Focus On How You’re Walking

walking photo

Getting off the Walker is a milestone that a lot of total knee patients want to hit sooner rather than later.
But I usually tell people don’t be in such a rush to abandon your walker just yet.
What you’re really interested in doing with the Walker, is improving the quality of how you walk. Not just how far you can walk.
When using your Walker, the emphasis should be on practicing how you walk. Or, practicing how to walk normally. Your surgical leg should be doing the same thing your good leg is doing.
This may be hard for some because there may be pain, or your range of motion may still be limited.
But one of the biggest problems that people have is overcoming bad habits of walking.
People who have had a total knee replacement generally have had pain in their need for a long time. And that leg has become weak and the muscles have become tight. This has caused people to walk with a limp or basically compensate how they walk even before they had their surgeries.
So it is important for anyone who has had a knee replacement to understand that not only are you overcoming the pain and soreness from the surgery, you’re also trying to overcome the bad habits that you developed previously before the surgery.
Here is a tip: make sure that your Surgical knee is as straight as possible when standing on it. This takes place when you are stepping forward with your non surgical leg.
To do this you may have to put more weight on your arms when you’re using your Walker. But it’s important to learn how to straighten your surgical knee and to bear weight on it.
This is necessary in order to have a normal gait cycle or walking pattern.
If you have trouble straightening your surgical Knee, then you may have to spend more time working on your extension range of motion.
The exercises that work on your knee extension are they standing calf stretch and the hamstring stretch and the passive knee extension. You can do this easily with a stretching strap.
So keep this in mind if you are one of those who are trying to get off the water as soon as possible. It may be more beneficial to stay on the water longer and practice how you walk. This will help you a lot more in the long run.

Physical Therapist

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