Knee Exercises – After Your Joint Replacement Surgery

Hello, my name is Megan McCormick a physical
therapist from Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Today I will go through your required exercises
needed before and after your knee replacement surgery. Having the best strength for your
new joint begins now. I encourage you to pause the video when needed and practice each exercise
individually. In addition, please remember to consult your physician before starting
this exercise program. Today we have one of our former patients who will demonstrate the
exercises. I am 48 years old; currently I am 26 weeks
post-surgery and credit my successful recovery to not only the care I received from my Washington
University orthopedic physician, but the vigorous rehab schedule that I followed. We will now be demonstrating ankle pumps.
This exercise can be performed in sitting or while lying down. Knees may be bent or
straightened. If you keep your knees straight, you will feel a better stretch in your calf
muscle on the back of your leg. Bend and straighten your ankles slowly.
Move through the full range of motion from pointing toes like a ballerina to pulling
toes up toward body, feeling the stretch in the back of your calves.
Be sure to move at the ankle joint, not just your toes.
Remember to do 10 repetitions of each exercise two times a day. We will now be demonstrating quad sets or
knee presses. Lie on your back in bed with both legs fully
extended straight and supported in bed. Tighten the muscles on top of your leg while
pushing your knee down into the bed. This will strengthen your thigh muscle.
You will note the knee cap move upwards with this movement.
If you put a towel under your heel, this will enhance the stretch on the back of your knee
to assist with improving your range of motion. Hold for 5 seconds. Make sure you are continuing
to breathe in and out while you are holding this position for 5 seconds. Then
relax your thigh muscle. You may slightly bend your knee back into
a comfortable position during your brief rest break Remember to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise two times a day. We will now be demonstrating straight leg
raises or leg lifts. Lie on your back, with your surgical leg straight,
the other leg bent. Slightly roll your surgical knee outward.
Tighten your thigh muscle, and lift your surgical leg off the bed so it’s as high as your
other leg. Keep your knee straight and rolled out while
lifting and lowering it. Slowly lower your leg to the bed.
Remember to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise two times a day. We will now be demonstrating heel slides.
Lie on your back in your bed with your legs extended. Keep your heel in contact with the bed as
you slowly slide your heel up toward your buttock, while bending your knee as far as
you can. Your knee should stay up midline and point toward the ceiling.
Using a slick surface, such as a cookie sheet or a thick trash bag beneath your heel helps
to decrease the friction between you and the bed, making the movement easier.
Remember to do 10 repetitions of each exercise two times a day. We will now be demonstrating short arc quads
or mini kicks. Lie on your back in bed.
Place a firm roll approximately 8-10 inches in diameter, such as a pillow, a large coffee
can or an unopened 2 liter bottle of soda with a towel wrapped around it, under your knee
so that there is a slight bend in the knee. Make sure your leg is relaxed on the roll.
Slowly lift your foot from the bed and straighten your bent knee.
Only straighten your knee. Do not lift your entire leg off of the supporting surface.
Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower the foot back down to the surface and relax.
Like with all of the exercises, please be sure you are not holding your breath.
Your opposite leg may be relaxed in a comfortable position of your choosing.
Remember to perform each exercise 10 repetitions two times a day. We will now demonstrate knee range of
motion in the sitting position. Sit in a chair so that your feet barely touch
the floor. If you’re tall, you may need to first
put 1 or 2 pillows on the seat of the chair. Use the knee that you had surgery on.
Bend the knee as far as you can and then straighten the knee while lifting your
foot off the floor. Be sure to try and get your knee all the way
straight. Remember to perform 10 repetitions of each
exercise twice a day. Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University
Physicians are your partners in your journey to lead you back to a healthier lifestyle
with your new joint. If at any time you have questions, please visit or
contact your orthopedic surgeon’s office. In addition, I want to thank Mr. Simons for
helping us demonstrate these exercises. Thank you and remember having the best strength
for your new joint begins before your surgery and continues post-surgery.


  1. I got steel plates in my knees and I'm 11 it hurts but these exercises help thanks

  2. Very informative video! 👌

  3. patella can bend 100% after surgery???

  4. What if my knee wont bend…what im i supposed to do…it almost 8 months since operation of my knee…pls help

  5. Great video!!!
    Very helpful professional knowledge. Explained nice and simple!!!

  6. Hello I have knee joint ACL surgery. Knee joint area is lot of pain…Plz suggest the best exercise..

  7. Very very thanks

  8. I too injured my knee recently and had to undergo surgery little over a week ago.
    I made a video about the movements I have been doing, so if you want to see more knee rehabilitation tips, visit my channel and check the newest video!

  9. Thank you madam

  10. why I feel my rl twp lags heavy? what should i do, mun?

  11. internal fixation of iron rod in bones physiotherapy

  12. My knee joint is not bending after surgery soo pain I'm bending my knee

  13. Painful. Don’t think it’s not.

  14. Than

  15. Wat if u have Staples in ur leg

  16. These excersizes help my knee and movement alot

  17. suggestt knee pain , for normal people , knee highly vital for bending , i still try to slog out a day on stepper but use to walk on hard surface of road for walking what do we altrnative shoes , or any mode is not supports , what would be replacement to walk on hard surface road

    for heavy weight people
    do we have something just like insole for more softer and even need highest level of comfort

    walking hard surface need more insole cushion is that insole has anything comfort

  18. insole and comfort or any thing physiotherapist has anything knee cap , all that suports

    what do we do when walkers joggers force to use hard surface of roads for using what do be prepare for shoes and knees

    give some inputs

  19. Operation was done four months before my knee
    But the knee block is still
    What to do now
    Please help me

  20. Good…..

  21. Thanks,
    Now we can't need costly expert 👍

  22. I met with an accident on August 7th 2019 and my left knee patella got broken a small from left side. Doctors done surgery on 8th August 2019 with button and fiber wires. When can I start physiotherapy

  23. Is that knee joint replacement permanent ?
    I've condition where my knee join was broke by accident , and now I can't bend my legs 🙁

  24. mam mere opration ko 2 month ho chukee h but abhi peer completly straight ni ho pa rha h

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