Three Simple Steps to successful knee surgery
Surprising topic from me right? But if knee surgery is the best option for you there are 3 simple things that YOU can do to get a better outcome.
The 3 S’s of a “happy” knee:
- (no) Swelling
Working to achieve these before and after surgery (ahem or instead of??) will mean that you get the best results.
If your knee treatment plan doesn’t include these it’s a glorious waste of time. Whoever you’re working with.
Most of us are aware of the need for rehab after surgery. But there is increasing research to suggest that to get the best results you need to do some work before surgery too.
One of the Doctors I have worked with is Dr Donald K Shelbourne, an American surgeon who pioneered the ACL reconstructive techniques. He also developed the Accelerated ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation Protocol. Using this Protocol his patients returned to full, daily activities at 4 weeks after surgery! And back to sport at 8 weeks after surgery! In comparison normal ACL recovery talks in terms of months and return to sport is just 1 in 3 patients after 2 years!
What makes his process so different? Before surgery the 3 S’s must be met. And you work with a physio to achieve that before your surgery is booked.
If you’ve already had surgery the 3 S’s become even more important. In fact, they are the entire focus of your recovery.
And this work needs to start the 1st day after your surgery. The longer you wait the more the muscles waste and the harder it is to get right. So start your exercises straight away and do them every day.
Crutches are very important. Yes, they’re annoying and tricky to get the hang of but using them properly (and probably for longer than you think you need to!) will prevent back pain, reduce swelling and get you back sooner. But make sure you get them fitted properly and learn how to walk with them on the flat and stairs.
Ice, rest and physio are critical for bringing the swelling down.
Why is straight important?
If you aren’t straightening your leg correctly you aren’t using your foot, ankle, knee or hip correctly. You have a limp and this can cause back pain as well. If you’ve got lower back pain that isn’t responding to treatment, it might be your knee that’s causing the problem!
If you don’t get a full range of motion in the knee,
- The joint position is not correct which speeds up cartilage damage.
- The quadriceps muscles lose “control” of the knee.
- Ligaments don’t work properly
- The hamstrings are no longer stretching correctly.
- Puts incorrect pressure on your foot causing ankle, toe and plantar fascia problems.
What to do?
Get that knee straight and strong with no swelling!
There are some basic knee extension exercises here to get you started.