Regular exercise to restore your knee mobility and strength is necessary. For the most part, this can be carried out at home. Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend that you exercise approximately 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a day. You also may be advised to engage in a walking program. Your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest some of the following exercises. The following guide can help you better understand your exercise or activity program that may be supervised by a therapist at the direction of your orthopaedic surgeon. As you increase the intensity of your exercise program, you may experience temporary set backs. If your knee swells or hurts after a particular exercise activity, you should lessen or stop the activity until you feel better. You should Rest, Ice, Compress (with an elastic bandage), and Elevate your knee (R.I.C.E.). Contact your orthopaedic surgeon if the symptoms persist.
No movement should occur in this exercise. Lie or sit with your knees bent to about 10 degrees. Pull your heel into the floor, tightening the muscles on the back of your thigh. Hold 5 seconds, then relax.
Lie on stomach with a towel roll under the ankle of your operated knee. Push ankle down into the towel roll. Your leg should straighten as much as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax.
Lie on your back, with uninvolved knee bent, straighten your involved knee. Slowly lift about 6 inches and hold for 5 seconds. Continue lifting in 6-inch increments, hold each time. Reverse the procedure, and return to the starting position. Advanced: Before starting, add weights to your ankle, starting with 1 pound of weight and building up to a maximum of 5 pounds of weight over 4 weeks.
While lying down on your back, tighten your buttock muscles. Hold tightly for 5 seconds.
Support yourself, if necessary, and slowly lift your leg forward keeping your knee straight. Return to the starting position. Advanced: Before starting, add weights to your ankle, starting with 1 pound of weight and building up to a maximum of 5 pounds of weight over 4 weeks.