Recovery from total knee replacement can be a difficult process. As painful as it may be at first, it is crucial to exercise using your legs, knees, and feet 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a day. Here are some of the common total knee replacement exercises that are typically used in the early postoperative period.

Quadricep Flexes and Leg Raises

The goal of exercises in the early postoperative stage is to improve circulation to the feet and legs (which will help prevent blood clotting) and to strengthen muscles (which will improve knee movement). Quadricep flexes are performed by tightening the thigh muscle and straightening the knee. Hold this for 5 to 10 seconds, and try to do 10 reps over the course of a two-minute period, after which you should take one minute to rest. As this gets easier, start raising your leg a few inches once the knee is straight.

Straightening Knees

Roll a towel and place it under your heel so that it’s elevated just enough to not touch the bed. Try to bring the back of your knee down to the bed and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Ankle Pumps

Total knee replacement exercises include ways to use your ankles to strengthen your knee. Contract your calf and shin to move your foot up and down in a paddle-like motion for 2-3 minutes.

Knee Bends

Finally, you’ll want to improve the amount your knee can bend. You can start by laying on a bed and doing this, then move on to a supported knee bend where you sit on a chair, cross your ankles with the one that has the affected knee on top. Once you’re able to do that easily, remove the supporting leg, and just bend the knee while seated.

Total knee replacement surgery exercises will help your recovery and have a lasting positive effect. Start slow, but be consistent!