8 simple physio exercises to get back in shape after a knee replacement surgery

25 May 2021 Zydus Healthcare

Exercise your way to relief!

Knee replacement is required in cases where the bones of the knee are damaged either by some underlining condition such as arthritis or some accident. In a knee replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced mostly from the thigh bone, shin bone and kneecap. An artificial joint or prosthesis made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers is added depending upon the surgery requirements.

The surgery helps ease pain and enables easy mobility. But, this could take time and effort. Walking with newly replaced knees could be difficult. It is just like re-learning the art of walking. There are some exercises that can help make it easier to get back in shape post knee replacement surgery.

Exercises that can be performed after surgery

Regular exercising post-surgery helps improve the flow of blood and prevents blood clots. The exercises also help in strengthening the bones and muscles. Below are some exercises that can be performed, however it is recommend to select them basis your condition and post consultation with your physician.

  • 1. Quadriceps Sets
    It is the earliest exercise that must be performed after surgery. In this, the patient must tighten the muscle and try to straighten their knees and hold it for 5-10 minutes. It should be performed ten times a day with 2 minutes period and 1 minute resting period.
  • 2. Straight Leg Raise
    This exercise is performed by tightening your thigh muscles and keeping your knee completely straight on the bed. After that, lift one of the legs a few inches above and make it still for 5-10 minutes and after that slowly lower it. Apart from the bed, chairs can also be used for performing straight leg raise.
  • 3. Ankle Pump
    Move your foot up and down while resting on your bed. This exercise focuses on calves and stretches the ligaments. This exercise should be performed 2-3 times a day for 2-3 minutes.
  • 4. Bed Support Knee Bend
    This exercise includes sliding the foot towards the buttock while bending your knee and keeping the foot on the bed. Hold this position as long as possible in the maximum bent position. This exercise should be performed continuously until the legs feel fatigued and the knee gets completely bent.
  • 5. Sitting Support Knee Bend
    This exercise is performed while sitting on the chair with thigh support and placing the other foot behind the operated knee leg as support. After this, slowly bend your knee as far as possible for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this exercise several times until your knee gets bent properly.

These are the exercises that must be performed after the knee replacement surgery for proper movement of the knee and leg. Once the conditions get settled and you feel good, the other exercises mentioned below can be tried

  • 6. Walking
    Walking is the ultimate solution to getting your knee back on track. It helps in speedy recovery. Initially patient must use the help of a walker or crutches. While walking, one should not put more pressure on the legs. Walking will help in regaining the movement of the knee. Start with short distances by placing the heel first on the ground, then foot and later lifting toes first.
  • 7. Standing Knee Bend
    This exercise is performed while standing on the walker or crutches and then lifting your thigh and bending your knee as much as you can. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and perform it repeatedly.
  • 8. Exercycling: It is the best exercise to regain the muscles and strength but should be performed several weeks later once the movement is proper. At first, ride backward with less strain, and after that, forward once backward movement is done properly. Start with 10-15 minutes a day and then gradually take it 2-3 times a day.

Regular exercising after knee surgery can help recovery at a faster pace. It can help damaged tissues recover and increase muscle strength. However, it is also important to include protein-rich diet for a healthy recovery.

References: OrthoInfo

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