Joint Rehabilitation and You: Physical Therapy to Treat and Strengthen Your Body After Surgery

As you’re well aware, dealing with the physical limitations and struggles associated with joint replacements are, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things a patient can go through. Combine this with the trials and tribulations of life and you have a recipe for an unpleasant experience. But what if there were an alternative means of dealing with your surgery after the ordeal has taken place? Are you simply expected to deal with random variables as they’re thrown at you, or are there certain practices and techniques that can be used to speed up the recovery process? If you’ve undergone a joint replacement yourself, or know someone that is, hesitantly, about to undergo one, these techniques will ensure that the ordeal flows as easily as possible.

Knee Replacement: What to Expect and How to Approach Rehab

Here you are — fresh out of the surgery, unable to move your leg and not knowing what your next move may be. Although this may be a trying time filled with emotional fluctuations, it’s one of the most common procedures that an individual can undergo. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that total knee replacement recipients will grow over 650% by the year 2030 with millions of patients treated. So although you may feel down and out about your procedure, rest assured knowing that doctors and healthcare physicians perform these treatments on an almost daily basis.

First and foremost, you need to gain strength back into the limb itself. This process, although daunting and somewhat uncomfortable, will ensure that the entire range of motion of the lower limb will return once the healing process is over. Patients that fail to perform their therapy, or simply neglect the muscles located in the leg, are prone to becoming immobile after the wounds from the surgery have healed. Health sources report that the duration in which a patient stays in the hospital after their surgery is, usually, less than 72 hours.

Once you’ve arrived back home, your physician and therapist will map out a plan in which to begin training of the lower extremities. For patients that have undergone a slightly less invasive surgery, home rehabilitation may be all that is required. However, for individuals that are older or obese, clinical rehab is prescribed as a means of tackling the issues under the watchful eyes of a professional.

Exercises That Speed up the Healing Process

The most overlooked component to a speedy recovery, despite what most may think, comes from the dietary choices that you make. Our body needs nutritious fuel and minerals that it can absorb and use as a means of healing the damage our body has undergone. A brief list of foods that have been shown to improve bone and joint health are as follows:

  • Calcium-dense foods, such as milk, cream, and cheese, for bone and joint improvement.
  • Protein-packed lean meats like fish and chicken that can assist in repairing swollen, damaged and inflamed tissue.
  • Orange juice, fresh berries, and mango to improve collagen production.

The next thing a patient will undergo is a workout regimen that is designed to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles located in the knee. It’s important to realize that the first week after surgery will be used as a means of testing your pre-existing strength limits. For most patients, this duration will be used as a period of walking with the assistance of a walker or stroller. This will allow the individual to become active while still having assistance during the walking motion.

Once the individual begins to showcase strength, the therapist will begin incorporating the means of a stationary bike for ten, fifteen and twenty-minute time frames. Using the assistance of a bike provides a low-impact environment in which to stress and fatigue the calves and quadriceps which, in turn, assists with knee mobility.

You Hold the Power of Change

Most patients, yourself included, don’t realize the power that they wield once they leave the hospital. The results you experience and the lifestyle you lead after the surgery is completely reliant on your ability to remain consistent with your therapy. Your body will reap the benefits of the effort you showcase in your home, as well as the clinic during your training regimen. Don’t let surgery control your life, or impact the beautiful experiences you have with your family and friends. Ready yet? Reach out to us at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.


As many as 300,000 people, over the age of 65, experience a hip fracture each year. Without the once-strong bones, this can be a life-changing experience for most.

Why a Hip Fracture is so Threatening

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, less than 50% of those who suffer a fractured hip are ever able to regain their previous way of life. Decreased hip function takes away independent walking from an estimated 40% of those afflicted. Over 60% require aid with simple movements less than a year after the occurrence. This means that a large portion of seniors suffering from a hip fracture have to become dependent on constant care, like a nursing home.

What Causes Susceptibility to a Hip Fracture?

There are several reasons why hip bones are susceptible to fracture. These may include:

• Weakening from normal aging
• Blunt trauma
• Long-term obesity
• Disease like Osteoporosis

As one grows older, the density and strength in these bones begin to diminish. Add to this poor eyesight and poor balance and you have the making of a fall on a hard surface. Or something as simple as riding in a car can result in a hip fracture if you are involved in an accident that has heavy jarring. People that are overweight may experience weakness in hips, back and legs due to the constant pressure put upon them. And then there is Osteoporosis, the silent disease. You can have osteoporosis without even knowing it until a break occurs. The only way to be sure is by having a bone mineral density test performed by your physician.


Having strong bones in your younger years makes surgery to repair a broken hip easy enough. However, when age has debilitated this area, surgery is often not an option. There are certain risks that are attached to performing surgery. These can include:

• Unhealthy bones surrounding the break
• Blood clots that can form and travel
• Developing infection at the incision

It is up to the physician as to whether the physical condition, age of patient and severity of the break is worth the risk of trying to repair a hip fracture. The patient has to be strong enough to withstand general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia and the bones must be strong enough to support a metal plate and screws. If the patient is not well enough to endure a surgery procedure, they are forced to be confined to a chair or bed.

