3 Essential Exercises To Help You Recover After Knee Replacement Surgery

Posted on: 27 February 2017

Whether you have been living with osteoarthritis or dealing with an injury directly to the knee and connecting ligaments, knee replacement surgery is an effective option for relieving pain and improving mobility. Unfortunately, most people are not familiar with the importance of exercise for a successful recovery. Not only is it proven to improve your overall mood, but exercises are also necessary to increase blood flow and strength of your new knee joint and surrounding tissue. Here are a few exercises to complete after your knee replacement surgery.


You will most likely remain in the hospital for 1 to 4 days after the surgery. During this time in the hospital, you will need to walk with assistance from a physical therapist. In most cases, you will walk through the hallways of the hospital. Only walk on even surfaces at first, but begin incorporating stems into your recovery walks. Using various mobility aids,  such as a cane, walker, or crutches can be helpful, as well.

Walking this soon after your knee replacement allows your surgeon to evaluate your progress using your new knee joint. In addition, walking decreases swelling and inflammation.

Kick Stretches

Simple kick movements that stretch the ligaments of the knee joint are effective for building strength and endurance. Fortunately, these kick movements do not have to be extreme or excessive, so there is no need to worry about overextending your knee joint.

Lie on the floor and place a pillow or rolled blanket directly under the recovering knee. Straighten the leg out over the pillow or blanket and hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, lower your leg down to rest. Make sure the back of the knee stays on the pillow or rolled blanket. Repeat the exercises multiple times after your knee replacement surgery.

One-Leg Stand

Many patients find it difficult to balance after the knee replacement, since the leg may not feel strong enough to support the new knee joint. However, you can improve your balance while strengthening your legs using a one-leg stand exercise.

Stand up next to a sturdy chair or a countertop. Bend the recovering knee and hold up in place for a few seconds. Be sure to hold the chair or countertop for support. After a few seconds, release your knee and rest. Repeat multiple times per day after your knee replacement surgery.

 Knee replacements are successful for improving mobility and reducing pain, but physical therapy is wise. With these exercises, you can recover in a more efficient and effective manner.