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What Exercises To Do Before Knee Replacement Surgery

Popular Water Therapy Exercises For Joint Replacements

6 Best Exercises To Do Before Total Knee Replacement – Prehab

Note: Before getting in the pool, you must be cleared by a licensed medical professional. Do not try these exercises without having done so.

Like traditional on land PreHab for joint replacement candidates, there is an overlap in the movements and exercises recommended for hip and knee patients. The main difference between on land versus in-water PreHab is that in the pool, a cardio emphasis is possible. Many patients cannot achieve the same level of cardiovascular challenge on land because of joint discomfort. Aquatic physical therapy exercises also improve cartilage health, agility, balance, range of motion, joint flexion and extension, and gait function.

Here is a sample list of pool exercises your physical therapist may introduce to get you prepped for joint replacement:

Water Walking and JoggingThis a great way to improve the way you stand or walk . The deeper the water, the less you will need to support your own body weight, thereby alleviating pressure on your joints. The faster you walk or jog, the stronger the resistance and the more calories you will burn. Some water therapy centres even have underwater treadmills to help track speed and monitor your improvement. Cool, right?

StretchesUseful for building up strength in the hamstrings, quadriceps and hip abductors and increasing joint flexibility. Muscles are relaxed in warm water, making stretching easier on your body.

No 9 Dual Leg Raises With Cross

Although this is still a beginner exercise it may be challenging initially. Lying on your back with legs straight out, raise both legs 2-3 inches off the ground.

Raise one leg slightly higher than the other leg, cross your legs, uncross, then repeat with the same leg under the other. Your legs will be crossing each other but shouldnt hit each other.

You should feel your quadriceps and hip flexors engaged in this exercise and you may also feel flex in your lower abdominals. This is a great add-on exercise once youve mastered the other exercise above.

Depending on your repetitions, you should feel a burning sensation in your muscles dont worry, a burn is a good thing while sharp pain is bad.

2 Sets x 10 cross-overs

Reach Out With Any Final Questions

If you have any final questions about what to expect during your surgery, what recovery will be like or about your risks during knee replacement surgery, now is the time to ask. Were here to support you throughout the knee replacement process.

Give your care team a call. At TRIA, our pre-op nurses want to make sure youre educated and calm before surgery. Well answer your questions and help put your mind at ease. Its important to us that our patients dont have any unanswered questions before their procedures.

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Exercises To Improve Outcomes After Knee Replacement

Written by Dr. David Cortese, MDon 13 March 2018in

As an orthopedic surgeon, I understand that total joint replacement patients are eager to get up and start using their new knee as soon as possible. During your treatment for this major surgery, well talk about how you should recover, what your range of motion will be, and how you can prevent complications while building your strength after surgery.

As an orthopedic surgeon, I understand that total joint replacement patients are eager to get up and start using their new knee as soon as possible. During your treatment for this major surgery, well talk about how you should recover, what your range of motion will be, and how you can prevent complications while building your strength after surgery.

In most cases, returning to your level of activity that you had prior to the degeneration of your knee joint is within reach. You need to rebuild the muscle strength in your leg, which may have been weakened while you suffered from knee problems.

I have addressed the injury or damage to your knee surgically. Now, its up to you to put in some hard work to maximize your improvement. In order to continue healing and improving, you must follow the instructions developed by your physical therapist with your specific needs in mind.

Here are a few more exercises to try, as you are able:

Why Is Physical Therapy Important After Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Exercises To Avoid ...

Regaining your range of motion and strength after total knee replacement surgery is critical to regaining your ability to do the things that are important to you. You will start the following exercise program soon after your surgery. Your physical therapist will help you with the exercises initially and you will be expected to continue the exercises as instructed. As you recover, some exercises will be discontinued and others may be added. Please let your therapist or surgeon know if you are having difficulty with your exercises.

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The Benefits Of Physical Therapy Before Knee Replacement Surgery

Daily exercises, as prescribed by a physical therapist, will prepare your body and improve your overall health before surgery.

With as little as two 15-minute sessions , youll reap the following benefits:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced muscle fatigue and soreness
  • Strengthened muscles and
  • Reduced risk of developing blood clots

Pre Surgery Physical Therapy Before Knee Replacement: Closing Thoughts

Preoperative physical therapy reduces your pain and results in a faster recovery from total knee replacement surgery. The preoperative exercise program should be individualized based on your needs and goals. Meet with your physical therapist to determine the exercises that are best for you to perform prior to your surgery. if you have questions about getting started.

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Preoperative Exercises For Knee Replacements

Note: Always talk to a medical professional before beginning a new exercise program. Your surgeon or physical therapist can recommend exercises prior to your knee replacement and help you decide which exercises are best for your abilities.

If an exercise causes an increase in your pain or discomfort, stop performing that exercise.

