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Pre-Knee Replacement: Ankle Pumps, Quad Sets, Leg Raises

Doing these exercises BEFORE your knee replacement can help speed your recovery. Ask your physical therapist (PT) whether you should exercise one or both legs. Unless you’re told otherwise, start by doing each exercise five to 10 times (5 to 10 reps) twice a day (2 sets). As you get stronger, slowly increase the number of reps and sets.

Stop any exercise that causes sharp or increased knee pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

Ankle pumps

Leg from knee down showing ankle pumps.Ankle pumps can help prevent circulation problems, such as blood clots. Do ankle pumps by pointing and flexing your feet.

Quadriceps sets

Leg from knee down showing quadriceps sets.

  • Lie on your back in bed, legs straight.

  • Tighten the muscle at the front of the thigh as you press the back of your knee down toward the bed. Hold for a few seconds. Then relax the leg.

Straight leg raises

Leg from knee down showing straight leg raise.

  • Lie in bed. Bend one leg. Keep your other leg straight on the bed.

  • Lift your straight leg as high as you comfortably can, but not higher than 12 inches. Hold for a few seconds. Then slowly lower the leg.


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