EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN MUSCLES BEFORE A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
Total Knee Replacement (TKR), is a surgical procedure that is commonly done to relieve knee pain due to arthritis or injury. TKR is a viable option when the individual’s function is extremely limited and non-surgical options were not effective in relieving symptoms. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 600,000 people undergo total knee replacement surgery each year and success rates for knee replacement surgery are high, as almost 90% of people report improved function and less pain.
Rehab after surgery is important for your long-term physical wellbeing. With proper physical therapy, you can plan to do most daily life activities within 6 weeks of surgery. A full recovery can take 6 months to a year. New research is suggesting physical therapy exercise pre-surgery to help expedite your recovery.
PREOPERATIVE EXERCISES FOR KNEE REPLACEMENT
Prior to knee replacement surgery, it is important to set goals for your recovery. The first goal is to restore as much of the range of motion as possible. This is especially important in order to walk normally. A second goal is to maximize the strength of your quadriceps muscle, as this muscle is responsible for walking, climbing, and getting up from a sitting position. Knee replacement surgery makes your quadriceps muscles weak. The third goal is to normalize your walking pattern as you will be out of practice.
Quadriceps Isometrics: This exercise can minimize quadriceps muscle loss following your surgery. It also helps restore full knee straightening. Begin with your knee extended with a small towel roll placed under your heel. Push the back of your knee down towards the floor while simultaneously tightening the front of your thigh. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and perform 10 repetitions.
Knee Extension Stretch: This exercise also helps restore full knee straightening. Again, this is imperative to walk normally. Begin with your knee extended with a small towel roll placed under your heel. Place a long towel, belt, or stretch-out strap around your foot. Gently pull your toes towards your shin while keeping your knee straight. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and perform 10 repetitions.
Heel Slides: The heel slide helps restore full knee bending. This is important to sit comfortably and climb stairs. The more your knee bends prior to surgery, the easier it will be to regain range of motion after surgery. Begin with your knee extended with a long towel, belt, or stretch-out strap around your foot. Gently slide your heel towards your hip until a mild stretch is felt in your knee. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and perform 10 repetitions.
Single Leg Balance: The ability to balance on one leg is important to walk normally and negotiate a step or curb. Use the assistance of a chair if needed. As your balance improves, slowly try using it without assistance. Try for at least 10 seconds on each leg. Begin with 5 to 10 repetitions each day.
Pre-surgery physical therapy reduces your pain and results in a faster recovery from total knee replacement surgery. The preoperative exercise program should be individualized based on your needs and goals.
If you are suffering from knee pain, don’t wait any longer for relief. At Cape Fear Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our knee replacement surgeons understand that pain can make simple, everyday activities challenging.
Our Hip, Joint Replacement, Knee, Shoulder, and Sports Medicine Specialist specialist, Dr. Bradley J. Broussard, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. He also specializes in sports-related injuries and joint replacement.
Dr. Stephen H. Kouba is a board-certified orthopedic doctor who specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of conditions and injuries of the hip, knee, and shoulder, with a special emphasis on sports-related injuries.
Dr. James Flanagan is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in all aspects of orthopedics, including knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, foot, and hip. Dr. Flanagan also serves as the team doctor for the Fayetteville Marksmen and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Dr. Jason Lowe is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He enjoys treating injuries and conditions of the upper and lower extremities. He expertly performs arthroscopic and open procedures of the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle as well as replacements of the shoulder, hip, and knee. He is trained in and enjoys treating complex cartilage restoration procedures. Dr. Lowe also serves as the team doctor for the Fayetteville Marksmen and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
At Cape Fear Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our specialty-trained doctors are recognized experts in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions and injuries. When you are seen by one of our experts, you know that you are being treated by an experienced doctor who is focused and dedicated to providing you exceptional orthopedic care.
Our experts understand that proper diagnosis is paramount in determining the most effective treatment plan for your individual condition. For a consultation with one of our providers, call us at (910) 484-2171.