Aquatic exercise boosts recovery from
Knee Replacement Surgery
When can I start hydrotherapy after the operation?
- Straight away! The prime time to start pool therapy is immediately after surgery.
- Well maintained pools do not pose increased risk of wound related adverse events (such as infection) compared with land based therapy.
What are the benefits of hydrotherapy after knee replacement?
- Buoyancy in water relieves body weight, allowing for easier walking and functional movements (such as squatting, lunging or step up’s) after the surgery.
- The hydrostatic pressure of the water has positive effects on reducing swelling in the knee which in turn helps regain more range of motion and reduces pain.
- Further positive influences on pain regulation are due to the relaxation effect of warm water and suppression of the sympathetic nervous system associated with water submersion.
- The sensory input of the water can also increase body position sense enabling improved feelings of balance and confidence.
- Through increased confidence and reduced pain, patients are able to move more freely, which often leads them to report reduced fear and anxiety about the recent surgery. This has a feed forward effect where future behaviours and movements over the early stages of recovery will greatly determine long term outcome.