Is it necessary to do physiotherapy before Knee Replacement?
The knee joint is supported by a group of muscles like Quadriceps, medial and lateral hamstrings, biceps femoris, popliteus and further from the hip musculature like gluteus maximus and medius.
A thorough evaluation is done for the entire lower extremity which involves:
- Hip mobility and strength
- Knee mobility and strength
- Ankle positioning
and the necessary exercises are prescribed.
Hip, Knee and ankle range of motion and strengthening exercises are given to improve the mobility and strength. Post surgery, we notice muscle guarding (due to pain) which is one of the most important factors for muscle weakness. Electrical stimulation( Russian currents or VMS) to the quadriceps will help in maintaining the strength which will be helpful after the surgery.
The normal side is also worked on, as the patients shifts all the weight to the normal side post surgery due to pain and that can lead to more wear and tear and pain on the opposite side.
Breathing exercises are also taught to the patient to improve their lung capacity.
Post surgery the patient would be on a walker, which requires the use of upper limbs. A good strengthening program helps the patient to use the walking frame better.