Physiotherapists have long advocated that patients should try to improve their strength and mobility prior to undertaking any orthopedic surgery.
A previous blog showed the evidence for manual therapy and exercise in treating osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. If the physiotherapy is not effective or if the pain continues to increase then a total joint replacement may be necessary. A recent study published in the journal of strength and conditioning showed that individuals who undertook a ‘prehabilitation’ program prior to undergoing a total knee replacement demonstrated improved strength and function i.e. walking and stair climbing.
It is very common due to the pain and swelling that the leg muscles become weak. The good news is that no matter how bad the pain is an exercise program can be prescribed to improve strength and mobility.
The exercise program consisted of walking, as well as strengthening and range of motion exercises for the hip and knee muscles. So if you do have to undergo a total knee replacement you should consider seeing a physiotherapist to learn an appropriate ‘prehabilitation program’.