Knee exercises

Here are five exercises to enhance the range of motion and the strength of your knee. Go through them on a regular basis before your surgery, and keep practicing for six weeks after the surgery to restore the range of motion. After four weeks from your surgery, you should be able to both straighten your knee and have it bended 90 degrees. If the range of motion has not improved as planned, please contact a physiotherapist.

Tips on exercise

• If necessary, take pain medication 30 minutes before exercising.
• Practice two times a day.
• Repeat each exercise 3–10 times.
• Go through the routine 1–3 times per session.
• Start with three repeats per exercise and go through the routine once.
• As you make progress, start adding repeats to exercises and routines.

Exercise 1

Strengthen your thighs

Activate the muscles of your thigh. Straighten your knee as far as you can, and hold it there for 5 seconds. Lower your leg carefully and relax it.  Practice also without a pillow, using only your thigh muscles.

Exercise 2

Practice range of motion

Bend your knee as far as you can, gliding your soles and toes on the floor. Your heels can rise from the floor. Hold the stretch for 15–30 seconds.

Exercise 3

Strengthen your thighs

Straighten your knee as far as you can. Lower your leg carefully.

Exercise 4

Practice range of motion

Sit on a chair and place your heel on another chair. Let your knee straighten, and hold the stretch for 20–30 seconds. Make sure that your kneecap faces straight up towards the ceiling at all times. Repeat several times throughout the day.

Exercise 5

Practice walking

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, supported by crutches.

With your good leg, take a step to the back and put the weight on that leg. This raises the toes of your operated leg, and only the heel will stay on the ground.

Now shift the weight to your operated leg. Swing the good leg forward so that the weight is on the operated leg, and the heel of the operated leg is raised form the ground.

Shift the weight back to your good leg, and swing it to the back. The weight is now on the good leg, and the toes of your operated leg are raised. Stop when your good leg is back, and repeat the back and forth -steps. Repeat the steps with your other leg, as well.