Exercises To Practise After Undergoing Knee Replacement Surgery

Because of the soreness and pain after knee replacement surgery it can be tempting to try and keep the knee as still as possible in the belief that rest is best.

 While it’s certainly true that you’ll need plenty of rest following the operation, and strenuous activities are off the agenda for some time, it’s also vital to begin exercising the knee as soon as possible.

1.    Ankle Pump And Rotation.

This exercise helps to get blood circulating through the leg and acts as a warm up before the other stretches. It also helps minimise the danger of blood clots in the leg, which is a risk after knee replacement surgery. Lie on your back, or if you prefer you can sit in a sturdy chair, and then bend and straighten the ankle 20 times. Follow this by rotating the ankle in both directions for the same number of reps.

2.    Lying Knee Flexion.

This exercise can cause some discomfort after knee replacement surgery and if you feel it is too intense talk to your physio and they can advise you. Lie flat with your legs straight. Slowly slide your heel towards your buttocks, bending the knee. Slide the foot forward until the leg is straight and repeat. This exercise should be done ten times.

3.    Inner Range Quads.

For this exercise you’ll need a hard cylinder wrapped in a towel. Lying down slide the wrapped cylinder under the knee. Once you’re comfortable push the knee down into the towel, straighten the leg and count to 3 before relaxing then repeat 9 more times. The aim is to work up to a ten count hold for each rep.

4.    Static Quad Contraction.

Lying down with your legs stretched out flat in front of you flex your ankles up pushing your toes up towards your face and as you do so push the back of the knee down into your mattress. You should feel your quad muscles tighten and engage. Hold for between 5 and 10 seconds, relax and repeat 9 more times.

5.    Seated Quad And Knee Flexion.

For this exercise you need a chair that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor and also supports the thigh along its length. Firstly raise your toes off the floor by flexing the ankle but keep the heel grounded. Then engage your quads and straighten the knee under control. Hold for 5-10 seconds, lower and repeat 9 times. Following this leave your foot flat on the floor and slide your heel back towards the chair and bend the knee as far as possible. Complete 10 reps.

Recovery after knee replacement surgery isn’t a race, but it’s important to begin exercising as soon as your physiotherapist advises. Always consult with them before beginning any exercises so that you can be sure you have correct form and don’t compromise your recovery.

If you want to explore your options for knee replacement surgery then you can find out how healthcare providers can help you make the right decision.

By Ian Duncan

PT Courses