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Have You Finished Your Knee Rehab, Post Surgery?

The other day, I was having a conversation with a client who underwent a gastric sleeve procedure, and is doing very well. She is exercising,  controlling her eating, and is losing lots of weight. We talked about the importance of doing all the right things with both her nutrition and exercise. She agreed. She also explained how she has seen the effects of her friend not following the post-surgery rules. This friend has not lost much weight at all because she still eats chocolate and junk food.

I then asked the question, “Why would you spend $12,000 on surgery, and not be prepared to see the system through to the end ?” My client didn’t have an answer. However, this got me thinking… We frequently see people in our studios who spend $15,000 on knee or hip replacement surgery, but fail to see their rehab through to the end. Some do nothing at all. Some do the minimum 8 weeks provided by the hospital rehab program. However very few people see their rehab through to completion.

“Why is this ?” I ask myself. The first reason would be that people are not prepared to make the changes needed. They expect the surgery to fix the problem. To a degree it does, in that you now have a perfectly working titanium joint, but you cannot fix the muscular imbalances and lack of strength in the surrounding muscles. This can only be fixed through a strength program, specifically prescribed to your needs.

Secondly, people are not educated on what can be achieved when you actually complete your rehab. There are plenty of stories like Ken Mitchell, who climbed Mount Everest 4 years after having a knee replacement. Now, I am certainly not telling you to go out and climb Everest, or even try and run a marathon, but I promise you that if you see your rehab through to the end, you will have greater functional movement and be able to achieve more things you than could have imagined.

If you have had a knee or hip replacement, I want you to ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Can I get up and down off the floor, unassisted and without any object to help me?

2. Can I get in and out of any seat in a car, including the back seat?

3. Can I run 20 metres to get out of the way of danger? eg: avoiding a speeding car when crossing the road.

If the answer is NO to any of these questions, then you have never finished your rehab, and you are limiting yourself in what you can do after surgery. Following surgery, you have a perfectly  working joint, however you must repair the muscules surrounding the joint. You must increase mobility and flexibility. You must rebalance the muscles surrounding the joint, and you must increase your strength, so that you can perform tasks through a full range of motion, with your recently fixed joints.

Your joint and its surrounding muscles work together, yet they are completely different systems. If you are still struggling to perform simple daily tasks, then you should book back in at Optimum for a reassessment, and get yourself back into a program. Although some of our clients don’t finish their rehab, there are many who do. It’s amazing how much more capable these people are, 6 months after surgery. Call your nearest studio, and book in today.

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