Total Knee Replacement Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Total Knee Replacement Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. Today I’m gonna
show you some range of motion exercises for your knee after a total knee replacement.
Let’s get started. With a total knee replacement, this is the one big surgery I would say it’s a no pain, no gain
situation. You really have to kind of push yourself through that pain to get your motion
back. And those early stages, the first week after your surgery are the most important
because then the scar tissue starts building up in your knee and if you don’t get that
motion in there, you’re gonna have a lot harder time as time passes. So I’m just gonna show
you some very simple ones, but again, make sure you’re pushing yourself just a little
bit through these exercises. The first one is just gonna be a simple heel slide sitting
in a chair. So you’re gonna start probably in about this position because this might
be a comfortable position for you right now, right after your surgery. Try and keep your
foot flat on the ground, and just start sliding it back towards you. Now you can put a towel
underneath if you want a little more slide, most the time if you just have your socks
on that works as well. You can do a continuous slide back and forth and try and push your
heel back more each time. What’s gonna happen is your heel’s gonna start coming up like
this. That’s your body trying to compensate for that motion. So really try and keep that
heel down. Once you do about 10, then take a little break. But what the next step of
that is, is slide it back and then try and pump your foot a couple times. And see how
that actually makes me get a little more bend in my knee while I do that? And then try and
slide it back a little more. And then pump that foot. Trying to keep that heel down and
then slide one more time if you can, and you probably won’t be able to bring those toes
up quite as high, but really try and pump it. And then come back. So that’s kind of
a two step motion there. Now the next one is to straighten the leg out. This is probably
the one people have the hardest time with. Sometimes it’s one or the other, but most
of the time it’s the straightening out. So what you’re gonna do is prop your foot up
on another chair, or a table, an ottoman something, so you’re probably gonna be about here right
now. So just having gravity push on it is gonna help some, but again, you have to be
a little bit aggressive with this. So you can take your hand and push down. Not on your
knee, you don’t want it to be on the joint, but just above the knee kind of in that thigh
area. And push down for about 5-10 seconds and then come back up. If you’re having a
hard time and it’s really bent into that flexed position and you don’t have that extension
straightening out. You can put a bag of, a plastic bag, and then put some soup cans or
vegetable cans in it, and again put it just at the top and then let it hang. I have a
video for that for the knee extension exercises if you want to check it out. And again, you
can use your hand, just to push it down a little bit, but try and hold it about 5-10
seconds if you can and then relax. Alright, the next ones are gonna be down on the ground.
So now you’re gonna get down on the ground. If you can’t get up off the ground very well,
you can do these in your bed. You can do all these exercises lying down in your bed. So
lying down, the knee that hasn’t had the surgery, you’re gonna prop it up. And then you’re gonna
have your other leg out and you’re just gonna do a heel slide lying down now. So coming
up again trying to keep your foot flat if you can and then coming back down. So just
slide up, and then come back down. So you can do about 10 of those really try and loosen
it up a little bit. You might not be able to get quite that high to start off with.
That’s ok, just go as high as you can. After you get it loosened up, then you can use a
strap, if you don’t have a strap you can use a belt or a dog leash, or a towel and put
it about at your shin level, so it doesn’t slide up, and then you’re actually gonna pull
up a little bit more. So this one, you’re trying to get that extra bend in there, that
extra stretch. So coming up and back. And then if you want to try and hold it for about
5-10 seconds, if you can tolerate it. Then do that and come back down. So again, getting
that pull with the strap, or the belt, or the dog leash. And then the last exercise
is gonna be a quad set. And what that is, is your knee might not quite be straight yet,
and so you’re gonna lay down and then try to push your knee down into the ground. And
that’s squeezing this quad muscle, that’s why it’s called a quad set. If you need a
little target, like a towel, you can roll up a towel and put it underneath your knee.
But you really want to push down and get it as straight as you can. So just squeeze down,
hold that for about 5-10 seconds. Now if you take your toes and pull them up, as you squeeze
down, that’ll help kind of activate all those muscles and give you that extra stretch with
the calf as well as the quad. So squeeze, hold about 5-10 seconds, and then do 10 of
those. So there you have it. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section.
If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to AskDoctorJo.com and Remember, be safe,
you’re gonna have to push that knee a little bit with a total knee replacement, have fun.
And I hope you feel better soon.