Manual therapy – Your physical therapist may apply manual therapy such as hands-on treatment that may include massage, stretching, or joint mobilization—to help reduce swelling and stiffness, and restore muscle function around the knee.
Icing – Your physical therapist will apply ice packs to the knee to help control any pain and swelling and may instruct you to apply icing at home. Swelling is an important “guide” during your rehabilitation and can indicate your level of ability and recovery. If you experience an increase in swelling, your physical therapist will modify your treatment program or activity level to ensure your safest, most effective recovery.
Compression – Your physical therapist may recommend the use of compression bandages, stockings, or pumps to assist in the reduction of or prevent further accumulation of edema (swelling). Your physical therapist may include them as part of your regular treatments and teach you and your family how to use them at home.
NMES – Your physical therapist may use a treatment called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). NMES uses electrical current to gently stimulate/contract the muscles around your knee to help improve their strength.
Assistive devices – It may be necessary to use assistive devices such as crutches, a cane, or a walker in the short term. Your physical therapist will make recommendations about which device is best for you and will instruct you on how to use it properly.
Strengthening exercises – Your physical therapist will design exercises to build and maintain your strength during recovery and help restore full movement to the knee. You will be given a home program of exercises that are specific to your condition. Strengthening the muscles around the knee and throughout the leg helps ease pressure on the healing knee tissue.
Fitness counseling – As you recover, your physical therapist will advise you on ways to improve and maintain your fitness and activity levels, and will help you decide when you are ready to return to full activity.