Aquatic Therapy After Knee Replacement

Jul 21, 2012 Full story: Advance

Though not all are the result of knee osteoarthritis, enough are precipitated by this medical condition to warrant a serious look at how best to rehabilitate patients following total-knee arthroplasty.

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Mare

Buffalo Grove, IL

#1 Jul 21, 2012
I completed hip replacement and therapy to get some pain relief from the knee replacement last year. First month after hip replacement, pain was still there. Dr. Recommended MRI of my back. In the meantime with extensive therapy for hip, the pain went away in the knee. Hip is good, but knee is not. Numbness still exists and knee doesn't handle much walking. Feels like there is a rubber band in it. Looks like I will just have to live with it.
JAWS

Erie, PA

#2 Jul 22, 2012
I heartily endorse water exercise both before and after knee surgery. You get much greater range of motion than on dry land because of natural bouyancy. As you progress, just moving faster provides more resistance. Also orthostatic pressure from the water reduces swelling or at least minimizes it. A class designed for arthritis generally is a good fit for strengtheniong and rehabbing a knee.
Note: When I first went back in the pool after TKR, I did feel a bit unstable, especially when we were to walk backwards. I found that holding lightly to one of the flotation devices that has a round float on both ends of a platic tube (looks like an enorumous Q-tip) really helped with both balance and confidence.
Just be SURE that your incision is completely closed and that any other cuts or abrasions are covered by waterproof bandages. Speaking as someone who has had to have revision surgery and long-term antibiotics for a staph infection, just be careful. BTW, I did NOT get the infection from the pool, but ANY infection can travel to the knee hardware.
In case nobody mentioned it, many doctors recommend preventative antoibiotics before dental cleaning or dental work.Here's an artiicle about this:
http://orthopedics.about.com/od/hipkneereplac...
In my "never-very-humble opinion", "TKR is a wonderful alternative to continued joint pain and deterioration. Even with this set-back, I am glad I did it.

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