Aquatic exercise boosts recovery from

Knee Replacement Surgery

When can I start hydrotherapy after the operation?

  • Straight away! The prime time to start pool therapy is immediately after surgery. 
  • Well maintained pools do not pose increased risk of wound related adverse events (such as infection) compared with land based therapy.

What are the benefits of hydrotherapy after knee replacement?

  • Buoyancy in water relieves body weight, allowing for easier walking and functional movements (such as squatting, lunging or step up’s) after the surgery.
  • The hydrostatic pressure of the water has positive effects on reducing swelling in the knee which in turn helps regain more range of motion and reduces pain.
  • Further positive influences on pain regulation are due to the relaxation effect of warm water and suppression of the sympathetic nervous system associated with water submersion.
  • The sensory input of the water can also increase body position sense enabling improved feelings of balance and confidence.
  • Through increased confidence and reduced pain, patients are able to move more freely, which often leads them to report reduced fear and anxiety about the recent surgery. This has a feed forward effect where future behaviours and movements over the early stages of recovery will greatly determine long term outcome.

"After successful total knee replacement surgery and a short course of physiotherapy, I began my slow and painful recovery. Seeking further help, AquaPhysio was recommended, and as from the initial assessment and subsequent sessions, there has been no looking back for me."

"The sincere professional help I have received has been of enormous benefit to me, both physically and also mentally. The depth and temperature of the pool along with the expert advice has meant that the exercises were enjoyable, and importantly pain free. This form of treatment is certainly the way forward and I can highly recommend it. Thank you to all the team at AquaPhysio!"


Take a look at our Case Studies

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Here is a short video clip of a patient performing a selection of her exercises at Aqua-Physio 5 weeks following a left total knee replacement:


What is a total knee replacement?

  • Total knee replacement, or total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which articular surfaces of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts (prostheses).
  • The majority of knee replacements are performed to relieve the painful effects of osteoarthritis.

    Other indications include inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid, psoriatic, etc.), haemophilia, gout, avascular necrosis, tumour’s, or congenital deformities.

What usually happens after the operation?

  • Usually a hospital stay of three to five days is required, but recovery times can vary depending on individual patients and the type of surgery being carried out.
  • Once you're able to be discharged, your hospital will give you advice about looking after your knee at home. You'll need to use a frame or crutches at first and a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help mobilise and strengthen your knee.
  • Most people can stop using walking aids around six weeks after surgery, and start driving after about eight to 12 weeks.
  • Full recovery can take up to two years as scar tissue heals and your muscles are restored by exercise.

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