After you have had an orthopedic knee surgery to repair damage from an injury or overuse, you will have follow-up appointments to check on your healing, including your knee strength and range of motion. As part of the care provided by your specialist in orthopedics and sports medicine, such as those in Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, you will participate in physical therapy to help restore the optimal range of movement of your knee. The therapy and other physical activity can help you regain your previous level of physical activity more quickly than you would if you did not do any exercise.
Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist will show you how to do some basic stretches. These are the first exercises that you will do immediately following your surgery. You will do just a few repetitions to start with, and increase your stretching as your healing continues. Stretching will continue to be important throughout the recovery process. Even when your knee is fully healed, stretching before exercise can help prevent injury to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles connected to and surrounding your knee. Stretching after exercise is also helpful, as it helps to keep your muscles flexible so that they can support your knee.
Weight Bearing Exercise
Early in your recovery, you may need to walk with a cane or walker until you can bear your full weight on your surgically repaired knee. As soon as your orthopedic surgeon gives you the go ahead, you will be able to do low-impact weight-bearing exercises such as walking at a slow pace. As you continue to heal and recover, you may increase the pace and duration of activity. Your orthopedics doctor and physical therapist in Denver may also recommend that you use a stationary bicycle and alternating it with walking.
Doing resistance exercises helps to strengthen your knee and the muscles and ligaments that support it. Resistance exercises help keep your knees flexible and strong, and you don’t need any special equipment to do them. For instance, hamstring curls, half squats, and the supine hamstring stretch exercises can flex the different muscle groups around your knees and also work your glutes, calves, and hamstrings.
How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Recovery from Injury or Knee Surgery, Orthopedics.About.com
Knee Conditioning Program, OrthoInfo.aaos.org