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TOTAL KNEE REHABILITATION IN UTAH

The knee is the most commonly replaced joint in the body. The decision to have knee replacement surgery is one that you should make in consultation with your orthopedic surgeon and your physical therapist. Usually, total knee replacement surgery is performed when people have:

  • Knee joint damage due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, other bone diseases, or fracture that has not responded to more conservative treatment options
  • Knee pain or alignment problems in the leg that cause difficulty with walking or performing daily activities, which have not responded to more conservative treatment options

Physical Therapy for Total Knee Replacements


What is a Total Knee Replacement (TKA)?

A total knee replacement (TKR), also known as total knee arthroplasty, involves removing the arthritic parts of the bones at the knee joint (the tibia, sometimes called the shin bone; the femur, or thigh bone; and the patella, or kneecap) and replacing them with artificial parts. These parts consist of a metal cap at the end of the femur and a cemented piece of metal in the tibia with a plastic cap on it to allow the surfaces to move smoothly. When appropriate, the back part of the kneecap also may be replaced with a smooth plastic surface.

How Can The Therapists at Rock Run Physical Therapy Help?

Your physical therapist is an integral part of the team of health care professionals who help people receiving a total knee replacement regain movement and function, and return to daily activities. Your physical therapist can help you prepare for and recover from surgery, and develop an individualized treatment program to get you moving again in the fastest, safest and most effective way possible.

Before Surgery

The better physical shape you are in before TKA surgery, the better your results will be (especially in the short term). A recent study has shown that even 1 visit with a physical therapist prior to surgery can help reduce the need for short-term care after surgery, such as a short stay at a skilled nursing facility, or a home health physical therapy program.

Before surgery, your physical therapist at Rock Run Physical Therapy will:

  • Teach you exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the knee joint and surrounding muscles.
  • Demonstrate how you will walk with assistance after your operation, and prepare you for the use of an assistive device, such as a walker.
  • Discuss precautions and home adaptations with you, such as removing loose accent rugs that could cause you to “catch” your leg on them when maneuvering with an assistive device, or strategically placing a chair so that you can sit instead of squatting to get something out of a low cabinet. It is always easier to make these modifications before you have TKR surgery.

As You Begin to Recover

The initial goals of recovery are to manage pain, decrease swelling, heal the incision, restore normal walking, and initiate exercise. Usually our patients at Rock Run Physical Therapy accomplish this in the first 2 weeks if we see them immediately after discharge from the hospital.  We then slowly ramp up your range-of-motion exercises, progressive muscle-strengthening exercises, body awareness and balance training, functional training, and activity-specific training to address your specific goals and get you back to the activities you love!

Range-of-motion exercises. Swelling and pain can make you move your knee less. At Rock Run Physical Therapy we will teach you safe and effective exercises to restore movement (range of motion) to your knee, so that you can perform your daily activities.

Strengthening exercises. Weakness of the muscles of the thigh and lower leg could make you need to still use a cane when walking, even after you no longer need a walker or crutches. At Rock Run Physical Therapy we will help determine which strengthening exercises are right for you.  In addition, we may use Blood Flow Restriction Therapy to accelerate healing using the non-invasive power of Growth Hormones.

Body awareness and balance training. Specialized training exercises help your muscles “learn” to respond to changes in your world, such as uneven sidewalks or rocky ground. When you are able to put your full weight on your knee without pain, your physical therapist may add agility exercises (such as turning and changing direction when walking, or making quick stops and starts) and activities using a balance board that challenge your balance and knee control. Your program will be based on the physical therapist’s examination of your knee, on your goals, and on your activity level and general health.

Functional training. When you can walk freely without pain, your physical therapist may begin to add activities that you were doing before your knee pain started to limit you. These might include community-based actions, such as bowling or golfing. Your program will be based on the physical therapist’s examination of your knee, on your goals, and on your activity level and general health.

The timeline for returning to leisure or sports activities varies from person-to-person;  At Rock Run Physical Therapy we will be able to estimate your unique timeline based on your specific condition.

