Doing knee exercises after having knee replacement surgery is critical for a full recovery. The exercises will help patients regain mobility and strength. It will also help the muscles in the area to get stronger and prevent stiffness in the new joint.
The different exercises will help the patient to strengthen and stretch the muscles including the quadriceps and hamstrings that help support the knee.
Doctors will require patients to start off slow and gradually increase the exercise as they get stronger. Most often the exercise regimen will begin with about 30 minutes of exercise two to three times a day.
The exercises are beneficial to do on both legs. The knee that had surgery obviously needs therapy but the other leg needs to be engaged as well so it does not lose muscle.
Basic Knee Exercises
The following exercises are very basic and all begin with the patient sitting on the bed or floor with their legs straightened in front of them.
In the first exercise, the patient will be doing muscle contractions that will not put pressure on the knee joint. The quadricep muscles should be tighten or engaged and held for about five to 10 seconds and repeated about 10 times on each leg
The second exercise is similar to the latter but includes a leg lift. The patient should repeat the steps above as well as try to lift their leg off the floor. The leg should be held up for a few seconds. This should be repeated about 10 times on each leg.
The third exercise is similar to the second but will allow the patient to lift the leg a little higher than before. The patient should again sit on the floor with their legs stretched out. A rolled towel should be placed above the heel. The quadricep muscle should be engaged and the leg lifted off the towel for about 10 seconds. This process should be repeated 10 times on each leg.
The fourth of the basic knee exercises is to bend the knee to give the patient a range of motion. The patient should keep the same seated position with both legs straight. The patient should then bend the operated knee by slowly sliding the heel toward the buttox. This should be held for five second then the leg should be slowly straighten again. This should be repeated 10 times on the operated knee only.