When all the measures to alleviate knee pain fail, the patient is recommended knee arthroscopy. After the surgery has been performed, it becomes extremely important that one works around re-strengthening the muscles, which surround the knee. Doing the exercises after knee arthroscopy will not only help in strengthening the muscles around the knee, but also help in regaining full range of motion. Before you start doing any of the exercises, it is important that one consults the orthopedic surgeon, as there are chances that some of the exercises may not be permissible for your given condition.
Exercises after Knee Arthroscopy Surgery
When you are doing the knee exercises after arthoscopic knee surgery, remember you will feel a gentle stretch, however, if you notice any kind of pain while doing the exercises, it is best to bring it to the notice of the therapist. Same is the case, when you are doing any other kind of physical activity. If there is any sort of discomfort, the said activity should be stopped immediately. When you are doing the exercises, it is important that you are gentle and not push yourself over the limits. It may aggravate the condition as opposed to alleviate it.
Initially you should do some basic knee exercises after surgery. This will ensure there is not too much of pressure on the knee joint and the exercises do not cause a lot of discomfort.
Exercise #1: This exercise can be practiced in bed, as it helps in preventing formation of blood clots, which is a normal occurrence after the surgery. Lie on the bed and extend both your legs. Now gradually point your feet and hold for a 5 counts. Then gradually flex your feet and hold again for 5 counts. This exercise is better repeated 5 to 8 times throughout the day. It can easily also be done, when one is sitting on the chair.
Exercise #2: When you are doing this exercise, make sure there is no movement of your body. Lie on the floor, such that your knees are bent and make 10 degree angle. Now gradually push your heel into the floor, as you tighten the muscles of the hamstring. Hold the position for a 5 to 7 seconds, before your release and repeat the exercise.
Exercise #3: In this, like the previous exercise, there is no movement involved. To do this exercise, lie down on your back. Now bend your knees, till there is about 1 foot distance between the heel of the feet and the buttocks. To know, if your legs are placed properly, you can try to touch the heel with your hands. If you are able to touch your heels, it is the perfectly placed. I would like to bring it to your notice, that if you have shorter arms, then this trick may not work. Now tighten the buttock muscles and hold for 10 counts. Release and repeat the exercise.
Exercise #4: The next exercise is heel slides. Sit on a chair and slide the heel of your feet under the chair. Hold in the stretched position for 10 counts and release. Now extend the leg in front and then repeated the exercise again. If you are finding it difficult to do the exercise, you can use your hands to support the operated foot.
After you have recovered a little, you can start doing the intermediate post operative knee arthroscopy exercises. However, it is recommended, that you consult your orthopedic surgeon, before you make the transition from the basic exercises to the intermediate exercises.
Exercise #1: To do this knee rehab exercise, you will need a towel role. Place the towel role under your knee, so that the knee is at an elevation. Now straighten and gently lock your knee, but make sure your knee is supported by the towel underneath. Hold the position for about 10 counts and then release.
Exercise #2: The next of the exercises are the leg raises. Lie on your exercise mat, such that the operated knee is extended out straight and the other knee is bent. The feet of the bent knee should neither be placed very close to the buttocks nor very far away from it. Straighten the operated knee and lock it gently. Gradually lift your leg till it is about 6 to 8 inches off the floor. Hold in the position, before you lower the leg and place it on the floor.
Your orthopedic surgeon will be able to tell you, when are you supposed to switch over to the advanced exercises. It will all depend on the way your knee has recovered after the operation. It is in your own best interest, not to be a doctor for yourself and decide, when to shift to the advanced exercises.
Exercise #1: Although the exercise looks to be simple, it helps immensely in the healing process. Sit closer to the wall, such that your right hand is touching the wall. Now lie down on the floor and lift your legs up against the wall. With this there will be apt distance between the wall and your buttocks. Straighten your knee gently, so that you feel tightness at the back of the knee. Hold the position for 10 counts and then relax the knee and repeat it again.
Exercise #2: The next exercises is the sitting knee extension. Sit on a chair and place a stool under the operated knee. Now gradually straighten the knee and hold for 10 counts and then gradually relax the knee. Repeat the exercise.
It is important that the exercises after knee arthroscopy are done at regular intervals as per the guidance of your orthopedic surgeon. Remember if you feel a stretch, when you are doing the exercise, it is fine, but if you feel any sort of pain, do not continue doing the exercise. In case you notice, swelling on the operated knee after doing the exercises, then you should let your orthopedic surgeon know about it. Last but the most important instruction is that you should do the exercises after consulting your orthopedic surgeon. Do not self treat yourself.