Activity-specific training. Depending on the requirements of your job or the type of sports you play, you might need additional rehabilitation that is tailored to your job activities (such as climbing a ladder) or sport activities (such as swinging a golf club) and the demands that they place on your knee. Your physical therapist at Rock Run Physical Therapy can develop an individualized rehabilitation program for you that takes all of these demands into account.

Further Reading

At Rock Run Physical Therapy we believe that you should have access to information that could help you make health care decisions and also prepare you for your visit with your surgeon.

The following articles provide some of the best scientific evidence about physical therapist treatment of TKR. The articles report recent research and give an overview of the standards of practice for treatment both in the United States and internationally. The article titles are linked either to a PubMed abstract (summary) of the article or to free access of the entire article, so that you can read it or print out a copy to bring with you when you see your health care provider.

Patients with TKA Who Receive Outpatient Physical Therapy Soon After Surgery Recover More Quickly Than Patients Who Receive Home Physical Therapy First

Bade MJ, Kohrt WM, Stevens-Lapsley JE. Outcomes before and after total knee arthroplasty compared to healthy adults. J Ortho Sports Phys Ther. 2010;40:559–567. Free Article.

Topp R, Swank AM, Quesada PM, et al. The effect of prehabilitation exercise on strength and functioning after total knee arthroplasty. PM R. 2009;1:729–735. Article Summary on PubMed.

Kirkley A, Birmingham TB, Litchfield RB, et al. A randomized trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee [published correction appears in: N Engl J Med. 2009;361:2004]. N Engl J Med. 2008;359:1097–1107. Free Article.

Moffet H, Collet JP, Shapiro SH, et al. Effectiveness of intensive rehabilitation on functional ability and quality of life after first total knee arthroplasty: a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:546–556. Free Article.

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    Immediately Following Surgery



    The goal of the first 2 weeks of recovery is to manage pain, decrease swelling, heal the incision, restore normal walking, and initiate exercise. Following those 2 weeks, your physical therapist will tailor your range-of-motion exercises, progressive muscle-strengthening exercises, body awareness and balance training, functional training, and activity-specific training to address your specific goals and get you back to the activities you love!

    Range-of-motion exercises. Swelling and pain can make you move your knee less. Your physical therapist can teach you safe and effective exercises to restore movement (range of motion) to your knee, so that you can perform your daily activities.

    Strengthening exercises. Weakness of the muscles of the thigh and lower leg could make you need to still use a cane when walking, even after you no longer need a walker or crutches. Your physical therapist can determine which strengthening exercises are right for you.

    Body awareness and balance training. Specialized training exercises help your muscles “learn” to respond to changes in your world, such as uneven sidewalks or rocky ground. When you are able to put your full weight on your knee without pain, your physical therapist may add agility exercises (such as turning and changing direction when walking, or making quick stops and starts) and activities using a balance board that challenge your balance and knee control. Your program will be based on the physical therapist’s examination of your knee, on your goals, and on your activity level and general health.

    Functional training. When you can walk freely without pain, your physical therapist may begin to add activities that you were doing before your knee pain started to limit you. These might include community-based actions, such as crossing a busy street or getting on and off an escalator. Your program will be based on the physical therapist’s examination of your knee, on your goals, and on your activity level and general health.

    Activity-specific training. Depending on the requirements of your job or the type of sports you play, you might need additional physical rehabilitation in Utah that is tailored to your job activities (such as climbing a ladder) or sport activities (such as swinging a golf club) and the demands that they place on your knee. Your physical therapist can develop an individualized rehabilitation program for you that takes all of these demands into account.

    Rehabilitation Programs Experiencing Pain?

    Patient Testimonials

    We are committed to providing the best physical therapy experience with the highest quality of care for optimal results. See what real patients have to say about us!

    I have been coming to Rock Run for six years now but last year I had reverse shoulder replacement in February and a knee replacement in July. I have been coming to therapy since March of this year. Josh has been my main therapist but all of them have worked with me. I’m very pleased with their treatments and helping me. I not only feel they are the best but have become very good friends with them all. They are kind, considerate and professional. Actually, I will miss them.

