Top 5 Exercises to Start Before Your Knee Replacement

Foot & Ankle Pain Relief Physical Therapy Louisville, KY

Be Prepared to Start Your Recovery

Getting prepared for your upcoming knee replacement surgery can be intimidating. Thinking about the months of upcoming rehab doesn’t have to be a scary thought if you are prepared mentally and physically. Being at your strongest before surgery and knowing what to expect will help you afterwards regain your normal strength and ROM. Doing these exercises will give you more confidence going into your surgery and recovery.

Benefits of a Pre-hab work out

  • Get back on your feet faster
  • Reduce odds of needing in-patient rehab
  • Shorter stays in the hospital and rehab center
  • Reach your post surgery milestones faster

These 5 exercises will be the foundation for your recovery before and after your knee replacement

1. Clam Shells
    • Begin by lying on your side with the side you intend to exercise upwards. With your knees bent and feet together, slowly pull your knees apart, keeping your feet together. Slowly bring your knees back together. Tip: Try not to twist from your back, but allow the motion to come from your hip.
2. Heel Slides with Strap 
    • Begin lying on your back with a strap looped around your foot on the affected side. Grasp the strap and pull so your foot moves towards your buttock and your knee bends into a stretch while keeping your heel in contact with the table. Pull until you feel a moderate stretch and stay within a tolerable pain level. Tip: Be sure to keep your foot and knee in line with your hip.
3. Quad Sets 
    • Starting Position: -Begin in long sitting with one leg bent, foot flat on the floor and your leg to be exercised laying as flat as possible. Movement: -Tighten your quad to push your knee down into the floor further straightening your leg. Tip: Be sure not to lift your thigh off the floor.
4. Straight Leg Raise 
    • Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, straighten the leg you wish to exercise. Start by contracting the muscles on the front of your thigh, pushing your knee down into the floor. While keeping these muscles tight and knee straight, lift your leg off the ground until your knee is at the height of the other knee. Slowly lower it back to the floor.
5. Side Lying Hip Abduction 
    • Lie on your side with the side you intend to exercise upwards. Keep your knee straight and lift your top leg up towards the ceiling. Avoid pointing your toes towards the ceiling by keeping the outside of your foot parallel with the floor, and make sure to stay lying directly on your side and avoid rolling backwards. Slowly lower your leg back to the starting position.


Contact Us at Precision Physical Therapy for help with your pre and post rehab for your knee replacement. We are here to help get you back on your feet and back to doing the things you love.

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