During this time of Public Health & Safety, your knee replacement surgery may be on hold, but Alpine Physical Therapy has the solution for you. ‘Pre-hab’! Your leg muscles often become weakened with less activity or altered movement patterns associated with knee joint discomfort. The following exercises can improve your strength and flexibility while awaiting surgery. Preoperative Range of Motion (flexibility) is the best predictor of your post operative outcome. Let’s get started!
NOTE: Ease into each exercise slowly. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop performing that exercise. Perform exercises (both legs) 1-2x/day, resting as needed, working up to 10-20 reps or muscle fatigue. To download a pdf file of these exercises click here.
ANKLE PUMPS Pump your feet up and down by pulling your feet up toward you, then pushing your feet down away from you.
HEEL SLIDES (BENDING KNEE)
Bend your knee by sliding your heel up toward your buttocks while keeping your heel on the bed. Slide your heel back down to the starting position and relax. Perform within comfort. This can be performed on a stability ball if you have one.
SITTING KNEE FLEXION
Sitting toward the edge of a stable chair gently slide your foot back and forth to it’s comfortable end range. This works best on a smooth surface wearing a sock, no shoe.
PRONE KNEE BEND
Lying on your stomach bend the knee back towards your buttock. You can use a yoga strap or dog leash to assist into a stretch if comfortable. An alternative is to perform this in a
SITTING HAMSTRING STRETCH
Sit on a sturdy chair with your lower leg up on another chair, or a footstool, in front of you. Extend you leg straight while sitting upright. You should feel a stretch on the back of your knee/thigh. Gently lean forward to increase stretch if comfortable. Hold position up to 1-3 min if you are able.
Tighten the muscles on the top of your thigh by pushing the back of your knee down into the bed. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. A small towel can be placed behind your knee for comfort or under the ankle for greater stretch.
SHORT ARC KNEE EXTENSION
In long sitting or lying use a foam roll or rolled up blanket or towel under the knee. Extend your knee to straight keeping it on the roll. Pause and slowly lower your leg down. Then relax and repeat.
STRAIGHT LEG RAISES
Contract your thigh muscle and raise your leg up off the bed. Pause and return down. An alternative is to stand and tighten thigh then ‘kick forward’.
Lying on your side with your knees bent. A pillow can be placed between knees for comfort. Keeping your trunk stable and your feet together raise top knee towards ceiling to your end range. Do not twist at your back. Pause and slowly lower. This strengthens your lateral hip muscles which will be important for proper walking post operatively. An alternative is to stand and tighten thigh then raise leg straight out to side.
Lying on your stomach, bend your knee and raise leg off bed by contracting your buttock muscles being careful not to use your back. Pause and slowly lower. An alternative is to stand. Tighten your thigh and then extend your leg behind you.
SITTING BALL SQUEEZE
Place a ball or rolled up pillow between your knees and gently squeeze to tighten you inner thigh muscles. Hold 5 seconds. Then relax.
This exercise will help to strengthen your arms which will help with transitional movements early on in your recovery as your leg is healing. Sit on stable chair with arm rests. Holding the arms of the chair. Push down to raise yourself up off of the chair. Pause and return.If you are weak, use your legs to assist.
Our talented staff of Physical Therapists are here to guide you through a successful recovery both pre and post surgery to get you back doing the activities you love and enjoy. If you have any questions about orthopedic exercise and rehabilitation contact us a 541-382-5500 or [email protected]