Exercises for Knee Replacement Patients
About Knee Replacement Rehab
- The rehabilitation process following knee replacement surgery is not a quick process. It can last anywhere from three weeks to well over a month, and individuals who have had the procedure performed will tell you that the earlier one engages in strengthening exercises, the quicker and more complete recovery will be. Early recovery is dedicated to separate sessions of exercises or walking, with both performed at 20 to 30 minute bouts, two or three times each day.
- Basic recovery exercises include the following:
Isometric Quad Contractions - straighten your leg as much as possible while tightening your quadriceps muscles of that leg. Hold this position for five to ten seconds aiming for a total of 10 repetitions. Rest for a minute or so, then repeat.
Ankle flexion - flex the foot at the ankle to point the toes of one leg as far forward as possible, then reverse and pull the toes as far back as possible. Perform for two to three minute sets until fatigued.
Knee flexion - While laying, place your heel on a slightly raised surface so that the lower portion of your leg is no longer on the floor. By flexing your quadriceps, attempt to straighten the leg to the point where the back of the knee is once again in contact with the floor.
Lying knee bends - while reclined and keeping your foot fully on the floor at all times, bend at the knee as much as possible to slide your foot closer to your body. Reverse the motion and repeat until tired.
- Standing knee flexion - while standing unassisted or on crutches, lift your foot off the floor and bend your knee as much as possible, hold for five to ten seconds, then reverse. Make sure your heel comes in contact with the floor before the ball of your foot. Repeat until tired.
Stationary bicycling - start by pedaling backwards, having the seat so high the bottom of your foot touches the pedal only when the leg is straight. Aim for 15 to 20 minutes of pedaling twice a day, and increase that amount to 20 to 30 minutes, twice a day, three to four times per week
Add resistance - of course, all of these exercises can be made more difficult by using ankle weights to add light resistance. Start slowly and attempt to progressively add more weight as you find the exercise easier.
Thoroughly following your doctor's instructions and regularly practicing these exercises, you will be back on your feet before you know it.