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HealthSheets™

After Knee Arthroscopy: Recovering from Surgery

Physical therapist working with woman on leg stretches.Your healthcare provider may prescribe physical therapy before or after your surgery or both. This can help ease pain, increase range of motion, and build strength. Your physical therapist will design a program for you. It will be based on your knee problem and recovery goals. This program may have office visits and a home exercise program.

Working with your physical therapist

Your physical therapist can help you set goals and work toward them. But a successful recovery depends mostly on you. Follow instructions and keep your appointments.

Types of physical therapy

To help you heal, your physical therapist may use one or more of these:

  • Manual therapy. This may include moving soft tissue and joints in a specific way to get back movement and flexibility. It may also include working against the therapist's resistance to improve the way your muscle activates.

  • Weight machines. These machines work to make specific muscle groups stronger.

  • Closed kinetic chain exercises. These help make your joints stronger and more stable by keeping one part of the body still while the rest of the body is moving. Squats are an example of these exercises.

  • Aerobic exercises. These include biking and walking. They build up the leg muscles as well as the heart and lungs.

  • Electric stimulation (as needed). This uses a painless electric current to ease pain, decrease swelling, and rebuild muscles.

  • Ultrasound (as needed). This uses sound waves to help heal injured tissue.

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.