If Im Already Planning On Having A Knee Replacement Why Do I Need To Get Stronger Now

Knee Exercises Before Your Joint Replacement Surgery

After surgery, you will likely have to do things a little differently than you did before .

That means youre likely going to need to use muscles that you didnt previously use and/or rely on.

Having adequate strength in your whole body, including the muscles surrounding your knee, will help reduce the time required for recovery.1

Additionally, many of the exercises that are recommended for prior to surgery will be done after surgery, so you and your body will have a much better idea of what you can expect when you see your physical therapist.

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Sitting Unsupported Knee Bends

While sitting at bedside or in a chair with your thigh supported, bend your knee as far as you can until your foot rests on the floor. With your foot lightly resting on the floor, slide your upper body forward in the chair to increase your knee bend. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Straighten your knee fully.

Repeat several times until your leg feels fatigued or until you can completely bend your knee.

Sitting unsupported knee bend

Upper Extremity Exercises: Strengthen Your Arms Before Using Crutches Or A Walker

After your hip replacement surgery, you will probably spend some time on crutches or using a walker while you recover. Both of these mobility aids require some upper arm strength. Get your arms in shape before surgery with these exercises!

Bicep Curls


  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the TheraBand CLX band and hold one end loop in each hand
  • Lower your arm to a starting position and then bring your hands up to your shoulders by bending your elbows, keeping your upper arms by your sides
  • Hold, return to starting position, and repeat for 10 repetitions
  • Sitting

  • Sit in a sturdy chair with the CLX band under your feet and one end loop in each hand
  • Lower your arm to a starting position and then bring your hands up to your shoulders by bending your elbows, keeping your upper arms by your sides
  • Hold, return to starting position, and repeat for 10 repetitions
  • To make this exercise more challenging, move both hands down a loop to create more resistance.

    Elbow Extensions

  • Sit in a stable chair
  • Stabilize your resistance band by holding one end in your hand with the arm extended
  • Grasp the other end of the band in your other hand with your elbow bent
  • Straighten your arm, pulling the band back while holding steadily with the other hand
  • Hold, return to starting position and repeat
  • After 10 repetitions, repeat on the other arm
  • Seated Chair Press Ups

  • Sit down in a sturdy chair with sturdy armrests and no wheels, sitting towards the front of the chair
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions
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    Circulation Exercise: Gluteal Sets

    Lie on your back with your legs straight. Squeeze buttock together and tighten buttocks muscles. Do NOT hold your breath.

    • Repeat 10 times .
    • Do 2 sets a day.

    Gluteal Sets

    Lie on your back. Bend your surgical knee by sliding your heel toward your buttocks.

    • Repeat 10 times .
    • Do 2 sets a day.

    You may be instructed to pull on a bed sheet hooked around your foot to help you slide your heel.

    Heel Slides

    Why Should You Exercise Before Hip Replacement Surgery

    Top 5 Exercises To Do Before Knee Replacement

    Have you heard the term prehab? Pre means before and hab refers to rehabilitation. Prehab includes things like nutrition and workouts. Prehab exercises are done before surgery to help improve your outcome after surgery by strengthening the muscles youll be using and working during recovery.

    In fact, studies have shown that hip and knee replacement patients who participated in prehab reduced their need for inpatient care after surgery by up to 73%.5 The increased strength makes it easier to start walking and getting in and out of bed soon after surgery. Physical therapist Steve Sylvester says that Patients who are more fit prior to surgery may have shorter hospital stays and fewer outpatient rehab sessions. 5

    So start your hip replacement prehab now!

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    Advanced Exercises And Activities

    Once you have regained independence for short distances and a few steps, you may increase your activity. The pain of your knee problems before surgery and the pain and swelling after surgery have weakened your knee. A full recovery will take many months. The following exercises and activities will help you recover fully.

    Theraband Ankle Dorsiflexion In Sitting

    • Sit on a sturdy chair
    • Wrap the middle of the band around the foot of your exercising leg
    • Bring the ends of the band under your opposite foot and step on them for stability
    • Hold the ends of the band in your opposite hand
    • Lift your foot upward against the bands resistance
    • Hold, slowly return, and repeat
    • When youve finished your repetitions on one leg, switch to the opposite leg and repeat

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    Lower Extremity Strengthening Exercises

  • Short Arc Quad ContractionsSit on a firm, flat surface with your hands behind you for support. Place a rolled towel on your knee to bend it about six inches. Raise your foot until your knee is straight.
  • Long Arc Quad ContractionsWith the leg dangling off the edge of mat or chair, place a towel roll the under the knee and straighten knee completely. Hold for a count of five, relax for a count of five. Do not add weights to this exercise.
  • Glute SetsPinch your buttocks together as tight as possible. Hold for a count of 5. Relax for a count of five.
  • Ankle and Foot Heel Cord Stretch, StandingFace a wall, standing about two paces away, and place your hands on it. Step forward with one foot. With both heels on the ground, lean your hips toward the wall while keeping the leg in back straight to stretch the calf muscle. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat the exercise, but this time keep the back leg slightly bent at the knee. Hold for 10 seconds, relax.
  • Knee and Hip FlexionLie on your back with your legs straight and relaxed. Keep your kneecaps pointed toward the ceiling throughout the exercise. Slide one foot toward your buttocks, bending your knee and hip. Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Hamstring Isometric ContractionsBend the knee slightly. Tighten the muscles on the back of the thigh while digging down and back with the heel. Hold for a count of five, relax for a count of five.
  • What Is A Hip Replacement And Why Do People Get Them

