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Physical therapist helping patient do knee exercise

Five Knee Surgery Recovery Tips

By Beth Ackerman, PT, DPT, SCS

After knee surgery, it is very common to be scared and anxious about the recovery process. Here are five ways to stay on the path to recovery.

1. Follow your postoperative instructions.

Your physician will give you detailed instructions to keep you safe immediately following your surgery. You and your parents should read these instructions carefully to fully understand what to expect in the first few days.

2. See your physical therapist regularly.

Going to physical therapy regularly will allow your therapist to help you progress at the right pace to get you back in the game when it is safe to do so.

3. Speak up if something doesn’t feel right.

  • Always tell someone if something feels off, mentally or physically.
  • Throughout your rehab, you may feel new sensations in your knee. Most of the time these are not alarming; however, always tell your healthcare provider immediately and let us decide if this is an expected part of your rehabilitation.
  • It’s very normal after a knee surgery to feel sad or worried about your future in sports. CHKD is dedicated to helping our patients stay mentally engaged during the long rehabilitation process and to helping you get back on track.

4. Trust the process and work hard.

Trusting in the process is difficult, especially when it is long. Our team at CHKD has a criteria-based rehab process. This means that once you are ready to move to the next phase of your rehab, we will take you there, but it will take hard work every step of the way. This whole process takes time, and it may not be a straight trajectory. But as much work as you put in, our team will put in the same amount to get you back in the game.

5. Engage with your sport.

Just because you are out of the game doesn’t mean you are out of the sport. Your mental and physical well-being are just as important to your recovery. We encourage you to participate in team social functions, attend practices (and complete your home exercises instead of practicing), and support your team on the sideline during games.

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About CHKD Sports Medicine

About CHKD Sports Medicine  CHKD's sports medicine program offers the most comprehensive care for your young athlete. From diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans, we specialize in physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens. Our team is composed of pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physician assistants, certified athletic trainers and pediatric sports medicine physical therapists.