Can You Use a Mini Trampoline After Knee Replacement Surgery?
On average, there are over 1 million joint replacement surgeries performed annually in the United States. As the number of joint replacement surgeries skyrockets, patients are wondering what the most supportive low-impact exercises are that help the most with recovery, including using mini trampolines.
So, can you use a mini trampoline after knee replacement? In fact, mini trampolines are not only one of the top low-impact modes of activity following knee replacement surgery, but they are also very cost-effective. You do not need a personal trainer or expensive gym to gain the recuperative benefits of mini trampolines.
However, it is always recommended to get the approval of your doctor and physical therapist before beginning any activity after knee replacement surgery. Let's cover the topic more in-depth.
Is Exercise Important After Knee Replacement Surgery?
Exercise is actually an essential component of recovery after a surgery like a knee replacement. After the initial recovery phase, there are few restrictions given to the patient following the surgery.
Exercise is crucial for the patient's overall health and well-being during the post-op period. However, it also helps the knee prosthesis fit better and prevents it from loosening over time.
There are exercises or movements that should be avoided immediately following knee surgery. Generally, though, exercise and movement are tolerated for most knee replacement patients after the initial recovery phase. It's always a good idea to get approval from your physical therapist, though since they know your exact needs and limitations.
Doctors often claim that issues with new knee joints do not usually occur with their physically active patients. Most often, issues arise with overweight individuals with osteoporosis. Weight-bearing, low-impact exercises like jumping on a mini trampoline help to prevent osteoporosis from happening in the first place.
Can You Use a Mini Trampoline After Knee Replacement?
A mini trampoline (often called a rebounder) is one of the top low-impact exercises for anyone; however, it is especially helpful for individuals that have joint issues. For those wanting to prevent joint issues or for those recovering from joint surgery, it is very important to choose low-impact exercises. In fact, using a mini trampoline after knee surgery is a useful tool to incorporate during the recovery process since it is a low-impact exercise.
What Are the Benefits of a Mini Trampoline?
You might be wondering if using a mini trampoline is worth it after surgery. There are many benefits to using one, though.
Gentle on Joints
Mini trampolines cause less wear and tear on hip and knee joints than high-impact exercises, such as running or high-impact sports.
When you land on the surface of the trampoline, you are landing on a soft surface that gives a little when your weight is added. The bungee cords or springs of the trampoline absorb much of the impact for you. It has been shown that rebounding is an excellent alternative to running or even walking on a hard surface.
Increase in Bone Mass and Muscle Mass
NASA has used rebounding as a means of helping astronauts recover from space travel once they have returned to Earth. One of the consequences of space travel is a loss of bone mass and muscle mass. Trampolines have helped astronauts to increase their bone and muscle mass upon their return.
After knee replacement surgery, it is vital to increase any lost bone mass or muscle mass. It is crucial to support your new joint by incorporating low-impact exercises into your routine.
When you rebound on a trampoline, you are strengthening the muscles below and above the knee joints. As a result, you will heal much quicker by incorporating rebounding into your recovery regimen.
Increase in Blood Circulation
Optimal blood circulation is vital for adequate health. It is even more vital when recovering from surgery, such as knee replacement surgery.
Our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to our various bodily tissues. The proper amount of oxygen and nutrients can help our bodies bounce back more quickly.
When we choose a low-impact exercise tool like a mini-trampoline, we are increasing blood flow to the tissues that are in need of recovery.
What Exercises Are Best on a Mini-Trampoline?
Recovery time for the average knee replacement surgery takes between 6-12 weeks. Exercises on a mini trampoline can range from simple to complex. Following a knee replacement surgery, it is advisable to start with simple movements.
Gradually, you can increase your movements and time on the mini trampoline as you continue to heal and gain strength and mobility.
The below movements are general exercises that you can ask your physical therapist about. They should be consulted and can advise you on when to use a mini trampoline based on your current stage of recovery.
Walking in place may be the simplest and most effective movement that you can do on the mini trampoline.
It will increase blood flow, which helps to support healing. It is also a functional movement that we all need to be able to do proficiently. Walking on the mini trampoline will help to reinforce the walking that you do on hard surfaces.
The simple "health bounce" is a good place to start.
The health bounce consists of standing on the trampoline as you tighten your abdominal muscles. Your legs remain straight under you as you keep your feet on the trampoline surface. Simply do a very slow bounce allowing the springs or elastic bands of the mini trampoline to bounce you as you exert a little force.
Standing on One Leg
Another simple movement that you can work up to is standing on one leg for a few seconds at a time. It is helpful to hold on to something, like a mini trampoline handlebar or a sturdy chair. Try it for just 2-5 seconds at a time at first and then switch legs.
Repeat 2-3 times on each leg.
You can gradually increase the amount of time you stand on one leg and the frequency at which you do each set. This exercise will help in increasing your strength and the ability of your joints to bear weight.
Alternatives to a Mini Trampoline
You may be wondering if there are alternative exercises that you can do following knee replacement surgery. In fact, there are, but they have limitations. Let's explore those options and their limitations.
Water aerobics or jogging in the water are perhaps the lowest impact workouts that you can do. They consist of doing aerobic types of movements or jogging in water.
The limitations of these workouts are that you must have access to a pool. An indoor pool or heated pool would be ideal so that you can do your exercises at any time of the year. If the pool that you are using is located anywhere other than your home, then you must travel to the pool, which is often a barrier to some people.
Elliptical Machine or Stationary Bike
The elliptical machine and stationary bike are two common exercise machines that are often recommended after knee replacement surgery. They are recommended because they are low-impact. Your feet do not even leave the pedals.
The limitations are similar to water-based exercises. You will need to travel to a gym that has those pieces of equipment unless you already own them.
Are There Any Other Ways to Support Recovery?
It is helpful to have several modes of support following a major surgery like knee replacement. As discussed, using a mini trampoline after knee replacement is one main source. Here are a few others for you to consider.
1. Hinged Knee Brace
A hinged knee brace is a commonly prescribed device following knee replacement surgery. These braces have hinged bars on each side to secure the knee joint. This feature prevents undesirable movements. A hinged brace can be bought with or without a doctor's prescription.
2. Knee Ice Compression Wrap
This type of wrap is beneficial to use post-op, after exercises, or even after a full day of normal activities that may cause inflamed knee joints. It is secured behind the knee and can be filled with ice for cold therapy or hot water for heat therapy. It can help lower pain and inflammation.
3. Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) Machine
Doctors commonly recommend a CPM to their patients following knee replacement surgery. It helps to keep your leg moving following surgery. It is vital to regaining your mobility following surgery as quickly as possible.
A CPM machine helps to increase blood flow, range of motion, and muscle strength after surgery.
Recommendations Following Knee Replacement Surgery
So, can you use a mini trampoline after knee replacement? As discussed, out of the many methods that can be used during the recovery process, a mini trampoline is an excellent choice due to its low cost, accessibility, and health benefits. All you need is a pair of athletic shoes and a quality mini trampoline.
It's important that you take good care of your new knee, so you can have full function for years to come. Physical activity will help you achieve that goal.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about knee health. We are glad to help in any way that we can!