Top 10 Exercises Before and After TKR

Having a total knee replacement can be overwhelming. Not only are you dealing with the constant pain from the knee, but the preparation can be challenging and stressful. That’s not even including the worry about the recovery. But what if there’s something you can do before the surgery to feel better before the surgery and make the recovery afterwards better? When you are physically fit going in for the surgery, it helps speed up the recovery… makes you feel better, move better, and get the most out of the surgery to get back to a normal lifestyle.

Here are the Top 10 exercises to do before a knee replacement surgery to maximize your recovery…

  1. Heel Slides
    Knee bending and straightening is essential after the surgery for all activities. Start by lying on your back with both legs straight out. Then bend your bad knee and slide heel on the surface back to your butt as far as it can go. Hold for a couple seconds then slide your heel away. Try 10 times.
  2. Back leg raises
    Strong front leg muscles are very important for walking after the surgery. Start by lying on your back with your good knee bent and your bad leg straight out. Then lift your bad leg up keeping your leg as straight as possible. Hold for a couple seconds then lower back down. Try 10 times.
  3. Side leg raises
    Strong side hip muscles help with balancing and walking for safety after the surgery. Start by lying on the opposite side of the bad knee. Then lift your bad leg up keeping your leg as straight as possible. Hold for a couple seconds then lower back down. Try 10 times.
  4. Clam Shells
    Hip mobility is important for moving around in bed and cars after the surgery. Start by lying down on your back with both legs bent. Pull your knees away from each other and hold for 5 seconds. Then pull your knees inward towards each other. Try 10 times.
  5. Pillow Squeezes
    Strong inner thigh muscles help stabilize the leg with walking and standing for safety. Start lying on your back with both knees bent. Place a pillow in between the knees. Then press your knees into the pillow and hold for 5 seconds. Try 10 times.
  6. Seated Kicks
    Strong thigh muscles are the most important muscles to get back to normal after the surgery. Start by sitting in a chair. Then kick your bad leg out as straight as possible. Hold for 5 seconds then lower back down. Try 10 times.
  7. Seated Hamstring Stretch
    Muscle flexibility helps with decreasing knee pain after the surgery. Start sitting in a chair. Place the bad leg out straight then bend forward and try to touch the foot. Hold for 5 seconds. Try 10 times.
  8. Standing Marches
    Hip bending and knee bending will help decrease the tightness in the knee after the surgery. Start by standing near a counter surface. For balance, place 1 hand on the counter, then lift you bad knee up like you are in the marching band. Hold for 5 seconds. Try 10 times.
  9. Standing Abduction
    Strong outside hip muscles are important for balancing and walking after the surgery. Start by standing near a counter surface. For balance, place 1 hand on the counter, then kick your bad leg out to the side keeping it straight. Hold for 5 seconds. Try 10 times.
  10. Standing Butt Kicks
    Knee flexibility while standing helps with doing stairs after the surgery. Start by standing near a counter surface. For balance, place 1 hand on the counter, then bend your bad knee and try to kick your butt. Hold for 5 seconds. Try 10 times.