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Information for Patients & Caregivers


Physiotherapy in hospital
The time you spend in hospital after surgery will not all be about relaxing and recuperating. As part of your rehabilitation, your health professionals will want you to use your joint and have physiotherapy as soon as possible – usually the day after surgery. You may find your first physiotherapy session uncomfortable, or even painful, and your legs and feet may be swollen. But it is important to follow the advice of the physiotherapist to avoid complications or dislocation of your new joint.

You will probably be started off with gentle exercises in bed to regain your range of movement in the joint and muscle strength. If you have had surgery on your knee you may be put onto a continuous massive motion (CPM) machine, which gently binds and straightens the knee, increasing he movement day by day. You will be moved onto weight bearing exercises as soon as possible, but this will depend on the kind of surgery you have had and your general health.

Before you leave the hospital, your physiotherapist will show you a variety of exercises designed to help you regain mobility and strength in your joint. You should be able to perform these exercises at home.

You will be shown how to safely climb and descend stairs and how to get into and out of a seated position once you return home. It is a good idea to enlist the help of friends or family once you do return home.

Most people are ready to go home between 3-7 days after surgery, however, some people may go to a separate rehabilitation facility, an option your surgeon should discuss with you before surgery. Many people will directly go home and begin supervised physiotherapy either at home or as an outpatient. When at home, it is important to continue with your exercises as your doctor has instructed.