Disorders that affect the knee like severe arthritis or trauma do not allow you to utilize the full range of motion of your knees. Since you use your affected knees very sparsely, they become stiff and this condition persists even after you have undergone a knee replacement surgery. You can, however, get back the normal range of motion of a healthy knee by doing the following exercises post knee replacement surgery.
- Take a stroll around the house after surgery: Walking helps your knees get back to normalcy. Initially, you need to walk using the support of crutches or canes as instructed by your therapist. Make sure that your heels and toes are perfectly aligned while you walk. Walk for 20 minutes at least twice at the initial stage and increase your pace gradually, so that, eventually you can walk freely without any support.
- Exercises to reduce swelling: Your legs or foot can become inflamed after the operation. This is not an uncommon sight. In order to reduce swelling, you need to lie flat and rest your legs on a stack of pillows, one at a time. While your leg is elevated you can apply a cold compress at the surgical site.
- Pumping exercises: Swelling will be ameliorated and your knees will be revived if you perform ankle pumps and circles. Ankle pumps are done by holding your foot and bending them up and down, whereas, circles are done by moving your feet in a clockwise and an anticlockwise direction. Both these exercises strengthen the knee muscles and reduce swelling.
- Stretching exercises: There are two very effective methods of stretching that you can perform by sitting on a chair. The first exercise involves the placing of your leg on a chair opposite to the one you are sitting on. Put pressure on your knee till you can feel a slight stretch at the back of your knee. The second exercise is performed by sitting straight on a chair with the feet touching the ground. You need to push your feet outward and inward as far as possible. These exercises reactivate the motion of the knees.
- Lying kicks: This is an advanced exercise that one must perform post knee replacement surgery after some warm-up exercises like walking, ankle pumps and stretching. You need to lie flat on a mat with a blanket rolled under your knee. Now slowly raise your leg, hands-free, or using your hands. Keep the leg elevated for at least five seconds before bringing it down slowly on the blanket.
Strictly perform these routines regularly and you will start walking in no time following the knee replacement surgery. In case you have a concern or query, you can always consult good Orthopedic Doctor in Chandigarh & get answers to your questions!