When to use heat during tkr rehab?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I went 13 weeks after my knee replacement surgery without using any heat on my knee. I was icing like crazy but never heat. Whenever I had asked my PT I was pretty much given the same answer, "use ice, not heat". My thoughts are that initially ice treatment is a no brainer but after awhile surely heat helps healing? I decided to experiment for a week. I only used ice after my stretches and once a day when I alternated ice and heat. I do 15 mins ice, then 15 mins heat, followed by 10 and 5 min intervals. In the evening mainly while watching tv I used heat. It's now a week later and I have to say my experiment was a success, I'm much improved, my ROM increased 10% and I just "feel" better, I'm now able to do more stretching and strength exercises without swelling. Initially when I cut back on the ice my swelling increased but after three days the opposite happened. Anyone else have experience using heat? If so, how often do you use it, etc. 

0 likes, 10 replies

Report / Delete

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Interesting!!!!  I only used heat for a day or so but immediately noticed the bend was relaxed after the heat - it suddenly felt as though the knee was 'oiled'.  I didn't need it again after that.  I used flannels rinsed in hot water then kept them warm with a big towel round them.  To me it does make sense not to ice just before you're doing stretching, yet none of our physio's at the hospital mentioned heat.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I was told not to use heat in the first 3 months. And If I had to just to use the heat in the back of the knee. I was told because of the metal in the prostectic. However, every PT and doctor are different. J-21370
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, my physical therapist told me that. However, after the third months they started applying heat for 15 minutes while they crunch me in a machine. As you know, every patient, surgeon and PT are all different with different PT techniques. My first PT person told me to she y5 days after my surgery that if I did not start moving faster and doing more excercise that I will have to have a manipulation. At 5 days I could

      not lift my leg and I did not know why. The PT kept pushing and insisting to raise my leg - I just couldn't. I asked her to call my doctor and find out why. She did the reason was that they have

      numb my knee and leg and since I have Fibromyalgia it took longer to wake up. J-21370

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    At eleven weeks I find ice best for the front of the knee and warmth best for the back!
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up