    5 Stars

    Dorothy N. 2020

    — Dorothy N., Posted January 6, 2021

    Thank you so much! It was so painful to do most any movement especially after surgery. Now I’m walking, bending over and on my way to doing most whatever I want. I’m looking forward to many fun pain free activities. You’re all awesome, friendly and kind. I’ve really enjoyed my visits here.

    Thanks for a Covid FREE environment!!

    5 Stars

    Mary S. 2020

    — Mary S., Posted January 6, 2021

    I was so worried about physical therapy after my shoulder surgery. I had heard stories and thought I would be in constant pain. I’m so glad I was wrong! Brenda and Bailee were amazing and I was never uncomfortable or in pain. Not to mention they are awesome ladies. Everyone at Rock Run took great care of me. I am so glad I came here!

    5 Stars

    Donna B. 2020

    — Donna B., Posted December 30, 2020

    Rock Run is a great place to get PT. the people are very friendly. They get you to your goals by using the best exercises for you. It’s fun coming to PT! They treat you like family and tell you great stories. Highly recommended!

    5 Stars

    Kathy T. 2020

    — Kathy T., Posted December 20, 2020

    My experience at Rock Run has been amazing. I couldn’t have expected anything more out of physical therapy. Jerrin and Brittnee helped me gain my confidence back, and have helped me back to a level of activity I had been missing for over a year. Some days seemed like torture, which I’m sure they enjoyed, but it was absolutely worth it in the end.

    5 Stars

    -Terrance W.

    — Terrance W., Posted December 11, 2020

    I can’t stress enough how great everyone at Rock Run Physical Therapy has been. When I came to see them this time around, I was in so much pain, every step was excruciating and I couldn’t stand for more than 15 minutes at a time, and I was icing my foot for hours a day. Now I can stand and walk around for hours at a time with virtually no pain. I am able to play with my granddaughter and chase her around the house. I love Rock Run Physical Therapy this is the only place I will come to for physical therapy.

    5 Stars

    Monica B. 2020

    — Monica B., Posted December 10, 2020

    I really enjoyed therapy. I was excited to come. They were good to work with me and around my schedule when I had to reschedule. They were patient and encouraging and knew my limitations.

    5 Stars

    Alma H. 2020

    — Alma H., Posted December 7, 2020

    How can I express my satisfaction, 10/10, 5 stars. By far the best physical therapy clinic ever! The staff is friendly and professional and always helpful. I will always come back if needed, loyal client for life.

    5 Stars

    -Karena S.

    — Karena S., Posted December 7, 2020

    One day I awoke in the morning and found I could not walk upright, but pain in the lower back and joints felt debilitating. All day I worked to loosen up and straighten up but could not. So, I called Rock Run PT where I have found help for injuries and recovering from past surgery on my rotator cuff, and knee. Once again, the people at Rock Run were very kind and professional in assessing my needs and beginning a PT program that has reversed my bent over body to being fully functional again. Thankful for Josh, Don, Amanda, Brandon, the receptionists – all wonderful people who make Rock Run a positive experience for those who need it!

    5 Stars

    Darrel T. 2020

    — Darrel T., Posted November 30, 2020

    I had a lot of back pain when I first came in. I feel so much better now. I can climb stairs without pain and walk a good distance. That was my goal – to become a walker again! Thank you all so much.

    5 Stars

    Mary M. 2020

    — Mary M., Posted November 25, 2020

    First off, you guys are awesome! I hurt my knee August 13th, not sure what I did. I rested it for about 5 days, it was so swollen and painful. It did ease a little over time. I saw your ad on Facebook and decided I’d had enough pain. I really didn’t think it would feel this good again. I teach dance and tumbling, up and down a lot. It was hard not to be able to do my regular routine, it hurt to walk, to bend my knee, to go up and down stairs. It was hard to sleep. But now, amazing! Thank you so much for finding what worked. Ive always been grateful our bodies can heal if given a chance. I would recommend and encourage everyone I know to come here. Thank you Brenda, Bailee and JT.

