Post-surgical physical therapy is crucial in restoring mobility and regaining independence when recovering from total knee replacement surgery. The recovery process may seem challenging, but dexterous physical therapists can help you experience the many benefits that will improve your quality of life. Finding a physical therapist that you feel comfortable working with is vital. Your relationship will continue for several weeks or months, therefore, a good working relationship is an excellent first step toward total recovery. Here are some things to look for when selecting a post-surgical physical therapy clinic & therapist.
Post-Surgical Physical Therapy: Choosing a Therapist
Most physical therapists can have different specialties. When researching clinics and therapists, look for one specializing in your condition. Although many physical therapists have experience in a broad range of rehabilitation, find one with the focus and expertise on handling total knee replacements. The physical therapist should offer more than just exercise; it should be a combination of manual techniques, balance exercises, and functional activities tailored to your specific needs.
Before meeting with anyone at the clinic, verify that they will accept your insurance. You can ask your insurance company this question, but since clinics can change their policies anytime, verify with them directly. Be careful with out-of-network clinics. Out-of-network benefits can differ from in-network benefits and may not go towards large deductibles and ultimately cost you more money out of pocket.
When you first meet with the clinic, discuss your surgery and recovery expectations. Do you feel comfortable with the answers you receive? Maintaining clear communication with your physiotherapist is crucial for your recovery. If you feel uncomfortable initially, seek a second opinion.
Explanation of the Program
When you start your program, will the physical therapist explain how your knee works and heals after a joint replacement and how physical therapy will benefit you? Will they explain each exercise and what it helps, i.e., strengthening, flexibility, range of motion? Will you be required to perform exercises at home between sessions? Be sure to have all your questions answered before starting a program.
Ask the clinic how they assign a physical therapist to work with you for the entire course of your treatment. Consistency is crucial to physical therapy. Steady progress with a collaborative team of physical therapists provides the best long-term results. Goals and progress should be tracked each session, and it’s imperative that your physical therapist works with other qualified team members to maximize your treatment. If the clinic constantly changes your therapist without this collaborative approach, it’s best to look for another clinic. If your therapist seems overbooked or distracted during your sessions, ask for a different therapist or look for another clinic. If you are seeing only one physical therapist and they are unable to progress your treatment and are unable to refer to another team member for help, seek out an office with a team culture for treatment. Collaborating with a team of physical therapists you trust and are comfortable with keeps you and the therapist focused on your health needs.
Post-surgical physical therapy is essential to the recovery process after total knee replacement. By embracing physical therapy, you can experience increased knee strength, restored mobility, prevention of scar tissue build-up, and the personal freedom to lead an active and fulfilling life. If you’re ready for knee replacement surgery, Moriarty PT is ready to help. Contact us at 919-364-4000 and schedule an appointment.