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Knee Exercises After Surgery

Knee Exercises After Surgery

Knee exercises are recommended after surgery to accelerate the healing process. At the same time, they help maintain the range of knee motions. This article discusses a few exercises that may be performed after a surgery.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Usually, physical therapy is prescribed after a knee surgery. The surgeon may specify when the patient may begin performing the exercises post surgery. These exercises help strengthen the weakened muscles of the knee since the knee is the most important weight-bearing joint of the body. The patient may start walking as soon as the doctor prescribes to do so. Other exercises that help accelerate the healing process have been enlisted below.
Important: Do not begin any exercise without first consulting your doctor.
Quadriceps Setting
This is one of the exercises that should be performed after arthroscopic surgery. The steps are as follows:
  • Lie flat on your back. Extend both the legs straight and place your hands on your sides.
  • Tighten the quadriceps muscles as you straighten your knee making it flat. If this step is done correctly, the knee cap will slide a little upwards towards the thigh muscles.
  • Hold in this position for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Every 5 seconds tighten the quadriceps muscles.
This exercise should be performed four times a day, where each set should be of 10 counts. Gradually, increase the number of sets.
Ankle Pumps
This exercise prevents formation of blood clots after the knee surgery. The steps are as follows:
  • Lie on the bed or sit on a chair.
  • Flex your foot up and hold for a couple of seconds.
  • Flex your foot down and hold for a couple of seconds.
Perform this exercise every one hour at least 10 to 12 times.
Heel Slides
This exercise helps regain the flexion in the operated knee. It may also be performed while lying down. The steps are as follows:
  • Sit on a chair.
  • Slowly slide the heel backward, as though you were trying to get your foot under the chair. Hold in this position for 10 seconds.
  • Release the position and slowly stretch the leg in front.
Leg Raises
This is another exercise, which can be performed either while sitting on a chair or lying down. The steps are as follows:
  • Lie on the bed and keep your legs extended.
  • Slowly, lift your one leg off the floor, without bending your knee.
  • Count till 10 and release.
Perform this exercise, till your thighs are tired.
Knee Extension
This exercise is may be performed after a knee replacement surgery. The steps are as follows:
  • Roll a towel or place a pillow under the operated knee. The knee should be raised to about 40 degrees.
  • Like in quadriceps setting, tighten the quadriceps muscles and straighten the knee.
  • Slowly lift the heel off the bed and hold in the position for 10 seconds.
  • Release the leg slowly.
Repeat the steps about 10 times after every 3 to 4 hours.
Pillow Squeeze
This exercise strengthens the groin muscles. The steps are as follows:
  • Lie on your back, fold your knees and place the feet on the floor.
  • Place a pillow between your knees, and squeeze the pillow with your knees.
  • Keep squeezing the knees as you count till 10, relax for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise.
Back Leg Lifts
The steps are as follows:
  • Lie on your stomach, place your chin on the floor and your hands to the sides.
  • Bend both your legs at the knee and start kicking one leg at a time.
Perform at least 30 repetitions on each of the legs.
The aforementioned exercises may be extremely beneficial if they are performed everyday. Always remember to consult your surgeon prior to beginning your knee exercise program. Also, perform your exercise only up to your comfort level. If you experience any sort of pain while performing any of the exercises or later, discontinue them and consult your physiotherapist regarding the same.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.