6 Easy At-Home Exercises to do for Total Knee Replacements
Recovering from a total knee replacement takes time, effort and most of all, patience. A lot of your energy is spent doing rehab exercises. There supervised exercises done at physical therapy are important because professionals help you get your form down. However, the exercises don’t stop at physical therapy. For a speedy recovery from total knee replacement surgery, you’ll need to do at-home exercises. It’s just as important to get on a schedule to do at-home exercises to strengthen your knee. Here are some important, easy-to-do exercises to follow for your at-home routine.
In this exercise, you’ll want to move your foot slowly up and down, like you’re applying force to accelerate when driving a car. Ankle pumps help promote blood circulation in the lower parts of your legs, which reduces any post-surgery swelling.
Ball Wall Squats
To do the ball wall squat exercise, you put a medicine ball between your back and a wall and move up and down slowly. The purpose of doing ball wall squats is that it helps to strengthen your quads and the gluteal muscles. The repetition of the exercise helps you test range of motion on movements where you have to go from sitting to standing.
With gluteal sets, you should squeeze your buttocks together and hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Try doing this 10 times, and as you gain strength, try increasing this number. The goal is this exercise is to improve the strength of the buttock muscles.
Standing Partial Squats
Start your standing partial squats by holding onto a chair. Then, bend down and stop at a 45-degree angle as you squat. As you bend down, use the chair for balance and support. As you continue to heal, you’ll want to start progressing to a full squat. This is another exercise that targets glutes and quads, among other parts of the body.
Straight Leg Raises
For straight leg raises, lie down on your back, with surgery knee straight and other knee bent at a 45-degree angle. Your toes are bent towards you. You’ll want to lift your surgery-repaired knee to the level of your bent knee. Straight leg raises target the quad, the front of the thigh and your hip flexor.
You’ll start by laying on your side – to get comfortable, get a pillow and prop it behind your head. Lift your leg slowly and bring it back down. To correctly target the gluteal, you need to keep your leg straight. Hip abductions help to strengthen your gluteal muscles.
Try these exercises at home while you’re rehabbing and you will be well on your way to having a speedy total knee replacement recovery.
Dr. Nakul Karkare is a knee and hip doctor that has successfully performed replacement and revision surgeries for more than ten years. He has nine offices in Long Island and New York City. For more information, visit www.newyorkhipknee.com.