These exercises should be started as soon as you have regained muscle control of your knee. They will be shown to you by the physiotherapist when you are in hospital.
The exercises are designed to help you regain full range of movement and muscle strength in your leg. It is equally important to be able to bend your leg fully as it is to get it fully straight, and particularly to be able to lock the knee straight. Build up the repetitions of each exercise gradually and aim for two 10 minute sessions per day.
1. Static Quads Exercise: Sit on the bed/floor with your leg straight out in front. Use your thigh muscles to press the back of your knee into the bed/floor as hard as you can. Keep your toes pulled up towards your body. Hold for 5 seconds relax completely and repeat.
2. Quads Exercise over a towel: Place a rolled up towel under your knee to a height of 6 inches. Pull your toes towards your body, tighten the thigh muscles and lift the foot off the floor until the knee locks straight. Do not lift the back of the knee off the roll. Hold for 5 seconds, lower slowly. Relax completely and repeat.
3. Knee Bending on the bed: Practice bending your knee by sliding your heel towards your bottom. Use a slippery plastic bag on the bed or a plastic tray and wear a sock to make it easier. When the knee bends to a right angle then you can progress to the next exercise.
4. Knee bending over the edge of the bed: (This is not suitable if surgery performed to treat problems affecting the knee cap). Sit over the edge of the table with your legs hanging down. Straighten your knee slowly. Hold for 5 seconds and lower gradually. Repeat.
5. Knee bending while standing: Stand with hands on a table to support you. Bend your knee pulling your heel towards your bottom, then lower slowly back to floor. Relax completely and repeat.