Dr. Olive Toledo talks about Total Knee Replacement and Choosing Physical Therapy

Total Knee Replacement

I’m sorry you are going through this. We work with a lot of patients with knee pain, and I understand how hard it is. 

The most common cause of total knee replacement is severe pain, which can be due to severe osteoarthritis or a history of an injury to the knee joint. If the knee pain is very severe that can affect the quality of your life because of difficulty doing your tasks of choice or just simply impedes you from walking, you can start talking to your doctor to figure out if you are a candidate for knee replacement. 

It is true that knee surgery can fix the knee which can eventually relieve the pain, however, more often, doctors would want to explore several options first before knee replacement.

Your doctor can prescribe you with oral medications that can relieve the pain and inflammation, and there are also topical creams that can be bought over-the-counter, however, if you need stronger versions, your doctor can give you prescriptions for this. Additionally, other conservative treatments that can be explored first are corticosteroid injections, hyaluronic supplements, and viscosupplementation. You can talk to your doctor about this, because it is believed to lessen joint pain and inflammation.

And finally, exercise and physical therapy. There is a lot of evidence that proves the effectiveness of exercise in knee pain. Your physical therapist can perform a thorough evaluation and can design a program that can help you strengthen the muscles in your legs, and other interventions that can help you manage the pain in the knees. 

After performing an evaluation and depending on your needs, your PT can personalize a program or plan of care for you after your total knee replacement surgery. Whether pre or post-operative fitness, physical therapy can give you multiple benefits. According to studies, pre-operative physical therapy reduces the recovery period. Post-operative physical therapy, on the other hand, yields good results and is very vital for helping you return to function.