WM - Total knee replacement

Mr M was a keen sportsman as a young man, but started getting increasing problems with his knees with age. He therefore had a right total knee replacement.

An initial dry land examination 3 weeks after his surgery showed that Mr M was able to mobilise with the aid of 2 sticks, he tended to keep his affected knee in a slightly bent position and was reluctant to take his full weight through the leg. His range of movement was reduced partially due to the excess swelling and weakness in his quadriceps.

Aquatic therapy consisted of buoyancy assisted stretches of his hamstring and quadricep muscles groups. He performed independent gait re-education in the pool without the risk of falling. To improve his leg strength we used resistive equipment such as flippers and plyometric board jumping. The hydrostatic pressure of the water assisted in the reduction of the persistent post-operative swelling.

Mr M had six supervised sessions after which he felt confident to progress onto a self-help program. The range of movement of his knee has greatly improved and he now reports he finds it much easier to get in and out of the car. On discharge, he was able to walk without any walking aids and reported to be able to get up the stairs alternating his leading leg.

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