After knee surgery, it is quite important to restore both mobility and strength in the knee that went under the procedure. Your orthopedic surgeon will often suggest that you exercise about 30 minutes a couple of times a day, but if you are not sure which exercises are the best, we are here to guide you with a few examples.
There are quite a lot of exercises that you can do after your knee surgery, but we have decided to spread them into three different levels, starting with the introductive ones that you can do two weeks after your surgery. If you have gotten a knee surgeon in Melbourne, your doctor will probably inform you about these as well, and if not, we got you covered.
In this exercise, there is no movement. All you should do is lie or sit still with your knees bent by about ten degrees. To perform it, pull your heels into the floor, so the muscles on the back of your thigh tighten, and once you hold it for five seconds, relax and repeat it ten move times.
Starting with easier exercises is highly advised
To perform this exercise, lay on your stomach, and put an object like a towel under the ankle of the leg where your knee was operated on. Then, push the ankle into the towel so your leg straightens as much as possible, and hold it for five seconds before relaxing and repeating it ten times.
This time around, you will have to lay on your back and just tighten your buttock muscles for about five seconds before you relax. Like the previous two exercises, you should repeat this one ten times. You can do this exercise with your knee bent If possible, but at first, you should do it with straight legs.
After your knee recovers a bit, you can move on to intermediate exercises. These exercises will make your knee work a bit more, and just like with the introductive exercises, start things slow and once you are comfortable, commit to the exercises fully.
If you happen to own an exercise bike, you can start including it in your exercises once you are fully comfortable with the introductive exercises. Just set it up, so you do not have to use too much force to turn the pedals, and as your knee becomes stronger, you can slowly increase it.
Something that is a very good indication of your knee surgery is when you have the full comfort of walking around, and at the same time, this is also a great exercise. However, while you might feel completely recovered as soon as you can walk, it is very important to not overdo things and still take things slowly until your doctor confirms with you that you are fully recovered.
Once you are comfortable with your new knee, you can start doing walking as an exercise
After you do introductive and intermediate exercises for about two or three months, you will be able to do advanced exercises to finalize the recovery of your knee. These exercises are the ones that you probably thought impossible after your knee surgery.
Knee bend – partial, with a single leg
As you are standing and supporting your body by holding onto a chair, bend the leg where you did not have surgery. Then, slowly lower yourself while keeping your foot flat. It is very important to not overdo this exercise, and once you feel uncomfortable, get back into the starting position and relax. Repeat it up to ten times.
There are two ways to do step-ups, forward and lateral. In the forward version, you will have to put a short footstool in front of you (about 6-inches tall) and climb it with the leg where you had knee surgery. The lateral version involves that same stool, but instead of climbing it while facing it, approach it from the side instead. As your strength increases and your knee recovers, feel free to increase the height.
According to MOATI and other specialists for knee surgery, running is the last exercise that you should enroll in your list of exercises. As running creates the most stress on your knee, it is very important to find the perfect balance between making it an exercise and a risk factor if you overdo it. Sometimes it is best to avoid it completely.
While it might seem a bit boring and tedious, it is very important to follow the recovery procedure. Do not push yourself over your limit, as it will have a great negative impact on your recovery. As people say, patience is a virtue, and when it comes to knee surgery recovery, that could not be truer. Listen to your doctor, and ask for advice if you are unsure about something, and you will recover in no time.