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How Long is Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement?

Also referred to as arthroplasty, knee replacement entails a procedure meant to replace parts of an injured or worn out knee. Since it is quite an involving procedure, proper care after it should be taken to help your body get back to normal operation. Part of this aftercare is physical therapy, which is usually done to restore normal body movement, make muscles stronger, and boost overall functionality. One question you may have regarding this is the amount of time you will need to attend the program for until full recovery. This article aims to answer this concern.

How Long Does It Take?

The amount of time that you will need to attend the sessions for depends on a couple of factors. However, you can expect your schedule to range anywhere between three and six weeks. Despite this, more time may still be required especially if the initial time did not give the desired results. It is also good to remember that recuperation is an ongoing process and your physio may recommend that you do home exercises to help speed things up.

Getting physical therapy after knee replacement is important

If you are worried about getting back to your daily tasks, then it good to note that individuals are able to get back to work within six to eight weeks and to do activities such as driving in about three weeks.

Factors That Affect How Long It Takes

As previously mentioned, the amount of time you will need to visit a therapist will rely on several factors. This part of the article looks at exactly that.


Age plays a significant role in deciding the number of visits you will require. This is because older patients tend to require more time. The reasoning behind this is that seniors have less muscle strength and resilience. Due to this, a slower rehab process is needed to help ensure optimal results.

Overall Health

Another factor that has to be taken into consideration is the overall health and wellbeing of the person in question. Individuals with underlying conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular challenges will tend to require more time because these issues will impede their rehabilitation. Diseases usually affect other things like endurance, which is quite useful in the process. Due to this, it will definitely take you a lot more time to start seeing positive results.

Extent of Damage

Although the goal is to replace injured areas, the extent of damage that you are dealing with will play a major role during therapy. Individuals with more extensive issues involving more cartilage loss and joint deterioration will take more time compared to those with less such problems.

The Different PT Stages

Once the surgery is complete, you will start on a rehab process. This part of the article explains several phases that you will go through before you are fully recovered.

Step 1: 1-3 Days

The first step begins immediately. In some cases, it could even start on the same day. The therapist will come, check your knee, and then work with you on different activities and workouts that you will be doing on your own.

Step 2: 2-4 Weeks

Once you go home, you will then commence on the range of motion movements that you had been briefed about in the first step. These exercises mostly entail strengthening workouts for surrounding muscles like the quads. Your professional may check on you a couple of times to ensure you are progressing as desired.

Step 3: Up to 4 Months

This is the most important step because it puts on you on the path of full recovery. You will be required to be an outpatient and visit your physiotherapist for your sessions as agreed. They can also come to your home if you cannot make it to their facility. Exercises conducted during this phase are meant to help make your muscles stronger and improve flexibility and mobility.

Surgery is the main business when it comes to knee replacement. However, it should not end there. Attention and focus should immediately shift to physical therapy, which plays a crucial role in recuperation. An understandable concern that you may have is the amount of time PT will take, as you may want to get back to your normal daily routine as soon as possible. This article has provided you with this information by showing the different phases expected while explaining several factors that will affect recuperation. You are therefore now well equipped with the right knowledge to embark on this journey.