Knee Rehabilitation High Demand
Welcome to our Knee Rehabilitation-High Demand video series. This program is designed for patients wanting to get back to high-demand work, sports and recreational activity following knee injury or surgery. These videos should not be used as a substitute for regular physical therapy visits and guidance from your physician.
PHASE I – PREVENT DECONDITIONING AND STIFFNESS
GOALS: Activate the muscles; restore range of motion.
- Minimize pain and swelling after injury or surgery by icing and elevating the leg.
- Ice for 15 minutes three times daily for first 3 days.
- Elevate the leg above the level of your heart when sedentary.
- Regain full extension [straightening] of the knee ASAP – see exercise 2. Do as often as possible until full motion achieved.
- Balance exercises help regain postural stability – start with eyes open; progress to eyes closed.
- Perform exercises two times daily; do 1-2 sets of 12-15 repetitions for each exercise.
- Continue exercises twice daily.
- Stretching exercises: Hold for 30 seconds, relax for 15 seconds; do 5 reps of each stretch.
- Strengthening exercises: Perform 1-2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
- Ice for 10 minutes after exercise to prevent inflammation.
- Typically this phase is done during weeks 2-4 after knee arthroscopy.
- Conduct 3-4 times per week with increasing intensity.
- Exercises may be conducted in gym on machines.
- Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions each exercise.
- Avoid knee extension machine.
- Running program – start with walk/run intervals and progress to full running.
- Cross-train to avoid irritation (e.g.,: bike, elliptical, treadmill on alternate days)
- Typically this phase is done weeks 4-6 following knee arthroscopy.
- Continue Phase 3 exercises.
- Conduct agility drills on jump mat / yoga mat or place two parallel 8-foot long strips of tape on floor three feet apart to define boundary for exercises.
- Advance cardiovascular training as tolerated.
- Add these exercises to Phase 3 program as tolerated as strength improves. They will help maximize and expedite return to full sports activity.
- Start with 30 second duration per exercise; advance to 60 seconds per exercise – do as many repetitions as possible in allotted time.
PHASE 2 – EARLY STRENGTHENING
GOALS: Begin muscle re-conditioning.
PHASE 3 – ADVANCED STRENGTHENING
GOALS: Strengthen hip, quad, hamstring and calf muscles to restore functional stability to the knee.
PHASE 4 – PLYOMETRICS AND AGILITY
GOAL: Return to sports and high-level activity.