Recovering after a Knee or Hip Replacement

Hip and knee replacements are common procedures and almost 113 000 Canadians have this type of surgery every year (CIHI, 2018). Following a joint replacement, a very important part of the recovery process is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy following a knee or hip replacement will help to guide your recovery, promote healing, and facilitate a safe return to physical activity.

After surgery, the newly replaced joint will need to learn to move normally again to restore your mobility and optimal function. It’s important to know that this won’t happen on its own; daily exercises will help to improve the range of motion and strength in the hip or knee, which is essential for getting moving again. The process of building strength and progressing activity after a hip or knee replacement does take time – you can expect to recover gradually over the course of months, not days or weeks.

Most patients start physiotherapy within 2 weeks of having surgery and physiotherapy sessions often continue for 3-4 months after the surgery, depending on their rate of recovery. Everyone recovers at their own pace, and a registered physiotherapist will tailor a rehabilitation program to your individual needs while advising you about what is safe to do and what to avoid as you progress through the stages of recovery. A hip or knee replacement can often give you a new lease on life, restoring your mobility with a lot less pain, and your physiotherapist will help you through it.

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