    5 Stars

    Nicole C. 2020

    — Nicole C., Posted November 23, 2020

    A+ experience! Excellent communication, transparent plans for improvement and a great environment! I’ve gained more mobility, lessened pain, and am excited to keep my progress!

     

    5 Stars

    -Cliff C.

     

    — Cliff C., Posted November 23, 2020

    When I first came to Rock Run Physical Therapy, I was in a lot of pain with my shoulder. I would avoid using it as much as possible. Now, at the end of my sessions, I am experiencing very little pain. Everyone at Rock Run has been very friendly and professional. They listen to my issues with my shoulder and try different techniques and methods to alleviate the pain. I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to live a pain-free life!

    -Lara B.

    5 Stars

    — Lara B., Posted November 19, 2020

    I have enjoyed my stay here. I wish all my friends could have this experience. I feel sooo much better because of my time here!! Everyone is so thoughtful and caring! I will miss all of you!!

    5 Stars

    Stella S. 2020

    — Stella S., Posted November 17, 2020

    “Well first and foremost, I want to thank Brenda and Bailee, and the whole staff at Rock Run Syracuse, for the hospitality and their service they’ve provided. It’s truly a pleasure to meet people like that. Before I got to rock Run, I wasn’t prepared for it, but during and after the time there I felt good.”

    5 Stars                                   Tofili E. 2020

    — Tofili E., Posted November 16, 2020

    I came to Rock Run after having shoulder replacement surgery. The staff immediately made me feel comfortable and confident I would have a well-functioning shoulder joint. Just a few months later and I do. Loved the warm, friendly and professional staff. Jerrin, Brittnee and Sara are all the best! Their knowledge and techniques are right on the mark and definitely just what I needed. Thanks to all at Rock Run.

    -Barbara L.

    5 Stars

    — Barbara L., Posted November 7, 2020

    From my first phone call to setting up and scheduling appointments, for the prehab work, to the actual physical therapy experience, Rock Run is an exemplary team of great professionals. Josh and staff, you’re the BEST and I really appreciate all of the help you gave me on my pre and post knee replacement journey. I am feeling stronger every day! Thank you all so much!!!

    5 Stars

    Jill R. 2020

    — Jill R., Posted November 6, 2020

    Rock Run, and specifically Jerrin and Brittnee saved me. Before therapy I was limping and in pain! I worked with Rock Run for pre-op therapy to prepare for a total knee replacement, and then after the surgery for recovery. I believe the physical therapy I received through Rock Run accelerated my recovery and after 6 weeks post-op, my surgeon said I had met the 3-month goals! Thanks Rock Run, Jerrin, Brittnee and all!

    -Lynette G.

    5 Stars

    — Lynette G., Posted November 6, 2020

    Had a lot of tension in neck. Had hard time moving it from side to side. Started therapy with bands, heat, and stretches. After 2 weeks twice a week I could feel a difference. Less neck pain and able to move neck a lot better. Also started the dry needling and I loved that so after 6 weeks twice a week I have very little to no neck pain or headaches (didn’t mention that above – neck pain caused headaches). I would recommend Rock Run to anyone who needs therapy. The whole staff is so nice and always so friendly. Thanks Rock Run for all your help. Now I can do my exercises at home to keep up my health (no more neck or headache pain).

    5 Stars

    Amanda H. 2020

    — Amanda H., Posted November 2, 2020

    I was having pain and tingling/numbness in my left arm. I had a lot of discomfort, which intensified with my sleep. After working with Josh for about six weeks, the pain is gone, tingling is minimal, my neck is more flexible, and I’m feeling great! My sleep is undisturbed. Thanks Rock Run for making this a safe place where I can come to get the help I needed. And Josh – you’re the best!

    5 Stars

    Ruth C. 2020

    — Ruth C., Posted November 1, 2020

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