Joint Replacement Surgery, also known as Replacement arthroplasty, requires an orthopedic surgery for treating arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface by replacing it with an orthopedic prosthesis. When a surgeon prescribes and schedules such Joint Replacement Surgery, physiotherapy and some exercises are usually prescribed as pre and post-surgery routine.
Why exercise after joint replacement surgery?
Until you understand the necessity and significance of the role exercises play in the recovery and success of the undergone arthroplasty, it is quite difficult to keep yourself pushing to do the exercises. Usually patients are made to walk from day one, initially very short distances, then performing light activities, and later walking outdoors and even climbing stairs. The increase in movement has to be gradual so as to make the new prosthesis get adjusted in the body.
Exercises play a significant role in strengthening the muscles and improving knee movement. When you feel uncomfortable while doing the exercise, don’t worry since there is some amount of discomfort when you start with it. However, on the other hand, these exercises are a definite help in speeding up the recovery and quickly diminish the postoperative pain.
Common Exercises recommended after Joint Replacement Surgery
It is quite probable for a patient to understand what exercises should be done at this stage. Below are some of the exercises which a patient can practice after undergoing a joint replacement surgery.
- Ankle Pumps and Circles: Bend your ankles up, stretching your toes inwards (towards you) and then bend both ankles down pointing your toes outwards. For circles, rotate each foot clockwise and anticlockwise while keeping them facing the ceiling.
- Thigh Squeezes: Also known as Quadriceps sets, you start with tightening the muscles on the front of your thigh while pushing the back side of your knee into the bed (surface). Hold for a while and relax.
- Buttock Squeezes or Gluteal Sets: Simply, tighten the muscles of your buttocks by squeezing the muscles together. Hold for a while and relax.
- Heel Slides: Slowly bend your hip and knee by sliding your heel upwards towards your buttocks. Keep the heel surfaced on the bed while moving it. Now, slide your heel back down to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. If you feel the friction in sliding the heel, you could place a plastic bag under your heel to make it slide easily.
- Lying and Sitting Kicks: These kicks are also helpful in recovery and relief from pain.
In addition to exercising, walking is equally important in building your strength and endurance. You should know clearly about how much you should walk and how the amount of walk and exercise needs to be gradually increased so that you don’t overdo it. At any point, advice of orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist is highly recommended since they know the details of the surgery and patients’ case history.