The physical therapist will treat you at your bedside on the first day after surgery in the morning, and then therapy will be done in a group. You will be given a therapy schedule. Your physical therapy is never done for you, but along with you. You will be treated two times a day and be expected to continue your rehabilitation program when physical therapy personnel are not available. Nursing can assist you.
During your first treatment, you will be assisted in sitting on the side of the bed. You will be taught how to stand with and use a walker. A walker is always used on the first day to provide more support. A walker will be provided for your use while you are hospitalized. Bring your walker the day after surgery. The physical therapist will tell you how much weight you can put on your leg and you will be assisted as you take your first steps.
The therapist will give you a list of exercises and will explain how to do them. You will also be told how many times a day you need to exercise. Exercise helps you stretch and strengthen your muscles and also helps you become confident in your ability to use your new knee joint.
The day of your surgery, the therapist will also measure and fit your Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine. This machine gently bends your knee. You will use this machine a minimum of 4 hours per day while you are in the hospital.
By the second day after surgery, you will probably be able to sit, stand and walk with assistance. These activities will always be to your tolerance and you will never be forced to do something you are unable to do. Your sitting time will be increased on a daily basis. You will be encouraged to sit up for meals and at other times during the day, but you may feel stiff if you sit longer than 60 minutes at a time without standing to change positions.