If so, a PhysioBoard can help you recover faster.
Almost 800,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S., making it the most common orthopedic surgery (hip replacements rank second). The good news is knee replacement surgery has a very high rate of success. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 90% of knee replacements last 10 years and 80% last 20 years. And the technologies and techniques continue to improve.
It comes as no surprise that the patients who have the best results are those who adhere to their recommended exercises, stretches and physical therapy after surgery, which improves recovery time, reduces pain, and helps to ensure long-term success.
But, how do you know if you need knee replacement surgery?
Deciding on Surgery
If you’re experiencing knee pain due to osteoarthritis, most physicians will recommend trying other treatment options before considering surgery. These may include:
Oral medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), as well as stronger prescription drugs can relieve minor to moderate pain and reduce inflammation.
Steroid injections – Corticosteroid injections, also called cortisone shots are injected into the affected joint. These injections reduce inflammation and relieve pain and can last up to several months. Sometimes an injection of hyaluronic acid, which boosts the natural joint fluid, will be recommended.
Physical therapy – Exercise strengthens the muscles that support the knee, which in turn can remove pressure from the joint and relieve pain. A physical therapist can recommend the best exercises for your specific condition. He or she may also prescribe supportive braces.
Weight loss – Every pound you gain puts an extra three pounds of pressure on your knees. This pressure can exacerbate the problem and create more wear and tear on the joint. If you do need knee replacement surgery, your chances of success are much greater if you lose extra weight.
If these treatment options are not relieving your pain, it may be time for surgery. In general, surgery is recommended if you have:
Severe knee pain that limits your everyday activities.
Moderate or severe pain while sitting or lying down, disrupting your sleep.
Long-lasting knee swelling that doesn’t get better with rest or medications.
A bowing in or out of your leg, causing an uneven gait or balance issues.
What Type of Surgery Do I Need?
The surgery, which is called arthroplasty, can be a partial knee or a total knee replacement, depending on the extent of damage. Both surgeries involve replacing some or all of the damaged joint with prosthetic materials. Types of surgery include:
Arthroscopic surgery – In this type of surgery, the surgeon inserts a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end through a small opening in your skin to view the inside of your knee. The surgeon can then remove damaged cartilage, as well as clean or flush loose bone or cartilage that may be causing pain. With this minimally invasive surgery, most people can get back to their usual activities in a few days.
Partial knee replacement – This surgery removes damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint. It’s typically done when arthritis is present in only part of the knee. The areas that are removed are replaced with an artificial implant, called a prosthetic, while the rest of your knee is preserved. This can usually be done robotically, allowing for a faster recovery and less complications. Most patients can expect to be back to their daily activities within three to six weeks.
Full knee replacement – If the damage to your joint is extensive, you may need a complete or full knee replacement. This involves removing the complete knee joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. In some cases, this surgery can be done robotically. It may take months to recover fully, but most patients find the relief they experience worth the recovery time.
The Importance of Physical Therapy
The National Association of Orthopedic Surgeons ranks physical therapy and continued exercise as the most important factors for successful recovery after partial or full knee replacements. There are many benefits to physical therapy after this surgery, including:
Faster recovery time – The recovery process begins immediately after surgery and proper movement helps the healing process by improving blood flow and increasing strength. Surgery makes the knee very weak, but with proper exercise (under supervision) the muscles that support the knee will gradually become stronger, reducing pain and getting you back to your daily activities.
Restored mobility – All surgeries result in scar tissue, which can become stiff and prohibit free movement. A proper exercise program, which includes stretching, can help you maintain and restore functional mobility and range of motion. Scar tissue can also cause discomfort due to tightness. Regular exercise and stretching can help prevent the build-up of excess scar tissue.
Better circulation – Some of the complications of knee replacement surgery are swelling and blood clots. Exercise/physical therapy improves blood circulation which reduces swelling and the likelihood of developing a blood clot.
Improved balance and a normal gait – By restoring strength and range of motion, your new knee will bear your weight properly, eliminating problems with balance, as well as an awkward gain or limp.
Although everyone’s recovery is different, most patients require physical therapy for four to eight weeks. However, it’s very important to continue to do your prescribed exercises and stretches at home!
Use PhysioBoard to Ensure a Successful Recovery
After surgery it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to get down on the floor to exercise and stretch. During physical therapy, you perform your exercises on an elevated table, but what happens when you get home? PhysioBoard is the solution!
The PhysioBoard is a lightweight, yet sturdy board that transforms your bed into an effective exercise surface. It was designed by a physical therapist to help patients continue exercising at home without getting down and up from the floor.
“The PhysioBoard was an important tool for me to use during the first few weeks recovering from knee replacement surgery, said Robert. "It allowed me to continue with at home exercises when my mobility was limited. The board is extremely light for its size and positioning on the bed was very easy. Great product!”
PhysioBoard weighs only 11 pounds, so it's easy to place on your bed and remove when you're done exercising. Unlike bulky, expensive exercise tables, PhysioBoard can be stored behind a door or in a closet, or taken with you when you travel. It's helping people recover faster and maintain long-term success.
“After my knee replacement surgery, I could not get on the floor to exercise, said Jeff. "Since the board is elevated on the bed, it was easy to use and allowed me to continue my exercises, which has improved my mobility and reduced pain. A wonderful tool!”
But you don't need surgery to benefit from PhysioBoard. Anyone who has difficulty getting down and up from the floor can use this product to safely and effectively exercise on their bed. While mattresses are too soft to provide a proper surface for exercising and stretching, PhysioBoard helps you maintain good form and makes exercising easier.
Don't let surgery or injury keep you from reaping the benefits of exercising and stretching. Simply reach for your PhysioBoard!