Vital in determining the post-operative outcome of a total knee replacement.
Ask anyone who did the right things before surgery.
Sharine came in to see us for a single visit to learn what to do and then exercised daily until the day before her knee replacement. “After watching my Mother and my husband go through knee replacements I took the advice from Andre’ and my surgeon to exercise and strengthen the muscles in my legs as well as other parts of my body. I am now about 3 1/2 weeks after surgery and I must say it has helped me. I am told that I have reached goals that others do not reach this soon. You MUST exercise before your surgery and I would recommend you start at least 6 weeks before.” Her husband, Bob, had a knee replacement without pre-op instruction. “Eight years ago I had a knee replacement. I was dismayed at how weak my “good” leg was! I had the good fortune to be treated at Custom Therapy. I learned that anyone having this surgery should or must exercise weeks before the event to ease the recovery period. My wife just had her knee done. We went to André 6 weeks prior for his counsel. He examined her and recommended a course of pre-surgery exercise. Having done without myself and seeing her result and progress I cannot recommend more strongly that others should absolutely follow this advice.”
- Ride a bike daily.
Bike riding creates controlled movement in a non-weight bearing position so will be less traumatic to the joint than walking or any other weight bearing exercise.
- Stretch hamstrings and calf muscles.
This helps get/keep your knee straight. Painful knees are typically kept in a slightly flexed position for comfort which shortens these muscles.
- Stretch your knee into full extension.
It can be done sitting in a chair with your heel on a coffee table or ottoman or lying face down on your bed with the edge of the bed just above your knee.
- Pull your heel to your butt.
This will maximize your knee flexion. The more range you have before your surgery, the more you will regain afterwards.
- Strengthen your quads.
Your goal is to maximize your quad recruitment pre-operatively; this makes it easier to contract them after the trauma of the surgery. A simple quad set, SAQ, or SLR (my favorite) is what is needed.
Your Call to Action:
- If you are planning on having a total or partial knee replacement consult a physical therapist as to what you need to do preoperatively to maximize your post-operative outcome.
- Forward this post to someone you know who may be having a total/partial knee replacement.
- Please post your comments regarding your experience with having or not having preoperative exercises and how they helped you.