Arthroscopic knee surgery is a common surgical procedure. Some of the more common reasons orthopedic surgeons perform a arthroscopic knee surgery is to repair a meniscus or repair ligaments. Repairs require a lengthy recovery. While it is becoming increasingly controversial if these procedures should even be performed, the quickest recovery is usually with a “knee scope.”
It is important to note that while a surgery may address a mechanical abnormality, it will not address the root cause of why pain developed in the first place. Nor will surgery address the underlying, mobility, stability, and strength limitations that are present.
Some of these limitations might include weakness in the quad, hamstring, and calf muscles. There may be poor mobility at the hip region. In addition, a lack of stability at the buttock and core muscles might be present. If this is combined with stiffness at the big toe or weak intrinsic foot muscles, movement mechanics will be affected. Some movements that may be painful include running, walking, steps, squats, and lunges.
The only way to know what factors led to knee surgery and avoid repeat problems is to perform a complete assessment. When it comes to rehabilitation, a targeted approach can prevent knee problems in the future.
In our physical therapy office, the first phase of rehabilitation following a knee scope is to alleviate pain and discomfort. This includes hands-on therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
The next step is to restore mobility and movement of the knee. We use hand-on techniques to restore the knee’s ability to bend and extend. Once knee function begins to normalize, we need to get to the root cause why surgery was recommended in the first place. This includes performing a full-body movement assessment and targeting each region that needs development.
For example poor mobility is found at the hip and ankle, we instruct drills and movements to unlock stiff joints and muscles. If weakness is found in the core or buttcks muscles, we teach activation exercises to help our clients better engage muscles that are not firing well. Once muscles engage better, our next step is developing core and lower body strength.
We teach our patients how to squat, lunge, and hinge without pain. When performed with good technique and without pain, these exercises are powerful for developing strength and durability. However, progression in the context of where the joint is in regards to healing should always be considered.
When addressed with a thorough physical therapy assessment and plan of care, getting back to exercise without repeat knee problems is possible. However, any sort of repetitive activity with poor mechanics result in a further injury. If you’re interested in getting back to exercise following the knee scope without repeat injury, the physical therapists at Movement Solutions would be glad help.
We have a free guide on knee pain that can give you further insight into knee problems and help kickstart your recovery. We are available for a free 15-minute phone consultation to talk about how your pain is affecting you and discuss your treatment options.
If your concerns warrant an in-person consultation, we offer a limited number of free Discovery Visits at our office. This type of appointment of for those who are interested in working with us. It is an opportunity to ask questions, obtain clarity about your condition, and develop confidence that we can help you. If you’re in pain and unsure about what your next step should be, call us at (864) 558-7346 and ask how we can help.