Can I rehab after knee surgery without physical therapy?

After many of the surgeries we perform as orthopedic surgeons, especially when we operate on athletes and active people, we have the patient work with a physical therapist. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question of a reader who wonders if doing physical therapy is always necessary after a knee surgery.

Jimmy asks:
Is it possible to rehabilitate your knee after surgery without a physical therapist?

After a knee surgery, you must get your swelling down and regain your normal knee range of motion and leg strength. For some surgeries, like a partial meniscectomy, you might be able to achieve these goals on your own doing exercises at home every day. For other surgeries, like ACL reconstructions, it is much more difficult to achieve these goals on your own.

In this video, I explain when physical therapy is needed and when working with a physical therapist can help you return to what you do as quickly and safely as possible.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – How can I fully recover after injury?
Ask Dr. Geier – Time to wait before physical activity after knee surgery

Physical therapy after knee surgery

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