Physical Therapy After TKR Surgery: What to Expect and Why it’s Important

TKR surgery

A total knee replacement procedure aims to lessen discomfort and increase flexibility to permit an improved standard of living. Many patients believe that after a successful surgery, their problem will be resolved. However, a successful operation is only part of the recovery process. 

The patient has a significant role in recovering from surgery. Completing physical therapy as instructed by the physiotherapists for the period prescribed is essential for recovery.

Following TKR surgery, physiotherapy assists you in regaining endurance, mobility, and overall wellness. What to anticipate from your physical therapy sessions and why it is so important will be covered in this blog. 

Uncovering The Benefits of Physical Therapy After TKR Surgery

After TKR surgery, rehabilitation is necessary to stop the growth of scar tissue. It aids in rehabilitation and reinforces the muscles around the operated joint. The following are some of the advantages of physical therapy:

  • Pain reduction
  • Expands the range of motion by encouraging flexibility
  • Reduces swelling
  • Helps the blood to flow
  • It increases stability and aids in preventing falls.
  • Strengthens the muscles surrounding the joint.
  • Decreases the requirement for pain medication,
  • Assists in returning to a regular, self-sufficient existence.

A total knee replacement or TK surgery is a good treatment choice if you are suffering from acute or chronic osteoarthritis of joints. It is a crucial surgical procedure that has helped many people realize its significance.  

Why Should One Not Skip Physical Therapy After a TKR Surgery?

The following could happen if the physical rehabilitation regimen is not followed:

Delayed Recovery

Physiotherapy stimulates and promotes blood flow to your muscles, tendons, and joints. Steady and smooth blood flow is key in speeding up the recovery process.

Encountering a Knee Joint Injury  

An undesired knee injury results from improper movements. You will be instructed on how to maneuver your new joint to avoid injury. Those who suffer from persistent knee discomfort benefit most from movement therapy.

Damage to the Auxiliary Muscles 

The muscles around the surgically repaired knee attempt to absorb the force that was previously applied to the knee joint. The discrepancy that results from this can be avoided with physical treatment.

High Likelihood of Revision Surgery

The necessity for revision surgery could result from any secondary knee injuries brought on by inappropriate movement. Physiotherapy helps by preventing revision surgery through muscle & joint strengthening. 

Must Read – Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

What To Expect From Physical Therapy After TKR Surgery

Following a total knee replacement or TKR surgery, you can anticipate the following three things from your physiotherapy sessions: Targeted workouts, education, and modality.

Targeted Exercises
  • Exercises, as directed, are essential for enhancing knee mobility and bolstering the muscles surrounding your knee. 
  • You can anticipate less challenging workouts in the initial few sessions, with the complexity of the workouts progressively increasing over the following weeks.

You can expect to receive further instruction during your rehabilitation appointments after your total knee replacement. 

      Most likely, you’ll learn about the following:

  • The recovery time for knee replacement.
  • What activities are permissible, and which should be avoided?

     Modalities are instruments utilized by physical therapy professionals to assist you in maximizing your healing process.

  Several examples are: 

  • Cryotherapy: To help you control your pain, cryotherapy uses frigid temperatures such as ice packs or other even colder alternatives.
  • NMES: NMES stands for neuromuscular electrical stimulation.

Total Knee Replacement Timeline:

Timeline Treatment 
First Day Your medical team will assist you in standing and moving once you’re ready. You’ll gain knowledge of navigating stairs and using assistive devices.
First Week Do your exercises every day as directed by your physical therapist. Consult your medical team if you experience persistent pain or swelling.
Third Week Keep exercising to increase your degree of motion and agility.
4-6 Week Your PT could recommend longer walks. To increase your mobility and range of motion, keep performing your workouts.
7-11 Week Continue your rehabilitation by training for strength, flexibility, and endurance. During this time, many individuals experience significant improvements.
12+ Week Your physical therapist and surgeon should be consulted regarding any further treatments.


Most patients can live pain-free for 6 to 12 months after their knee replacement surgery with appropriate rehabilitation. 

During this time, patients can experience the improved mobility that the new knee provides, making their hard work over the preceding few months worthwhile. To ensure that any developing issues are identified, it is crucial to have regular checkups with a physician.

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