By: Dr. Nathan D. Watts, PT, DPT, CSCS
As residents of the grand strand, we have the luxury to live where most only dream of, at the beach! Walking on the sand, watching the white caps crash along the shore and having miles of available fairways to spend the day on makes this a very active community. Unfortunately, those with knee pain begin seeing less and less of the surrounding beauty our community has to offer.
Too often we limit our activities with our friends, children and grandchildren due to pain. The most common cause of chronic knee pain and disability is arthritis. Take back control of your life; there is another way. Total knee joint replacements are an extremely common procedure that resurfaces the bones, essentially eliminating your painful arthritis in the knee joint. The procedure is so common that there are more than 4.5 million Americans that are currently living with one.
Why is this procedure so common? A simple answer, the results: 9 out of 10 knee replacements last 10 years with reports of "dramatic pain relief". And now with improved surgical techniques, materials and enhanced physical therapy, an astounding 80% of knee replacements last up to 20 years! A knee replacement on its own will however not be your fix-all, silver bullet. This is where your physical therapist comes in. In order to fully maximize your investment in your new knee, physical therapy is needed. In physical therapy, we will work closely with you to transform you from the person that dreaded to walk around to the person who is back in action.
Contrary to popular belief, our first goal is not to bend your knee as far as we can. Actually, we want to initially work on straightening out your leg. To ensure proper gait, you must achieve full extension of your leg. Without full extension, you will begin to compensate and perhaps even display a limp.
Today, many orthopedic surgeons find physical therapy so critical to their outcomes that they will even prescribe a shortened series of physical therapy for two weeks prior to surgery. During this time, you will prepare for what is to come and to get you a head start on achieving some of the goals you will have post surgery. The contrast between patients who go through the shortened series before the surgery and those who do not, usually display a dramatic difference the first 2-4 weeks post surgery in motion and pain.
There is no better time than now. Don't spend one more year missing rounds of golf with buddies, passing on an opportunity to walk with a loved one on the beach or wondering whether you'll be able to dance at your daughters wedding. A total knee replacement combined with physical therapy will improve your motion, strength and pain so you can get back to all the things and people you love.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services, we treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions using the latest in evidence based therapies provided by highly credentialed physical therapists. In addition to being licensed physical therapists, our providers have additional specialty certifications in orthopedics, manual therapy, sports, and vestibular treatment. Professional Rehabilitation Services now has five locations, with the newest office located in Conway. For further information on physical therapy for knee replacements or other related topics, you can contact Dr. Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP, Cert. DN at Professional Rehabilitation Services (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Dr. Brian P. Kinmartin, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN, Dr. Nathan Watts PT, DPT, CSCS (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, Richard A. Owens, PT, MS, OCS, Cert. SHT, CWcHP, Cert DN (Surfside/Conway), Dr. Jill Phelan PT, DPT (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, (Conway) (843) 733-3031, Dr. Kristen Lies PT, DPT (Murrell's Inlet) (843) 314-3224, or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com