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Specialists in the Field of Knee Rehabilitation
Information About the Field of Knee Rehabilitation
What kind of knee surgeries should be followed by knee rehabilitation?
An optimized post-operative management in terms of a targeted rehabilitation is required for many major surgeries of the knee joint to allow for the best possible return to everyday life as well as to physical performance. In particular, this includes knee joint prostheses, cruciate ligament and meniscus surgeries , as well as osteotomies .
When should knee rehabilitation be initiated?
Right on the first day after the operation, patients begin with acute mobilization exercises. In an ideal scenario, rehabilitation seamlessly follows the postoperative hospital stay. Unfortunately, rehabilitation places are often not available right away, which means the time between the knee surgery and the start of rehabilitation has to be properly bridged. Especially physiotherapy and other early rehabilitation activities, for example underwater gymnastics, should be performed during such a waiting period.
What is the duration of rehabilitation after knee surgery?
Rehabilitation has to be started at the latest two weeks after knee surgery and generally continues for about 21 days, however, for certain patients it can be extended to four weeks or even more.
What does rehabilitation of the knee involve?
The aim of rehabilitation is to provide a lasting relief of postoperative pain and to restore the knee joint's mobility and function. In this way, patients are able to return to their daily lives, jobs or sports activities sooner. Psychological care throughout the rehabilitation process is another important aspect of the treatment spectrum.
During an initial patient interview to assess the state of health, doctor and patient agree on the treatment goals and discuss the measures required to achieve them. As a central component of rehabilitation, exercise therapy can be very diverse and rich in variety. Naturally, exercise therapy includes physiotherapy as well as muscular exercises to help stabilize the knee joint, both with equipment as well as the patient's own body weight. Also physical therapy is utilized, for example lymphatic drainage, shock wave therapy or cold therapy. Especially in the beginning, it is important that patients learn how to walk safely with crutches. Specialists support patients not only during walking with crutches, they also coach them to walk and run in order to optimize the gait pattern. Massages or ergotherapy are further treatment options.
Many rehabilitation centers emphasize a holistic treatment approach. In other words, patients receive care from different specialists with diverse areas of expertise throughout their rehabilitation. Besides various medical doctors, this also includes certified nursing staff and consultants specializing in social, psychological or nutritional matters. Patients have access to group seminars or individual talks, during which they learn about healthier lifestyles, for example.
Outpatient versus inpatient knee rehabilitation
Patients not only have a say in the choice of their rehabilitation facility, but also whether to stay at the center as an inpatient or travel to and from their therapy on an outpatient basis. It is up to patients to select the right option for themselves, based on where they live and their individual living situation, as well as other factors.
Where to go for rehabilitation following knee surgery?
Like mentioned previously, patients are always entitled to express their preferences when it comes to the location of the facility, which means that such a decision will not be made without them. Nevertheless, some restrictions do apply, firstly because it is not always possible to find an open rehabilitation spot everywhere and right away but secondly due to legal reasons, patients may not push the rehabilitation back indefinitely. Frequently, general practitioners or specialized clinics cooperate with rehabilitation centers in the first place and therefore facilitate a transition to follow-up care for their patients, which is why it makes sense to talk about this with your physician. For those patients who prefer completing their rehabilitation on an outpatient-basis, it is recommended to choose a nearby facility.
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