Preparing for and Recovering from Total Joint Replacement of the Hip or Knee

Numerous studies are emerging surrounding the benefits of rehabilitation before and after a total joint replacement of the hip or knee. If you are anticipating a future knee or hip joint replacement surgery, prehab, a physical therapy program leading up to surgery, may help you recover quicker post surgery. Research has shown a slightly better postoperative outcome for those that participate in some form of rehabilitation before surgery compared to those who do not. 

Studies have shown improvements in patients:

  • Early post operative pain levels

  • Ability to climb stairs

  • Toileting

  • Self-reported overall function

Goals for Pre-operative rehabilitation include:

  • Maximize strength and flexibility

  • Improve joint mobility

  • Improve movement patterns (i.e think learning to walk without a limp)

  • Reduce joint strain

  • Help identify home modifications that are easy to make before surgery

Physical therapy is necessary for a return to function after surgery and often starts within 24 hours of the completion of surgery.  Once you leave the hospital, you will transition to outpatient P.T. (some may have an in-house rehab stay or home PT first).  During this phase of your rehabilitation, you will work on many of the same goals listed above: regaining strength, joint mobility and most importantly - function (gait training, stair training, sit to stand etc...).  It can be slow going at first but each week that passes will get a bit easier.  Outpatient rehab often lasts a few months and will include a home exercise program as well.

At Jade we offer pre and post-operative rehabilitation services including:

  • Out Patient Physical Therapy Services: During your pre and post-operative rehabilitation at Jade, you will experience 1 on 1 time with a physical therapist for evaluation and individualized treatment. We do not use aides or assistants, you will be with your physical therapist the entire session. Also, as a part of Jade's integrative approach, your physical therapy treatment plan may include aquatic physical therapy, acupuncture/dry needling by a licensed massage therapist, massage and/or yoga (all covered by your insurance!).

  • Aquatic Physical Therapy: Pool therapy with a physical therapist is a comfortable way to move a painful, weak, stiff joint before and after surgery.

  • Acupuncture Services: Acupuncture can help reduce pain and reliance on medication throughout your recovery.

  • Yoga Therapy: We offer 1 on 1 yoga therapy sessions with certified yoga teachers that work in conjunction with our physical therapists for your rehabilitation. Your physical therapist will tell you when yoga is appropriate. Yoga practice can provide benefits of strength, flexibility and body awareness as well as a means of ongoing, low impact exercise. Yoga can also be a great tool for helping release the stress and emotional transition from injury recovery through meditation and breath work. Jade also offers public classes that you can join when you're given the OK to practice in a class from your physical therapist.

If you're wondering if Jade would be the right place for your rehab, please give us a call at (207) 773-5778.  We do offer free 30 minute consultations where you can meet with a physical therapist or acupuncturist to answer some of your questions!