A Message to my patients:
The current medical environment with COVID-19 provides a very unique and trying time for all of us. As your joint replacement surgeon, I want to reassure you that you remain my number one priority. I understand that this is not a good time to be going to outpatient therapy. It is also not a good time to be a resident of a medical facility such as a skilled nursing unit or a rehab unit where sick patients may reside. Furthermore, it is also not a good time to be visited at home by a home health care worker who may be seeing other sick patients that same day. Rest assured that I firmly believe that every motivated patient can successfully rehab their joint replacement at home on their own. This is no doubt the safest method at this time. I recommend that you
- Continue to perform the exercises shown to you by the physical therapist at the hospital before you were discharged and by your outpatient therapist at least once (if not twice) each day
- Ambulate several times each day, slowly trying to increase your stamina and distance
- Ride an exercise bicycle daily if you have access to one. Try to increase slowly to 30-40 minutes per day at least 4-5 times per week
-This is most important for knee replacements starting early after surgery.
-For hip replacements, ambulation is important early after surgery. Start the exercise bicycle 5-6 weeks after surgery with the seat as far away from the pedals as possible to still make a complete revolution.
- Ice and elevate for a short period of time after your exercise
- Contact our office if you have concerns.
I have searched the internet and believe that the following videos are excellent sources of illustration and guidance. Please understand that they may differ slightly from what we may have told you or what your therapist may have said, but I have viewed each of these and are very comfortable with their content. It is not necessary to do every single exercise and certainly don’t do any that generate any pain more than mild discomfort. A couple of the exercises use a band or a ball. If you do not have one, skip that exercise.
For total knee replacement:
1. Weeks 1-2 after surgery
2. Weeks 2-4 after surgery
3. Weeks 4-6 after surgery
For total hip replacement:
1. Weeks 1-4 after surgery
2. Weeks 4-6 after surgery
Note: Please skip the “Standing Abduction Exercise” until week 6
Please note that these are excellent videos for general guidance. I am a firm believer that early ambulation and the use of a motion generating exercise such as an exercise bike or an elliptical machine are most beneficial.
Michael Champine, MD