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Knee and Hip Replacements - Exercises After Surgery

  • Published: 2009-04-04 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-12) : Author: Richard A Haynes
  • Synopsis: knee and hip exercises should take into consideration the date of surgery your overall medical condition and age.

Quote: "Exercise frequency and duration is a key component that needs to be discussed with each patient not only before but after surgery."

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During your rehabilitation process from either a hip or knee replacement, you will have been presented with a host of exercises to complete to assure your success.

The exercises should be presented in an orderly fashion taking into consideration the date of surgery, your overall medical condition and age.

In the hospital immediately after surgery, most of the exercises you will have been given will be what is known as isometric in nature. The frequency and duration that you will be advised to complete these type of exercises will depend on either your surgeons protocol or, the acting physical therapist assigned to you.

After leaving the hospital, you will then be assigned to either a skilled nursing facility or out patient clinic or,receive home health to continue your physical rehabilitation. It is generally within one of these three settings that your exercise program will intensify and the ease in which exercise can be carried to far is at its most prevalent.

Exercise frequency and duration is a key component that needs to be discussed with each patient not only before but after surgery. There is so much information out today on how and when to exercise along with the amount that it leaves most people confused. Along with that most information is conflicting. There is also the old school thinking of " no pain no gain" which from my previous writings I have mentioned that it is not necessarily the case and progress can be made without excessive pain. In fact, it has been determined in most patients that by promoting excessive pain after surgery actually will slow down the healing process and also promotes noncompliance with the exercise protocol.

When recovering from your replacement surgery the ideal exercise frequency that I find with my patients is twice a day. Once in the morning another exercise session in the afternoon. The timing of these two sessions can be critical as well. Proper spacing of the sessions needs to be taken into account to avoid excessive fatigue and pain. Anything more then three exercise sessions a day is counter productive and will only break the body down physically.

Its is recommended that the exercise sessions be spaced approximately 4-6 hours apart. If the exercise session was intense enough this time frame will allow your body to recover and be refreshed for the next session.

By properly spacing out the exercise frequency along with the duration or time spent exercising you will have much better control over your levels of pain along with edema in the affected limb.

There are many components involved in having a successful hip or knee replacement. One of the major issues though you will want to understand will be your exercise frequency and duration. If you can master that and listen to what your body is telling you will have a successful outcome.

Remember no more then three sessions a day but preferably two. Total exercise time during your sessions should be no more then 20-30 minutes, with no more then 5-8 exercises total each session.

Reference: Richard Haynes PTA/CPT, Punta Gorda, Florida -


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