Joint replacement surgery of the knee refers to replacing the worn-out parts of the knee joint with new components. Usually, knee joint replacement surgery is done in patients with severe chronic osteoarthritis, but it is also a common procedure in sports medicine orthopedics. Regardless of the cause, you must follow a certain protocol, which often includes a post-surgery exercise plan for knee joint replacement recovery.
Let’s talk about an effective exercise guide that can maximize your knee joint recovery and enhance your knee joint health and where you can go in St. Peters, MO, for effective knee pain management.
Exercises During Bed Rest (Early Post-Operative)
Knee joint replacement surgery is a fairly complex procedure and requires you to stay in bed for a while. During this time, you can perform several exercises that will help speed your recovery and prevent post-operative complications like DVT (deep venous thrombosis or blood clots). You can start the following exercises as soon as you feel comfortable moving your legs.
- While lying down, tighten your thigh muscles (quadriceps) and try to straighten your knee.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then release.
- Continue this exercise for two minutes and then rest for one minute.
- Once your thigh feels fatigued, you can stop.
This exercise is similar to quadricep activation.
- In this exercise, you’ll just have to place a rolled towel under your ankle (just above your heel) so your heel doesn’t touch the bed.
- Once in place, tighten your thigh muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Continue for three minutes or until you feel fatigued.
Straight leg raises
- Tighten your thigh muscles and straighten out your knee.
- Slowly raise your ankle with your knee straight.
- Aim for 2-5 inches off the bed at the start and hold it there for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat until you feel fatigued.
- Ankle pumps
- With your leg straight, try to move your foot up and down (back and forth) using your calf and shin-bone muscles.
- You may perform this exercise for 2-3 minutes at a time and 2-3 times an hour every day.
- Continue this exercise until your leg swelling has subsided.
- Bed-assisted knee bends
Start with your leg straight
- Slowly and gently bring your foot towards your buttocks with the heel touching the bed.
- Try to achieve the maximum bent position and hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Repeat until you feel exhausted
Once you’re able to sit, you can do this exercise while sitting on the edge of your bed. Your thighs should be resting on the bed, and your leg should be hanging down.
The early activity comprises exercises that’ll help you get back to your normal routine, like walking and carrying out daily activities.
Walking is one of the most essential exercises to regain strength and balance in the knee joint. Your orthopedic surgeon will guide you on how much weight you can put on the knee joint and various assisting devices to be used. You may need to use crutches and walkers or take help from family members.
Climbing and descending stairs will help strengthen your leg muscles and improve blood circulation. In the start, always use a railing and crutches for support. With time, you can let go of the crutches or railing as advised by your orthopedic surgeon.
Once you have been cleared by your orthopedic surgeon and you can walk a short distance without assistance, you might want to incorporate some advanced strength and resistance training. The following exercises will help you fully recover and make your knee joint stronger and healthier.
Standing Knee Bend
Stand erect with the aid of crutches or a walker. Slowly lift your foot off the ground and bend your knee. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat until you feel fatigued.
Assisted Knee Bend
Start with lying on your back. Place a towel in front of your ankle and hold it from the sides. Slowly pull your heel toward your buttock. Apply a pull on your ankle and bend your knee to the max. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this exercise several times until you feel fatigued.
The exercise cycle is a great tool to improve your knee joint health after knee joint replacement surgery. It is advised to start riding backward at first. Once you are comfortable riding backward, gently start riding the bike forwards. Later, you can add more resistance to the paddling, leading to muscle growth and improved tendon strength.
Knee Joint Replacement Surgery in St. Peters, MO
If you are looking for relief from knee pain, look no further. At Advanced Bone & Joint, our board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians frequently help patients deal with chronic pain stemming from musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders. We offer many advanced treatments to avoid dependence on strong pain medications and unnecessary surgeries.
If you want to know how the pain management doctors in St. Peters can help you, call us today at (636) 229-4222, or schedule an appointment with us by using our convenient online appointment request form.