Where does Personal Training come in after a Total Knee Replacement?

Where does Personal Training come in after a Total Knee Replacement?

Knee arthroplasty (Total Knee Replacement) is a surgical technique used by orthopedists to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint. This may relieve excruciating pain that can be caused by osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. 

A knee implant is made up of a piece of metal that is attached to the femur (thigh bone), another metal piece, that is attached to the tibia, and a plastic piece, attached to the patella (kneecap). Once in place, the  components may allow your knee to function as though it is your natural knee.

After the procedure, the patient will go to physical therapy for rehabilitation to decrease swelling and pain; increase quad (thigh) activation; increase passive knee extension; as well as knee flexion. From there, the physical therapist will work with the patient to increase range of motion in the knee, improve muscular strength and endurance, and recreate dynamic joint stability with eccentric training.

Three months after the surgery, although a patient may be discharged from physical therapy and walking around often they will still be experiencing "functional deficits." Functional deficits are caused by a lack of reconditioning in regard to core strength, neuromuscular coordination, and proper joint mechanics.

This is where a Medical Exercise Specialist or a Post-rehabilitation Conditioning Specialist comes in. Our main goal is to improve and maintain progress that was made in physical therapy. Too, we work on getting the individual to be functional and increase their physical endurance and capacity hence... bridging the gap between healthcare and fitness.

Working with a client with a Total Knee Replacement

When we conduct Medical Exercise Training, it is important that the potential client comes in with a clearance from the doctor, stating what was done, and that this person needs to continue exercising. From there, we perform a 12-point musculoskeletal assessment to identify any red flags that may indicate that the client needs further medical treatment.

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If no red flags are found, our Medical Exercises Specialists will contact the medical professional indicating what our assessment reveals and our action plan for the client. Upon approval, we draft and send an exercise program to the doctor for final approval, with advisement to make any modifications necessary.

A program for this client would be:

  • Cardiovascular exercises
  • Increase range of motion and activation
  • Muscle-strengthening/endurance
  • Balance training
  • Dynamic joint stability  
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Movement and exercise are crucial parts of a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

Often times, the most challenging part of any health and exercise routine, is the very first step. Our Medical Exercise Specialists are knowledgeable and accredited fitness professionals who have made it their mission to see that those who have endured chronic illness, pain, or surgery are able to not only function, but thrive!

Please contact medicalexercise@pongopower.com for a free consultation for you, or someone you love.

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