8 Important At-Home Exercises to do Before Knee Surgery
Each year orthopedic surgeons perform over 600,000 knee replacement surgeries, and while not every knee surgery involves replacement, it is still important to prepare your body for the procedure. Preparing for knee surgery includes getting adequate rest, eating a proper diet, and exercising accordingly.
Not sure what to do? Don’t worry, we have got you covered! This simple guide features 8 knee surgery preparation exercises that you can perform at home. Let’s get started!
Why You Need to Excercise Before Surgery
You might be wondering why you need to exercise before your surgery and not after. The simple answer is, you need to do both. When you are preparing to go into surgery, exercising the knee will strengthen your muscles around the area.
This is a crucial step pre-surgery because it can help increase flexibility and reduce downtime after the surgery. In fact, studies show that properly preparing for surgery with exercise can help you heal faster. With that being said, you should not just jump into an exercise routine without a game plan! Be sure to discuss the exercises you are looking to try with your surgeon before you begin.
Let’s take a look at some key exercises to try before your surgery.
This exercise requires a step or platform that is raised no higher than 1 foot off the ground. Standing in front of the platform or step slowly step-up, and then back down one foot at a time.
You can add some resistance if needed, such as ankle weights, or practice this exercise without any additional resistance. Repeat the steps 15-20 times on each foot.
2. Standing Kick Backs
For this exercise, you will need a resistance band. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the resistance band around your ankle. With your opposite foot, step on the resistance band and then raise the band’s ends and hold them in your hands.
This will create resistance for the exercise. Once you are in place, slowly extend your leg backwards to keep the leg as straight as possible. Repeat 5-10 times, and then switch your other leg. Do this 3-5 times, depending on your ability.
This exercise can be modified depending on your ability. Squats will help strengthen your knee muscles as well as other muscles in the legs and buttocks. It is important to have strength in these other muscle leg groups after surgery because you will be relying on them more as you are healing.
Start the exercise by standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes slightly pointed outward. From there tilt your hips back and lower your body until you are parallel with the ground. If necessary, use a chair to help you maintain balance.
4. Lying Leg Raise
This is another exercise that can help strengthen some other muscles in your legs and buttocks. Side-lying leg raises will help you stabilize your pelvis muscles, which will be important post-surgery to maintain balance.
To do this exercise, you will need to lie down on your side and lift your leg straight up towards the ceiling. Only extend your leg about 1-1.5 feet to avoid over-entending your muscles.
Repeat this 5-10 times, and then switch to your other side. You can do this 3-5 times, depending on your strength level. A resistance band can also be used to create resistance and increase difficulty.
5. Leg Extensions
For this exercise, find a firm surface to sit on and place yourself near the edge. Then, while sitting tall, slowly extend your leg until it is parallel with the ground. Hold it in position for 3-5 seconds and then slowly return your leg to its sitting position.
Repeat the process 3-5 times per each leg. A resistance band can be used to help you stabilize your leg during the workout. Certain workouts, such as this one, can be difficult to master initially, and it might cause some stress. Keeping calm with simple steps like meditation can also help you prepare for your surgery.
6. Side Steps
This is another exercise that not only strengthens your knees, it can also strengthen your other leg muscles, and it can improve balance. For this exercise, you will need your resistance band to be tied into a loop that you can step into and pull up around your thighs.
Then get into your squat position and slowly begin taking side steps with the band firmly in place around your thighs. Walk 5-10 feet and then back to your starting point, and repeat the process 3-5 times.
7. Calf Raises
For this exercise, you will need your resistance band and a flat surface. Stand on top of your resistance band and bring the ends of the band up into your hands. Keep your feet together, and your hands at your side with the band pulled up firmly at your sides.
From there, you will push up onto your tiptoes so that your heels are raised off the ground. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds and return your heels to the ground. Repeat the process 5-10 times.
8. One Leg Standing
This exercise should be done with help from a spotter or a hair or steady surface to help with balance. After your knee surgery, you will be relying more on one leg, so maintaining balance is essential. Start this exercise by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
From there, raise your injured leg off the ground by a few inches and hold steady for 20 seconds. If you feel like you are losing balance, reach out for your support to avoid falling. Repeat this process 3-5 times.
Preparing for Knee Surgery
Following these exercises can help you heal faster, increase flexibility, and more. Preparing for knee surgery is just as important as the surgery itself, and aftercare is equally important.
During your healing process, you might find that you require some follow-up medication. Finding your prescription drugs online from a Canadian online pharmacy can save you time and money. Visit us today to learn more about how you can make your recovery simple and affordable!