Rehabilitation for Joint Replacement Surgery: What to Expect from Physical Therapy

by: Marie Serrado

Arthroplasty, or joint replacement, is a surgery to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint (metal, ceramic, or plastic). Some common forms of joint replacement are both Hip and knee. Joint replacement surgery is a procedure that can help improve the lives of patients who suffer from joint pain or stiffness. Nevertheless, rehabilitation after surgery is crucial to ensure a full recovery and to resume regular activities; just like any rehabilitation, physical therapy plays a vital role in recovery from Arthroplasty. This blog post will explore what to expect from physical therapy rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery.

      1. Assessment: In every rehabilitation process, there’s an initial evaluation to ensure your needs are met. Physical therapists thoroughly assess a range of motion, strength, and overall function. This assessment will allow your PT to create a plan tailored to your specific need and goal.

      2. Pain management: Like every major surgery, recovery can be painful. But with, a physical therapist, they can ensure that your pain is minimal by using various techniques to help tolerate the rehabilitation procedure.

      3. Range of motion, Strengthening, and Balance and Coordination exercises:

Each patient is different, and a PT routine differs from someone else; one patient might not need the same exercises as you do. That’s why your physical therapist is here to help. For instance, if you are recovering from Knee replacement, a range of motion exercise that a PT might do with you is to perform knee flexions. Knee flexion is the bending of the knee. Always go slow when doing knee flexions; otherwise, you might get more pain.

    • Next is strengthening; physical therapists can use different techniques to ensure your restored function in the affected joint. They can use weights to even resistance bands.

    • And lastly, balance and coordination: After surgery, sometimes patients can experience a loss of balance. A physical therapist will help you regain your balance and coordination after surgery.

Physical therapy is an essential component of rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery. Working closely with your physical therapist and following your treatment plan diligently can help you recover and improve your quality of life.

References :

  1. Arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery): Procedure and details. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from

  2. Lau PT, M. (2022, October 13). How to improve knee flexion after surgery. [P]rehab. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from

  3. Kumar, J. (2022, April 25). What should be included in a physical therapy assessment? Endeavor Physical Therapy. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from

  4. Range of motion after knee replacement surgery. OneStep Digital Physical Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from,set%20yourself%20up%20for%20success.

  5. Richardson, A. B. (n.d.). The importance of physical therapy after Joint Replacement surgery. The Importance of Physical Therapy After Joint Replacement Surgery : Andrew B Richardson, MD: Orthopedic Surgeon. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from,more%20demands%20on%20your%20body.