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What is the rehabilitation process after knee replacement?

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The rehabilitation process after knee replacement involves using an assistive device to stand and walk, going on longer walks outside the hospital room and climbing the stairs, according to Healthline. Patients are also encouraged to use the toilet or move onto a chair without a physical therapist’s assistance.

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Recovery and rehabilitation following a knee replacement typically last up to 12 weeks, states Healthline. A successful rehabilitation process allows a patient to heal more quickly and return to an active lifestyle.

On the first day of rehabilitation, a person should stand and walk with an assistive device, such as a cane, walker or pair of crutches, explains Healthline. A physical therapist supervises exercises that help strengthen the muscles and demonstrates the proper way to move around using an assistive device. She also helps set up a continuous passive motion, or CPM, machine to be used in the hospital room and also at home.

On the second day of rehabilitation, the physical therapist may ask the patient to walk for short periods, use a regular toilet or climb several steps with the use of an assistive device, says Healthline. The activity level increases on the third day until discharge. At the time of discharge, individuals are typically able to bend their knees properly; dress and bathe without help; and reduce dependence on an assistive device.

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