Prehabilitation Increases the Success of Knee Replacement Surgery

The success of surgery, let alone the knee joint, depends on a number of variables. One of the variables would be the patient themselves. If you planning to get surgery on your knee, then you may end up going through several weeks or months to prehabilitation. Prehabilitation can be simplified as the therapy and set of exercises that you may undergo prior to your surgery. This helps increase the success of the surgery. The time of the post-surgery recovery will be shortened. In short, it would save the amount of time it would take to recover from the surgery. There are several medical and scientific sources that promote prehabilitation prior to knee surgery.

Lower Extremity Review (LEW) posted an article by John Kenny, CO, and Robert Hamblen, MD, called “OA bracing may bolster prehabilitation protocols.” The article explains that it is highly recommended, according to the American College of Rheumatology, that using a combination of exercises and physical therapy would improve the outcome of arthroplasty which is a form of orthopedic surgery for the knee. However, there are limitations to this practice. If the patient is experiencing severe pain, then prehabilitation might not be a feasible option. For all other cases, then prehabilitation is supported.

The article explains that “prehabilitation” can be an umbrella term for the following: bracing, various methods of offloading, aerobics, range-of-motion exercises, muscle-strengthening exercises, physical therapy, and so forth. This is because all these methods share the same primary function: to ensure that the knee remains strong before surgery. In short, it improves the knee before surgery. A person’s knee strength is increased and the pain is reduced. Currently, prehabilitation prior to orthopedic surgery let alone arthroplasty is still in its juvenile stages. After the surgery, the recovery time is shortened.

An article on Science Daily cites information from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The idea of prehabilitation prior to arthroplasty originated from the University of Louisville. This is originally geared to help patients that are suffering with severe knee arthritis. Prehabilitation was created as a means to be used at a home environment. Instead of undergoing prehabilitation at the hospital, one could do it at ones home by getting up from a chair or climbing stairs. It somewhat parallels a similar concept used in this Korean drama series called Dr. Champ.

However, it does not really improve walking speed or how one can walk downstairs. According to the study, one group of patients preparing for knee surgery would undergo the concept of prehabilitation. The selected patients would exercise three times per week for four to eight weeks before their scheduled surgeries were to take place.

Those patients had less pain when performing the standard tests. Plus, the knee strength improved. However, this is still in the juvenile development stages.

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research at Lippincott, Williams, and Watkins, osteoarthritis is considered the most common for of arthritis. At least twenty-one million Americans, who are at least forty-five, suffer from this condition. It points out how the knee plays the instrumental part in strength, flexibility, and so forth. That is understandable as your leg bones and muscles take the most abuse. Even when standing, your leg muscles and bones are doing all the work. Your knee joints and ankle joints are doing the work supporting the rest of the body.

While this method can increase the success of knee replacement surgery, the concept of prehabilitation is still experimental.

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OA bracing may bolster prehabilitation protocols