Without the ability to have a hip surgically repaired, there are many life-threatening medical issues that can develop. When there is a fracture in the hip, inflammation sets in. This creates good conditions for blood clots to form. In addition, being bed-fast increases muscle breakdown. It has also been noted that blood pressure can increase and cause heart disease to develop.

There are life-threatening medical issues that can transpire for the elderly regardless of hip fracture surgery or not. The most common of problems is the worsening of existing medical problems, new medical symptoms forming from inactivity and debilitating pain. Once a hip fracture occurs, an elderly patient is 6 times more likely to die in the hospital from the development of post-surgery complications, like a stroke, heart attack, or blood infection.

Getting Help for the Elderly

It takes a good rehabilitation program to help an elderly patient to recover from hip fractures. While a hospital can perform certain procedures, a specialized rehabilitation program is essential. Reducing pain and swelling is the first step in gaining back your freedom. The next step is increasing mobility and flexibility, followed by strengthening. It is often difficult to receive the personal treatment needed at a nursing home due to the numerous duties that they are required to perform. Be prepared by seeking the best, such as Sauk Prairie Physical Therapy located in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Their team of dedicated nurses and nursing assistants are available 24 hours a day to assist you and support you on the road to recovery.


Hip Fractures Older Adults Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016, September) Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Facts and Statistics, Hip Fracture, IOF, International Osteoporosis Foundation (2017) Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Osteoporosis, Medline Plus, US National Library of Medicine (2017, November) Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Hip-Fracture Surgery Risk Not Just Due to Age, Newsmax Health (2015, September) Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Here at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, we want to provide exceptional care along with fantastic service for our residents.

Jo, from Baraboo Wisconsin, had a broken ankle and decided to work with a physical therapist in our rehabilitation department. She has continually improved and provided a video testimonial that you can watch.

Hello, my name is Josephine Z, I am from Baraboo and I have just spent a month at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie in rehabilitation for a broken ankle, and I am now residing at Maplewood Village. I want to talk about the rehabilitation center. In June, on June 17th, I was trying to do some outside painting on a two-step stool and I took a tumble and broke my ankle in a couple of places. Something that I have never done before in my life. So my last thought for this summer was that I would be in a rehabilitation center, but I want to tell you about Maplewood, it’s an amazing place. The staff is fantastic. They are always there, they are always present. They are helpful, they are cheerful, they are fun. I came to love them very much for their hope for me. and ah, there is never anything that you want that they cannot try to do for you with–with great cheerful spirits.

I am now at Maplewood Village, hoping that I can, as soon as my ankle is ready for rehab, I will be able to travel by wheelchair, back over there for rehabilitation in their therapy department, which is also wonderful. The girls there and the men there are just super, and working with the patients and with the greatest cheer. I don’t know how they do it, they are– all of them when deal with people that are much more disabled and injured than I. I feel like an imposter with just a broken ankle, but it is a great place and I cannot say enough for it. The food is wonderful. The help is great. The surroundings are very pretty and very tastefully kept, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs that kind of service.

Physical Therapy in Sauk Prairie

Experiencing pain or dealing with a painful condition can be very difficult.  Some may go through long term pain from a chronic problem while others may be trying to live with pain that started with a recent injury.


Either way, there are times when your pain can be improved or resolved with the help of a physical therapist.  Often, physical therapy and rehabilitation is utilized in conjunction with treatment from your medical provider.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help With Pain

Pain is often caused when joint, tissues, or nerves have been irritated in some fashion.  New injuries, like a sprained ankle, can cause swelling and irritation in the area leading to pain.  Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, can cause inflammation in the area of a joint also causing discomfort.

Physical therapists can help with painful conditions by evaluating a patient, getting an understanding of what is causing the pain, and providing customized rehabilitation services to improve or resolve the problem.

Physical therapy involves providing specialized treatment such as improving flexibility, reducing spasm, decreasing inflammation, or educating the patient in proper movement and prevention techniques.

In addition to manual therapy provided by the physical therapist, you may also receive passive therapies such as ice, heat, ultrasound, or muscle stimulation.

Conditions Often Treated With Physical Therapy

There are many pain conditions that are treated with physical therapy.  Here are some of the common conditions that are treated, but certainly this is not a complete list.

Conditions treated include:

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Hip tendinitis
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle sprains/strains
  • Post surgical pain

Where to Find Physical Therapy in Sauk Prairie

If you have any of the conditions that were listed above or you have another painful condition that you’d like to have treated, call Maplewood of Sauk Prairie to speak with our Physical Therapy department.  You can also speak with your health provider and ask that they refer you to us for treatment.

We will set up a treatment plan for you and will work with your health provider every step of the way.  Call us at 608-643-3383 today.