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Conditioning Before Knee Replacement

Conditioning your body BEFORE knee replacement can help speed your recovery. Daily exercise helps strengthen muscles that support the knee joint. Aerobic activity (exercise that raises your heart rate) can improve fitness. It can also help you reach or maintain a healthy weight, reducing stress on your knee.

Before beginning any exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider.

Low-impact exercise

Try exercise that doesn’t put too much weight on your knee, such as riding a stationary bike or swimming. This helps build strength in your knee with little stress on the joint. Start slowly. Then try to do a little more each day. Stop any exercise that causes increasing pain. You can also ask your healthcare provider or physical therapist about ways to manage pain during exercise.

Pool exercise

Group of people doing water aerobics.Exercising in a pool is a gentle way to exercise muscles. It can improve balance and coordination. A physical therapist may work with you in a pool therapy program. You can also try pool walking on your own. Stand in waist-deep to chest-deep water with your arms out to the sides. Slowly walk forward. To avoid overdoing, ask your physical therapist or surgeon for guidelines on how long to exercise. He or she can also give you tips on pool safety.

Call your healthcare provider

 Contact your healthcare provider if: 

  • You have questions about the exercises.

  • There is increased pain or swelling in your knee after exercise.

  • You need help learning to use your walker or crutches.


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