Physical Therapy After Joint Replacement: Available at all STAR Locations
Replacing your hip or knee can let you move with less pain, increase your range of motion and help you return to activities you care about. Before you fully realize the benefits, though, you must treat muscle damage sustained before your operation and during the surgery itself.
Our program can help you make a full recovery. Physical therapy after joint replacement requires patience, but we can help you achieve your goals and make your surgery a success.
Why Choose STAR Physical Therapy After Hip or Knee Replacement?
A full course of physical therapy helps you build up joint strength and motion after surgery. Our inpatient therapy helps people undergoing joint replacement surgery at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. Our outpatient therapy is available to everyone, with services that include:
- Experienced therapists: Our therapists have years of experience helping people recover after joint replacements. We have a good sense of when to push you during exercise and when to back off. If progress stalls, we make adjustments. We immediately address any issues before moving on.
- Flexible sessions: The frequency you see us each week and the length of sessions depends on your needs. When needed, our therapists can make follow-up appointments longer. We never want you to feel rushed. Each visit, your therapist works only with you, one on one.
- Specialized equipment and therapy: We use specialized equipment for strength and balance testing. Should you need it, we also offer medical massage therapy, a treatment not widely available. Massage therapy can help with range of motion, mobility and scar tissue.
Learn more about the benefits of choosing STAR sports therapy and physical therapy.
Inpatient Therapy After Joint Replacement
Our therapists participate in the class you take to prepare for joint replacement surgery at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. They also provide the inpatient therapy you need afterward until you go home.
Our therapists work closely with the Washington University joint replacement surgeons to coordinate your care. They offer:
- Physical therapy: We help you get out of bed after surgery and take your first steps. We also help you with exercises and explain how to do them at home. These exercises help prevent blood clots, reduce pain, start to strengthen muscles and improve joint movement.
- Occupational therapy: We help you prepare for daily tasks during your recovery, such as getting dressed in a way that protects your joint and minimizes pain. We also demonstrate the use of any assistance devices you may need and talk about the particular challenges you may face at home.
Outpatient Therapy After Joint Replacement
Our outpatient therapy is available to anyone who is interested, whether you had your joint replacement surgery at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital at the Washington University Medical Center in the Central West End or another center. Full recovery from your surgery takes many months, but physical therapy like ours helps make that possible.
Physical therapy typically begins after you spend two to three weeks at home recuperating. Therapy typically lasts up to three months, with an average of two sessions per week. Our program offers:
- Newer gym equipment for cardiovascular exercise, as well as strength and range of motion training
- Gait training to help you walk normally again
- Manual therapy to help with mobility and range of motion
- Massage therapy if range of motion and mobility are not progressing, or if scar tissue is causing a problem
- Strength and balance testing on specialized machines that can also help you move your joint during exercises if you cannot initially do so on your own
Outpatient Therapy Goals
Following your surgery, you can often return to work as soon as you feel comfortable, assuming you have a light workload or a desk job. You may need six weeks to three months of recovery to return to a physically demanding job.
Most people feel more like themselves after six weeks of therapy. Their joint is no longer swollen, their pain has lessened or ended and they have completed range of motion exercises.
Physical therapy usually continues beyond the six-week mark. While full joint recovery can take several more months, your additional weeks of therapy should allow you to:
- Continue increasing your activity while still resting your joint as needed
- Go up and down stairs, get out of bed and chairs and squat
- Stop using a cane or other aid to walk, assuming you did not use one before surgery
- Take care of yourself and your home, including driving, cooking and working outside
To learn more about our services or make an appointment, please call a STAR location:
- Chesterfield — Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Orthopedic Center: 314.514.3636
- Creve Coeur — Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital: 314.996.3050
- South County — Center for Advanced Medicine: 314.286.1000