Rehabbing your knee after surgery doesn’t require a lot of tools and gadgets. I’ve tried to compile the useful ones – the ones actually worth spending money on here.
Ice therapy system. This is basically a cooler that you fill with water and ice. It attaches to a pad that you wrap around your knee. When you turn it on, a motorized pump circulates cold water around your joint constantly. It was a HUGE help in reducing both pain and swelling the first few weeks.
Decent crutches. You’re probably not going to be on crutches very long, but let me tell you that the standard-issue one are horrible. They rub on your underarms, bruise the palms of your hands and generally suck almost as bad as having an injured knee to begin with. Mobilegs are awesome. The have ergonomic hand grips and an articulated piece that goes under your arm and rotates in tandem with your body. No more rubbing!
Six-inch ace wrap with velcro. Unless you’re going to live like a hermit for the first few months after surgery, you’ll need to be able to ice your knee outside of your house. An ace wrap is key to holding it in place. The wider version is better for holding ice packs to your knee. And the velco is nice, so you don’t have to worry about losing those stupid little metal clasps. I’ve only ever found 3″ wide ace wraps at the drugstore, so you’ll probably have to order this online.
Adjustable shower chair. When you finally get to shower, you still won’t be able to stand on both legs. Using a stool or chair in your shower is much safer and more comfortable than trying to balance on your good leg while you shampoo and soap up.
Airex Balance Pad. Regaining proprioception is one of the early goals in physical therapy. The Airex pad is an inexpensive pad that you can stand on while doing exercises.
Yoga mat. It can be uncomfortable to lie on the floor when doing PT exercises, especially if you have wood floors like I do. A yoga mat is essential!
Kinetic trainer for your bicycle. A bike is one of the first forms of cardio you can do after surgery. It’s also a great way to warm up the knee before PT and keep it moving when it feel stiff.