Are you considering a total knee replacement or recently have had a total knee replacement? An exercise program designed and guided by a physical therapist can help improve your motion, strength and functional abilities and decrease your pain and swelling.
The first goal of physical therapy after a total knee replacement is to decreased pain and swelling and increased range of motion. After this is achieved, therapy will then focus on strengthening and gait training.
There are 5 basic exercises that you can begin after your knee replacement to get you started down the road of recovery:
- Heel Slides--While lying on your back, gently slide your foot towards your bottom, bending your knee. When you start to feel tightness in your knee stop for about 5 seconds and let the joint "stretch" before straighten the knee out. Repeat 10 times.
- Gluteal Sets--While lying on your back with a pillow under your knees, squeeze your gluts together and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Straight Leg Raise--While lying on your back with your operative knee straight and the other knee bent, raise your operative leg up keeping your leg stretch. Slowly lower your leg back down to resting position.
- Heel Raises--Standing while holding onto a sturdy object, raises your heels by going up on and down on your toes. Repeat 10 times.
- Hamstring stretch--While lying on your back and keeping your operative knee straight, raise your leg up into the air until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg.
As with any exercise program, it should be performed under the guidance of your health care provider.
If you would like to try these exercises at home, print out your free exercise spreadsheet.
If you have had a total knee replacement or are considering knee surgery and have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.