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What to Expect When You're Expecting…(Read: Planning For)...A Total Knee Replacement

Updated: May 10, 2022

By: Dr. Lisa Bodratti, PT, DPT from The Green Room Physical Therapy

Undergoing a Total Knee Replacement can be a very overwhelming task. We’re here to make that process easier for you! Here at The Green Room we see LOTS of patients who have had their joints replaced, especially knees. We’d like to help you feel more comfortable by giving you an idea of what your first postoperative visit will look like at The Green Room.

Lets talk: The very first thing you can expect on your first visit, or initial evaluation, is to meet your physical therapist and discuss what symptoms led up to surgery, the surgery itself, and how you’ve been feeling since. We’ll discuss things like your current symptoms, your progression since surgery, and what your short and long term goals consist of. We also care about how you're currently moving around, what your home environment is like (i.e. do you have stairs to get into your bedroom? Do you have a tub or a walk in shower), and if you are currently working on any exercises on your own. Certainly this is not a comprehensive list of questions, but you get the idea - we want to know where you’re at and where we can help you go!

Lets measure: Next, we will work into our objective portion of our assessment where we will take some measurements of your leg strength, range of motion, and swelling - if applicable. For a post-op total knee, we really care about how much you can bend and straighten your operative leg, as this is a very important key to functional movement (being able to get up off the ground, get in and out of the car, walk without a limp, use stairs, etc.). We will also take a look at how your incision is healing and make sure there are no signs of infection or a deep vein thrombosis/blood clot.

Lets get moving: Our final task of the day is to make an assessment based on the things we talked about at the beginning of our session and the objective measurements we just took. We combine all of this information with your goals to formulate a treatment plan, specific to YOU! Our trained therapists will pick the right exercises to start moving in the right direction. Likely, your first few exercises for home will consist of self stretching and gentle muscle activation. We will teach you how to best utilize whatever assistive device you may be using - a wheeled walker or cane. We will discuss at length any “hacks” to help you move around more efficiently and comfortably between appointments (how to navigate stairs, how to best get in and out of the car, etc.). Lastly, we will take as much time as we need to answer any questions or concerns that you have. We want you to feel comfortable and confident leaving your first appointment!

If you are planning for or are scheduled for a Total Knee Replacement, give our office a call to get on the schedule with one of our experienced therapists. We would be honored to help you achieve your goals! You may also schedule a free consultation by phone or in-person by signing up here:

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