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Why might I need a knee replacement?

The most common cause for total knee replacement surgery is knee arthritis. Knee arthritis can be a painful condition, limiting the capacity for exercise, walking, and other hobbies. Our knees are coated by a protective layer of cartilage, which absorbs pressure and provides a smooth, gliding surface for movement. As we age, progressive wear and tear of the knee joint – which can be exacerbated by a history of trauma and injury – can wear away this surface which can lead to painful bone-on-bone contact. Although knee osteoarthritis can often respond very well to more conservative treatment methods, you may be advised to undergo a knee replacement through consultation with specialists if the extent of damage is great enough.

What does the surgery involve?

Total knee replacements are a very common procedure, forming a multi-billion dollar industry in Australia alone. While surgical methods may vary on a case-by-case basis, the total knee replacement generally consists of surgery to replace the arthritic sections of the femur and tibia bones, as well as the back region of the kneecap, with metallic and polymer surfaces. This provides an artificial surface which can act as the smooth cartilage layer within the knee.

How can physiotherapy help?

Movement is key post surgery, and most recipients will be walking on the day of surgery in order to optimise outcomes. After discharge from hospital, your physiotherapist will work with you to increase the available range of motion of the knee, as well as the muscle control over knee movements. An important aspect of recovery post knee replacement is achieving optimal range of motion, as after the replacement has settled – which can take around 6 weeks – it can be very difficult to increase range of motion. Your physiotherapist will deliver exercises, hands on therapy, and education to help manage pain and facilitate the best possible long-term outcomes for your knee.

One of the key factors in post-surgery function is pre-surgery function. If you have a planned knee replacement, you can consult with our physiotherapy team who can advise you on exercises and other treatments which will ensure you have the best outcomes post-surgery.

If you have knee osteoarthritis, or have received a total knee replacement, you can make a booking with our skilled physio team to allow you to reduce your pain and return to maximum function.

My Physio My Health

Trust our team of physiotherapists to help you recover faster and improve your quality of life.