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Exercising after knee surgery

Page history last edited by rccarlso@... 12 years, 2 months ago

First Author: Olivia

Second Author: Rachel C


Exercising After Knee Surgery



 Exercising after knee surgery is extremely important to restore range of motion and to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. Most of the exercises are fairly easy and can be done at home. The recommended amount of work out time is 20 to 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. Start with non-weight bearing exercises and work up to the more difficult ones. The first few exercises shouldn't cause any pain, just a slight stretch to the knee.



Quadriceps Contraction:

  • lay on your back on a flat surface
  • place a rolled up towel under your ankle
  • slowly press your ankle down
  • straighten your knee as much as you can
  • hold for 5 seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times[2]




                                                                                                                                                                Hamstring Contraction:

                                                                                                                                           -lay on your back with your legs at 10-15 degree angle

                                                                                                                                           -push your heel into the floor

                                                                                                                                           -hold for 5 seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times[4]




Straight Leg Raises:

  • lay on back with uninjured knee bent
  • slowly raise your leg 6 inches off the floor
  • hold for 5 seconds and lower it back down to the floor
  • repeat exercise 10 times[6]




                                                                                                                                                                Gluteal Sets:

                                                                                                                                                 -lay on your back with knees bent

                                                                                                                                                 -tighten your buttock muscles

                                                                                                                                                 -hold for 5 seconds

                                                                                                                                                 -repeat exercise 10 times[8]






  1. http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/orthopedicsandpt/ss/PostArthroscopy_5.htm
  2. http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/orthopedicsandpt/ss/PostArthroscopy_2.htm
  3. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300
  4. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300
  5. http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/orthopedicsandpt/ss/PostArthroscopy_5.htm
  6. http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/orthopedicsandpt/ss/PostArthroscopy_5.htm
  7. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300
  8. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300

Comments (2)

Hillary Rutledge said

at 12:32 am on Dec 4, 2008

This article is super useful. One of my good friends just had knee surgery and I have been looking for ways to help him out! These are great tips, and I didn't realize how much physical therapy went into it.

Jess Sharp said

at 4:38 pm on Dec 5, 2008

Really helps because ive had knee sirgery! Brought back a lot of memories of PT!! uhg..

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