Over 10 million people visit the doctor every year with knee problems; from a meniscus tear to a simple sprain. In some circumstances it is vital that a patient undergoes knee surgery, in order to be able to regain some function of the joint again or to prevent further damage. As with any surgery, it can be a difficult process to adjust to and rehabilitate. We’re going to look at the common reasons for knee surgery and how to get walking again afterwards.

Common Reasons for Knee Surgery

There are many different reasons your doctor may recommend knee surgery, some of which may come as a surprise. Here are the most common reasons, and the type of surgery to expect:

  • Meniscus Tear – A damaged meniscus is the most common knee injury in the world, especially amongst those who exercise on a regular basis. Depending on the damage your doctor may recommend a repair of the cartilage or a full replacement.

  • Torn ACL – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is prone to tearing when too much exertion has been put on the knee and leg. ACL reconstructive surgery is a common, and fairly simple procedure.

  • Osteoarthritis – A form of arthritis that affects joints, such as the knee, osteoarthritis has several surgery options available. A small number of patients may be offered either unicompartmental or full knee replacement surgery.

  • Fractures and Breaks – Fractures and breaks to the knee are common for those who play contact sports, however, they can happen to anyone. There are several surgery options for these injuries, including microfracture surgery.

It is important to talk to your health professional about the range of surgeries that are available for your particular injury or condition. You should be provided with advice about the surgery, estimated recovery time and possible complications.

How to Get Walking Again

Depending on the type of surgery you have had, you may find that you can get up and start walking the very next day; although tentatively. Other surgeries may require several weeks or months of physiotherapy before you’re back to normal. Rehabilitation can be a lengthy process for some but will be well worth the wait. Some surgeries, such as ACL knee surgery, can take up to a year; so be prepared for some hard work! If you have been given a frame or crutches to aid the process, then make sure you use them. Sometimes pride can take over, and we want to get walking on our legs as soon as possible. This can definitely hinder your progress, so don’t try it unless given the go ahead by your doctor or physiotherapist. Some doctors may also advise other rehabilitation options such as Apostherapy or medication.
Top Exercises for Rehabilitation After Knee Surgery

All health professionals will recommend various exercises in order to get walking again, for the majority of post surgery patients. Here are some of the top exercises for knee surgery rehabilitation:

  • Straight Leg Lifts

  • Ankle Pumps

  • Thigh Squeezes

  • Leg Slides

  • Knee Bending

  • Lying Kicks

Remember, you should always seek the advice of your doctor or physiotherapist before trying any of these exercises. Putting excessive strain on your knee too soon after surgery can cause complications, so it’s best to make sure you’ve got the go ahead before working out.