Case Study: Total Knee Replacement

I recently had a client, Mr. K., with two severely arthritic knees who underwent bilateral knee replacements. Prior to surgery, he was having difficulty with stairs and walking. At 68 years old, he was in good health, so he and the orthopedic surgeon decided he was a great candidate for bilateral knee replacements. And yes this surgery th was performed in Halifax on Jan. 29 , 2013!

I was honoured to take on the rehabilitation. I had rehabilitated many clients post TKR surgery, but never a double whammy, so I was excited about the new challenge.

Notice the picture of Mr. K.’s knees a few days after the surgery. They are very swollen and red. A TKR causes a lot of physical trauma, meaning there is usually a fair amount of bruising as well.

Mr. K.'s knees prior to surgery.

Mr. K.’s knees prior to surgery.

photo 1

Mr. K’s knees 5 days post surgery

 

Mr K.'s knees after 6 laser sessions.

Mr K.’s knees after 6 laser sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. K. was taking pain medication and he also immediately started doing the recommended post-surgery exercises. The most important thing following TKR is movement, to gain back knee mobility. Unfortunately, many clients are caught in a difficult cycle where the movement causes pain, and therefore they don’t want to move. As a result, we decided to start laser therapy on Mr. K.’s knees.

Laser therapy effectively reduces inflammation and scar tissue, both of which can restrict range of motion. We performed 16 sessions of physiotherapy, 6 of which consisted of laser therapy. We used the laser on the knee joints and over the scars. See the present picture of Mr. K.’s knees and scars. Notice that his knees no longer look as inflamed and red, and that most of the bruising is gone. Some of this is due to the passage of time, as the body heals itself naturally. However, Mr. K. will tell you himself that the laser helped immensely with the pain, stiffness and swelling. He called the laser the “silent healer.”

Laser therapy is light that penetrates deep into the tissues. The laser works both while it is on the body, and after it has been taken off, because it works on the cellular level.

In addition to laser, Mr. K’s treatment consisted of strengthening, stretching &balancing exercises. Also massage therapy on the sore muscles and along his scar. Mr. K. will contest that he “couldn’t be happier” with his new knees. He is now capable of walking on the Halifax waterfront, and through Point Pleasant Park. He also now manages two flights of stairs daily in his townhouse- activities that were difficult for him prior to surgery.

Notice the most recent photo of Mr. K.’s knees. He is still in the recovery process, but he is enjoying his success!

At Balance Physiotherapy we enjoy working with clients post surgically. We are equipped with quality laser technology not available in other clinics. Laser treatment is very effective post surgically, but can also improve any condition that involves inflammation, such as arthritis. We would be happy to help anyone who is struggling with inflammation, due to surgery or otherwise.