After Knee Replacement: At Home Exercise Program

Apply the skills you learned in the hospital or rehab center to your exercise program at home. Use a walker, cane, or crutches to help you move safely. By sticking with your exercise program, you’ll walk more easily and return to an active life sooner.

Maintaining your exercise program

Make exercise part of your daily routine. Lack of exercise can cause joint stiffness and decreased range of motion.  But with continued exercise, you may even gain more strength and range of motion than you had before surgery. Keep meeting with your physical therapist as directed. He or she may add riding a stationary bike or other new exercises to your program.

Quadriceps sets

Laying on your back, tighten your thigh muscles.  Try to straighten your knee.  Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and gradually build up your time.

Straight leg raises

Tighten your thigh and straighten your knee as with the quadriceps set above.  Lift your leg several inches off the bed and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.  Gradually increase your time and number of repititions.

Ankle pumps

Move your foot up and down by alternately contracting your calf and shin muscles.  Do this often to help remove lower leg swelling.

Sitting knee exercises

Woman sitting in chair doing sitting knee exercises. Bandage on knee.Do sitting knee exercises along with your other exercises. Start with 10 repetitions, and then build up to 25 repetitions per session. Do 2 sessions each day.

  • Sit in a chair with both feet flat on the floor.

  • Slowly straighten your operated leg as much as you can. Hold for 5 seconds.

  • Slowly bend your leg under the chair, bringing it back as far as you can. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Return your leg to the starting point.