movements as well as any signs of discomfort. If pain is severe, the angle of the movement may be adjusted. And, once your knee bend angle reaches close to the 45 to 90 degree mark, you will begin working on knee strengthening exercises.
If you want to know more about orthopedic rehab and the types of things you can expect after a knee replacement, speak with a professional.