Most patients elect to have a total knee replacement when all other conservative options have failed or when the pain simply gets unbearable. Recovery is a long and often times ainful process. The deterioration of muscle function leading up to the surgical procedure typically compromises normal gait due to the pain, and most physicians will agree that quadriceps weakness can derail the recovery process — regardless of the success of the surgery itself.
Now, patients can utilize a pre-rehabilitative brace designed to help patients minimize pain and swelling, reestablish range of motion and improve gait, and restore muscle function — all keys to a faster recovery and return to normal activity. The brace is worn while walking, 3 hours a day, for 2-3 months prior to the surgery.
Published studies show an improvement in pain reduction, improved gait, and muscle strength as compared to a control group and patient’s who received a home exercise program prior to surgery.
The brace can also be worn briefly following surgery to help restore normal gait and accelerate the rehabilitation and strengthening process. It is important to note that all published studies were conducted without wearing the brace, thus showing a definitive carry over effect.
Pre-rehabilitation is a common practice for other knee injuries, such as a torn ACL or meniscus tear, yet often times this practice is not offered for the total knee replacement candidate due to insurance coverage limitations for PT, which is usually focused on visitations following surgery. Now, patients can rehab their knee at home or work by simply utilizing the device while walking each day, and optimize the surgical outcome of your procedure.
For more information on brace options or for access to the device, please contact Acelacare today.