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Q: What should I expect pre and post total knee replacement?

Posted January 23, 2013 in Altoona, Advice Column

A: If you are considering having a total knee replacement or already have a surgery scheduled, you may want to consider doing some exercises to increase strength and range of motion in your knee. Research has shown that pre-operative strengthening improves post-operative outcomes and function. If you have questions on what you need to be doing prior to surgery your local physical therapist would be a good person to ask.

For several weeks after the procedure, you may need the assistance of crutches or a walker. Make advance arrangements for transportation home from the hospital and help with everyday tasks such as cooking, bathing and doing laundry. If you live alone, your surgeon’s staff can suggest a temporary caretaker. To make your home safer and easier to navigate during recovery, consider making a total living space on the main floor since climbing stairs can be difficult for a few weeks following surgery. The healing phase will last approximately three months. During this time the mobility of the knee increases, the discomfort lessens, and ultimately the knee becomes pain free. Physical therapy will help keep you on the right track during the healing process. While at physical therapy you will work on getting your strength and range of motion back, with any pain and swelling you might be having, help with the transition from the walker to walking unassisted, stairs, and returning you to your normal life. If you have any questions regarding knee replacements, please feel free to call any of our 12 Accelerated Physical Therapy clinics or visit us on the web at

Information provided by Amy Jensen, DPT, Accelerated Rehab, 3160 Eighth St. S.W., Suite 1, Altoona, 515-967-4580.

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