After joint replacement surgery, there’s only one way to fully recover and regain optimal joint function, and that’s with physical therapy. Roy Rivera Jr., PT, PhD, DPT, MCHES, Jordan Boyd, PT, DPT, CSCS, and the team at Crom Rehabilitation are experts in getting you through post-op recovery and beyond, providing the physical therapy you need to restore joint mobility and enjoy life without pain. If you have a joint replacement in your future, call the office in Houston or Pearland, Texas, or book an appointment online to learn more about physical therapy following a joint replacement.
You may end up needing a joint replacement when a health condition or injury causes joint damage. For example, a traumatic injury may crush the joint, leaving no option other than getting a new joint.
However, arthritis is by far the top reason people get joint replacement surgery. Arthritis progressively damages the cartilage that covers bones, and eventually even erodes the bone beneath the cartilage.
As inflammation develops, other soft tissues in the joint also suffer damage. Ultimately, the damage becomes so extensive that a joint replacement is the best (and only) treatment.
With today’s advanced technology, surgeons can replace nearly any joint in your body. The most common joints needing a replacement include your knee, hip, and shoulder.
No matter which joint is damaged, the basic replacement procedure is the same. Your surgeon removes all of the damaged bone and cartilage. Then they restructure the bones to fit the prosthetic pieces.
Joint components consist of metal, ceramics, plastics, or a combination of materials. For example, the pieces that replace the ends of the bones are usually made of metal or ceramics. Plastic components go between the new joint pieces to replace cartilage.
Physical therapy begins a day or two after your surgery. At this stage, your therapist helps you walk with supportive devices and puts you through gentle range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.
In addition to strengthening the muscles that support the joint, these early exercises keep your blood moving, which supports healing and prevents blood clots.
Physical therapy helps you get used to the feel of the joint and regain your balance and body mechanics. As you have less pain and can move more, your physical therapy ramps up to include more intensive range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.
Your therapist also adds weight-bearing exercises and activity-specific rehabilitation. And they incorporate exercises that boost the skills you need to return to work or sports.
By the time your physical therapy ends in about 12 weeks, you should be ready to get back to your life with few limitations on activities.
If you need supportive physical therapy to recover from a joint replacement, call Crom Rehabilitation or book an appointment online today.