It has been 6-months since my client had partial knee replacement surgery to replace part of her damaged knee due to osteoarthritis and degeneration of her medial meniscus. She progressed quickly through physical therapy much faster than her doctor expected. It’s my belief that she progressed faster than most of her cohorts because her fitness is well above her demographic. She was also very disciplined at following the home remedies by her PT.
Not seeing her in months I quickly noticed latent swelling and ankle restriction to her knee. I attribute the swelling to the natural process post-surgery and her loss of ankle mobility to my client not being able to use her leg is our Baseline leg. The non-surgical side is what we use as a comparison. As you can see her leg is not as mobile which is causing asymmetries to her gait. If not rectified she will develop other issues like unnecessary loading to one side, back pain, and worst case scenario a re-injury to her surgical side.
In less than 2-minutes with her foot elevated on the box, we introduce what I call “High-Intensity Interval Passive Stretching”. A passive stretch is where the client assumes a position that lengthens a specific muscle and/or increases the joint angle through end range. This is usually performed with the assistance of a partner (that would be me) and it is held for a given length of time. In this example, we held it the end range for 10 seconds at a time before moving back toward less tension. We repeat this process 10-15/times.
The “High Intensity” is the rating I give the client to hold in which the stretching is very uncomfortable but not painful. As you can see in just 2-minutes we were quickly and effectively able to improve her ankle mobility.