St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO

Call Axes to resume the things you love in a safe and effective manner after your TKR surgery.

Total Knee Replacement Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO. Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery can be a great help to residents of St. Louis, MO experiencing severe knee arthritis. By replacing worn-down or damaged tissue with an artificial joint, TKR offers a chance to get back to the lifestyle they enjoy. However, the surgery itself is only part of the journey towards full recovery and improved quality of life. The role of physical therapy in the post-op recovery process cannot be overstated.

Recovery from total knee replacement surgery is essentially a marathon, not a sprint. It necessitates patience, persistence, and the right guidance. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are committed to leading you through your recovery, providing expert care, supporting you, and helping you back to the things you love in a safe and effective manner. We collaborate with you, your surgeon, and any other medical professionals involved in your care to create personalized, evidence-backed treatment plans. If you are about to undergo knee replacement surgery or have already undergone the procedure and are in search of a physical therapist in St. Louis, MO, contact Axes online or reach out to the location nearest you to get started with your recovery today.

About Total Knee Replacement Surgery in St. Louis, MO

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery, also referred to as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure performed to replace the worn-out surfaces of the knee joint with prosthetic components. This surgery is often recommended for individuals experiencing severe knee pain and mobility issues due to trauma, arthritis, or other degenerative conditions. The goal of TKR is to relieve pain, restore function, and improve the daily life for patients who have not seen enough progress from other treatments such as medications, injections, or physical therapy alone.

The Process of TKR Surgery

  • Preoperative Evaluation: Before the surgery, patients are subjected to a comprehensive evaluation, including physical examinations, MRIs and X-Rays, and discussions about medical history. This phase also involves planning for the surgery and recovery, introducing prehabilitation exercises to fortify the knee.
  • Surgical Procedure: The surgery involves excising the damaged cartilage and bone surfaces from the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). These surfaces are then replaced with artificial components constructed from metal and plastic. The back of the patella (kneecap) may also be refinished depending on the condition of the knee.
  • Postoperative Care: Directly after the surgery, the prevention of complications and pain management are prioritized. Physical therapy begins as early as possible to assist in the recovery process. Initially, exercises concentrate on reducing swelling, preventing blood clots, and initiating gentle movements to restore range of motion. Gradually, the exercises become more challenging to build the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility.
  • Recovery and Rehabilitation: The recovery period differs but typically requires at least several weeks of physical therapy for total knee arthroplasty. Patients learn exercises to improve knee function and progressively return to their daily activities. Long-term success relies heavily on the patient’s commitment to physical therapy and exercises at home.

Total Knee Replacement Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO | TKR Recovery | Physical Therapy Near St. Louis

Pre-Surgery Total Knee Replacement Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO

Any surgery, though it may be ultimately the best thing for you, still involves some degree of trauma to your tissues. Prehabilitation, or pre-surgery physical therapy, plays a pivotal role in readying your body for the demands of surgery and safely and completely recovering. Participating in physical therapy before your surgery can profoundly affect your recovery speed and success. The goals of pre-surgery physical therapy in St. Louis, MO are:

  • Strengthens Muscles: Strengthening the muscles around the knee aids in bolstering the artificial joint and facilitates quicker recovery.
  • Improves Flexibility: Increased flexibility aids in the recovery process, enabling for easier manipulation and mobilization post-surgery.
  • Educates Patients: Comprehending the recovery process, exercises, and the use of assistive devices before surgery reduces post-operative anxiety.

Key Pre-Surgery Exercises

Depending on the specifics of your total knee replacement surgery and recovery, your prehabilitation may involve:

  • Quad Sets: Sit with your legs straight in front of you, contract the thigh muscles of your surgery leg, and try to straighten the knee. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
  • Straight Leg Raises: Lying down, engage your thigh muscles and lift your leg a few inches off the bed. Hold for a few seconds and lower slowly.
  • Ankle Pumps: Flex your foot up and down by flexing your ankle. This exercise enhances circulation and helps prevent blood clot formation.

These exercises, along with other treatment modalities recommended by your St. Louis, MO physical therapist, are intended to fortify your body for the surgery ahead and set the foundation for a smoother, more effective recovery.

Early Post-Surgery Phase

Identifying the perfect physical therapy in St. Louis for your post-surgical rehabilitation plays a vital role in securing a robust foundation for recovery. Here’s an in-depth examination at the core aims and exercises in the early post-surgery phase.

