Knee Exercises – Before Your Joint Replacement Surgery

Hello, my name is Megan McCormick a physical
therapist from Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Today I will go through your required exercises
needed before and after your knee replacement surgery. Having the best strength for your
new joint begins now. I encourage you to pause the video when needed and practice each exercise
individually. In addition, please remember to consult your physician before starting
this exercise program. Today we have one of our former patients who will demonstrate the
exercises. Hello, my name is Chris Simons. I am 48 years old; currently I am 26 weeks
post-surgery and credit my successful recovery to not only the care I received from my Washington
University orthopedic physician, but the vigorous rehab schedule that I followed. Do each exercise 10 times, twice a day. If any exercise is painful, don’t do it. Exercise
may be hard, but it should not be painful. We will now be demonstrating chair push-ups.
Sit on the edge of a firm, solid chair that has sturdy armrests.
Extend your legs so that there is a slight bend in your outstretched legs.
Place your hands on the armrests so that there is bend in your elbows.
Slowly lift your bottom from the seat using only your arms while straightening your elbows
and pushing the shoulders down. Do not stand up. Only lift your bottom from
the seat. Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting
position. We will now be demonstrating straight leg
raises or leg lifts. Lie on your back, with your surgical leg straight,
the other leg bent. Slightly roll your surgical knee outward.
Tighten your thigh muscle, and lift your surgical leg off the bed so it’s as high as your
other leg. Keep your knee straight and rolled out while
lifting and lowering it. Slowly lower your leg to the bed.
Remember to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise two times a day. We will now be demonstrating short arc quads or mini kicks. Lie on your back in bed. Place a firm roll approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter such as a pillow, a large coffee can or an unopened 2 liter bottle of soda with a towel wrapped around it under your knee so that there is a slight bend in the knee.
Make sure your leg is relaxed on the roll. Slowly lift your foot from the bed and straighten
your bent knee. Only straighten your knee, do not life your entire leg off of the supporting
surface. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower
the foot back down to the surface and relax. Like with all of the exercises, please be
sure you are not holding your breath. Your opposite leg may be relaxed in a comfortable
position of your choosing. Remember to perform each exercise 10 repetitions
two times a day. We will now demonstrate knee range of
motion in the sitting position. Sit in a chair so that your feet barely touch
the floor. If you’re tall, you may need to first
put 1 or 2 pillows on the seat of the chair. Use the knee that you’ll have surgery on.
Bend the knee as far as you can. Then straighten the knee as much as you can.
Remember to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise twice a day. Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University
Physicians are your partners in your journey to lead you back to a healthier lifestyle
with your new joint. If at any time you have questions, please visit or
contact your orthopedic surgeon’s office. In addition, I want to thank Mr. Simons for
helping us demonstrate these exercises. Thank you and remember having the best strength
for your new joint begins before your surgery and continues post-surgery.

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