Your knee has four main ligaments, one on each of the outer sides and another two inside the knee behind your knee cap. A knee reconstruction usually requires a tissue graft (usually a tendon) to help keep the knee working as a hinge joint.
How long can rehabilitation take?
Rehabilitation after knee surgery takes a full 12 months, but these months are broken up into stages of weeks. This is because it is essential that there is a graduated increase in movement (slow progression), and that this is closely monitored by your physiotherapist. This means they can constantly update/change your program depending on you, your body, your lifestyle and how well your body is healing.
What is involved in the early stages?
The first 12 weeks of rehabilitation after a knee reconstruction are crucial, and greatly impact how quickly you heal. You can expect to be given some exercises to complete 2-3 times per day, and there will be brand new (seemingly over-the-top) techniques to do everything – from getting in and out of bed, up and downstairs through to using the bathroom.
Swelling and pain will also be an important factor to consider, using rest, ice and compression to help the fluids drain away will be important. Finally, working on re-developing the muscles around the area, the quadriceps (thigh muscle) will need to work on contracting to straighten the leg. Towards the end of the first 12 weeks, most people can jog and complete some basic resistance training.
What about later down the track?
This is often the part where some people believe their physiotherapist visits are less crucial, however, they couldn’t be more wrong. The pain and swelling would’ve subsided, and usually, this means people will try to “get back on their feet” and think their rehabilitation is over.
This is often where re-injury or other injuries occur through lack of strength or over-use and over-compensation on surrounding areas. By continuing the rehabilitation practices your physiotherapist has given, you will continue to effectively strengthen the knee and its surrounding areas to prevent re-injury and any new ones arising.
Progressive Can Help
Our state-of-the-art practice in Penrith, Western Sydney has everything our clients need to make a full and fruitful recovery post knee reconstruction surgery. With our cutting-edge recovery equipment, in-house rehabilitation gym and exercise physiologist we have everything our clients need to make a full recovery and thrive post-surgery.