Rehabbing a total knee replacement with LightSpeed Lift
About a million knee replacements are done every year in the United States. For the folks getting their knees replaced or needing other forms of rehabilitation, LightSpeed Lift is a great tool after—and especially before—the surgery because it helps them walk without pain.
The LightSpeed Lift body weight support (BWS) system lifts a person up, reducing the force of their walking or running weight by 15%. With less force operating on their joints, they can move comfortably again.
For many, walking post-surgery is still a challenge
The first time I really used the LightSpeed Lift system on someone who’d had joint surgery, that person was my wife. She’d had both knees replaced. Six weeks after her surgery, she still wasn’t walking well and felt discouraged.
Our BWS system got her walking again—and got her smile back. The results and her encouragement got me to keep going myself, as I continued to develop LightSpeed Lift.
In the ten years since I’ve personally seen about 200-300 people for rehab after a total knee surgery. During that time, I noticed a pattern.
Typically, what happens is that after the surgery, the doctor declares the carpentry done and tells the patient to just get out there and walk. That may sound good, but by the time most people get a knee replaced, they’ve been in pain for a long time. In particular, they tend to develop an ingrained motor pattern of not putting full weight on the knee—because it hurts!
Even after the surgery, when there theoretically isn’t any more pain, they still retain that same movement pattern. But when they use the LightSpeed Lift, they can relax again. They stop walking so stiffly—and they show that classic LightSpeed smile.
Philip’s journey: from dragging a foot, to daily runs
One of my most dedicated clients, Philip, was a football player in his youth and then became a personal trainer. He’s worked with athletes all his life. But Philip developed severe osteoarthritis in his right knee, and eventually, he had to have a knee replacement.
Philip thought that after his knee surgery, he’d be active again in no time. But as many people have learned the hard way, it didn’t quite work like that.
First, his knee tied up, and he needed two manipulations. Then, even after he recovered his range of motion, he still had a habit of dragging his right leg. And on top of all that, he’d gained 35-40 pounds while he was waiting for the surgery.
I convinced Philip to come into the gym and try the LightSpeed Lift. Right away, he started walking faster. In that first session, he was walking at 1.5-2 MPH. He did two and a half miles, and that was pushing it. By the end, he was sweating.
Now, Philip comes in to run four or five days a week—and he’s running at 7.5 MPH. Not bad for a 68-year-old football player who grew up in an era when running farther than twenty yards was a severe penalty and not something you did for fun.
Philip can walk across the street again, and because he still likes working with youth, he can run with a kid on the field. He’s lost the weight he gained while waiting for his replacement—and he feels like an athlete again.
As Philip will tell you, using the LightSpeed Lift has “worked wonders” for his rehabilitation.
Working with the LightSpeed Lift BWS system has opened new channels for Philip and many other people who’ve been told by their doctors that they wouldn’t run again. With a BWS system, people can comfortably get past that barrier. They don’t have to run—they can just walk—but with the LightSpeed Lift, running is fun.
I recommend incorporating a BWS system like the LightSpeed Lift into your regular rehabilitation. Whether you’ve had a total knee replacement, other injuries, or severe osteoarthritis, the LightSpeed Lift is a good tool for getting back your gait, your speed—and your smile.
Contact us today for more information!