Post-TKR Surgery Goals

Your St. Louis, MO physical therapist will formulate a tailored treatment plan geared towards:

  • Pain Management: Efficient pain control is crucial for encouraging movement and participation in physical therapy.
  • Prevention of Blood Clots: Prompt movement and certain exercises contribute to reducing the risk of blood clots, a frequent issue after total knee replacement. You may also be prescribed compression stockings or anticoagulant medications.
  • Early Mobilization: Beginning gentle exercises shortly following surgery helps with recovery by improving circulation, decreasing swelling, and starting the process of restoring mobility.

Key Exercises and Activities After TKR Surgery

  • Ankle Pumps: Pumping your ankles up and down improves circulation in your legs, aiding to prevent blood clots. Do this exercise frequently throughout the day.
  • Leg Lifts: Lying flat with your unaffected leg bent and your surgical leg straight, engage your thigh muscle and raise your surgical leg off the bed. Keep it elevated for 5 seconds and then gently lower. This exercise strengthens your quadriceps and improves knee stability.
  • Knee Bends (Seated and Lying):
    • Seated: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly slide your foot back under the chair as far as comfortable, bending the knee. Maintain for a few seconds and slide back.
    • Lying: Lying on your back, place a small rolled towel under your ankle. Bend your knee by sliding your foot towards your buttocks, keeping your heel on the bed.
  • Use of Walking Aids: At first, you’ll likely need the assistance of a walker or crutches. Gradually, as strength and balance improve, you can transition to using a cane, and eventually return to walking on your own.

Intermediate TKR Recovery Phase

As you move forward past the initial weeks of your total knee replacement physical therapy in St. Louis, MO, the focus shifts towards you gaining more independence and getting back to the things you enjoy most. The intermediate recovery phase involves a more rigorous physical therapy regimen, with treatment modalities supported by scientific research that are intended to test your knee within the limits of safety and comfort.

Goals for Intermediate Recovery

  • Improving Strength: Strengthening exercises become more intense to build muscle around the knee.
  • Enhancing Flexibility: Greater emphasis on flexibility workouts to enhance the range of motion.
  • Increasing Mobility: Adding more dynamic exercises to boost walking, balance, and the ability to perform daily activities.

Intermediate Recovery Exercises

Some exercises you might engage in with your St. Louis, MO physical therapist include:

  • Stationary Cycling: Beginning at a light pace, stationary biking assists in improving knee flexibility and strength.
  • Water Therapy: Water exercises lessen the strain on your knee while providing resistance for strengthening and the buoyancy needed for mobility exercises.
  • Stair Climbing and Descending: Practicing stair climbing under supervision helps rebuild the ability to manage steps safely and confidently.

Each of these exercises ought to be performed under the guidance of your St. Louis, MO physical therapist, who can adjust the intensity and volume based on your recovery progress and pain levels.

Advanced Recovery and Maintenance After TKR Surgery in St. Louis, MO

As you advance past your intermediate recovery, the focus of total knee replacement physical therapy transitions towards more advanced recovery, long-term maintenance of your knee health, and restoring the lifestyle you had before your knee issues. This phase is about solidifying the gains made during the earlier stages and getting ready for a return to normal activities, whether that means engaging in sports and recreational hobbies or playing with your grandkids pain-free.

Advanced Strengthening and Balance Exercises

  • Squats and Lunges: Squats and lunges further strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, vital for knee support and stability.
  • Resistance Training: Using resistance bands or weights to strengthen your muscles, improving both strength and endurance.

Long-term health and wellness strategies will also be discussed with your St. Louis, MO physical therapist, underscoring the importance of regular exercise and protective measures to sustain knee health. At Axes, we are firm believers in patient education as a way to secure the best possible results for our patients.

Contact Axes For Your Total Knee Replacement Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO

Total knee replacement surgery is a major but worthwhile decision for those struggling with debilitating knee pain and mobility issues. From the preparatory stages before surgery to advanced recovery and maintenance, physical therapy is crucial to restoring strength, flexibility, and mobility, thereby leading to an improved quality of life. The journey through total knee replacement physical therapy in St. Louis, MO is a personal journey, but with the appropriate support in your corner you can return to the activities you love with safety and effectiveness.

At Axes Physical Therapy, we understand the challenges and concerns that accompany total knee replacement recovery. Our devoted team of physical therapists is here to support you through each phase, delivering personalized care that addresses your specific needs, desired lifestyle, and goals. We are committed to supporting you in achieving the best possible recovery outcomes, employing evidence-based practices and a thoughtful approach to care. Request an appointment online or call the Axes location nearest you to begin in your recovery today.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Acute Injury Management
  • Chronic Injury Management
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy (Coming Early 2024)
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Running Gait Analysis with DorsaVi (Coming Soon October 2023
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Zac Schniers
PT, DPT, CMPT
Ashley Kraus
Front Office

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