We advise all our patients to avoid heavy physical activity after knee replacement surgery. Certainly, this is not a good time for contact sports, playing soccer, or running in a marathon. Avoid high impact activities at all cost. However, we do recommend a few home exercises that help to build strength in the legs, knees, and muscles. Take a look at the following safe exercises.
(Note: we recommend 10 repetitions maximum per exercise to get started.)
1. Ankle Exercise
First, relax on a flat surface on your back. Legs together. Now, bend both of your ankles upwards to the ceiling while pulling your toes toward your chest. Next, pull your feet backward pointing your toes away. Follow by rotating your toes on both feet clock wise, and counterclockwise. Repeat 10 times.
2. Thigh Squeeze
Relax down on a bed or other flat surface. Squeeze your thighs tightly, letting them press against the bed or other flat surface. Hold for several seconds and relax. Repeat 10 more times.
3. Straight Leg Raise
Relax on your back on your bed. Bend one of your legs at the knee and place the bottom of your foot flat on the bed. Take the other leg and raise it up about 12 inches off the bed, keeping the leg straight. Hold for several seconds and lower back down to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
4. The Sitting Kick
Sit in a chair with knees bent. Stretch one leg out straight and lift it up to knee level. Hold the leg in the position for about 5 seconds and gently lower down to the starting position. Perform the same exercise with the opposite leg.
Practice the exercises included here on a regular basis to strengthen weak knee muscles and build stamina and strength. In addition, try to walk around the house several times per day to build strength to walk outside.