    Top 5 Exercises To Do Before Knee Replacement

    A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that removes damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with a replacement hip joint and socket made of metal, ceramic, or hard plastic.1

    The most common reason for a hip replacement is osteoarthritis, which damages the cartilage that covers the ends of the joint, enabling smooth movement.1

    Hip replacement surgery is typically considered when a person has hip pain that interferes with daily activities and when nonsurgical treatments are no longer effective or have not helped.1

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    Get Your Knee In The Best Shape Before Surgery

    Knee exercises should not be overlooked if you are coming up to drastic knee surgery.

    It is important to have your knee in its best physical shape in order to give you the greatest chance of a speedy recovery.

    If your knee is in better shape going into theatre then it will be able to recover quickly. It will also act to strengthen your knee and improve your flexibility.

    There are plenty of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home that will help to prepare you.

    You must, of course, seek medical advice from your physical therapist or doctor before you endeavor to begin new exercises, especially when your knee is already injured.

    Exercises before a knee replacement should be undertaken with caution. Below are a few exercises before knee surgery that you can do at home to help prepare yourself.

    Theraband Hip Extension In Standing

    • Wrap a TheraBand resistance band around the ankle of your exercising leg
    • Step on the band with the opposite foot to provide stability and hold the ends in your opposite hand
    • You can hold onto the back of a chair for extra support while doing this exercise, if needed
  • Keep your knee straight as you extend your leg outward against the band
  • Keep your back straight and dont lean
  • Hold, slowly return, and repeat
  • When youve finished the repetitions on one leg, switch to the opposite leg and repeat
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    Where Can I Do Water Therapy Near Me

    Aquatic therapy for joint replacement candidatesbefore and after surgeryas well as those injured or with reduced mobility issues is gaining enormous popularity. With water therapy becoming widespread across the US, more and more places are offering impressive programs.

    NCHPAD has kindly supplied a comprehensive list of Aquatic Therapy Centres state by state. To find the closest recognized water therapy centre near you, you can also talk to a local physical therapist or ask if your hospital has a PreHab program.


    Preparing For Knee Replacement Surgery

    10 Exercises Before Knee Replacement Surgery

    If you and your surgeon decide that knee replacement surgery is the best treatment for you, our medical team will give you the information you need to prepare, including personalized instructions, during appointments before your surgery. To get started, here are the basics.

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    Preoperative Exercise For Knee Replacement

    In 2017, researchers in Spain investigated the effects of intensive strength training prior to knee replacement surgery. One group of patients performed the exercise program and another group did not. The exercise program was performed 3 days per week for 8 weeks and supervised by a physical therapist. Outcome following surgery favored the group of patients who performed the exercise program. Hospital stay was significantly shorter in those who performed preoperative exercise. Pain levels were less in those who exercised. Also, these patients recovered greater strength, range of motion, and function 3 months after surgery.

    Prior to knee replacement surgery, you should focus on 3 goals. The first goal is to restore as much knee range of motion as possible. It is especially important to have a fully straight knee in order to walk with normally. The second goal is to maximize strength of your quadriceps muscle. This muscle is responsible for walking, climbing stairs, and getting you up from a chair. Your quadriceps muscle becomes very weak immediately after surgery. The third goal is to normalize your walking pattern. The following 5 videos include exercises that we commonly prescribe prior to knee replacement surgery.

    Knee Exercises Before Surgery

    Ankle pumps and circles

    Pump your feet up and down by pulling your feet up toward you, then pushing your feet down away from you. Next, rotate your feet clockwise and counterclockwise.

    Thigh squeezes

    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.

    Heel slides

    Bend your surgical hip and 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. Keep your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling during the exercise. You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.

    Leg slides

    Slide your surgical leg out to the side, keeping your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling. Slide your leg back to the starting position. You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.

    Lying kicks

    Lie on your back with a rolled-up blanket or towel under the knee of your surgical leg. Straighten your surgical leg. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg down and relax. The back of your knee should stay in contact with the blanket or towel during the exercise.

    Straight leg raises

    Bend your other leg with your foot flat on the bed. Raise your surgical leg up , keeping your knee straight. Also bend your ankle up pulling your toes toward you. Work up to holding for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg down and relax.

    Bed mobility exercise

    Chair pushups

    Knee bending stretch

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