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Physical Therapy After Knee Surgery

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, and connects the femur and tibia with ligaments. The ligaments stabilize the knee and control the motion of the joint itself. The meniscus is the cartilage that lies between the bones. All of these parts need to work properly for the knee to function with total mobility.

Just about everyone knows someone who has had a knee injury. In fact, knee injury is the most common injury in all age groups. The knee is susceptible to damage during athletic, work and everyday activities. Knee injuries are treated with physical therapy and surgery, combined with postoperative physical therapy. Knee surgery is a low risk, highly successful surgery that is usually performed on an outpatient basis.


After any surgery, the patient experiences pain and swelling, that leads to decreased use of the affected area. It is for this reason, that immediately following surgery, patients begin a recovery program with a physical therapist. At first, the therapy is designed to reduce stiffness and increase strength. These exercises are non-weight bearing so that they allow the knee to heal. Over time, the exercises become more intense and challenging.


It is important that the patient complete the full therapy, as prescribed by their doctor. While the patient may feel better, it is important that the therapist be given the opportunity to work all the muscle groups that provide support to the knee.

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