What are the Best Physio Exercises After a Knee Replacement?

Having a knee replacement is a big step towards improving your quality of life, but the journey doesn't end there. Post-surgery, physiotherapy is key to a successful recovery. It's not just about healing; it's about getting your knee to work well again. Whether you're planning to visit a Knee Replacement Centre Brampton or prefer a knee replacement physio at home, knowing the right exercises is crucial.

In this blog, we'll share some effective physio exercises that are essential after knee replacement. These exercises focus on strengthening your knee, enhancing flexibility, and boosting overall mobility. They are simple, yet incredibly effective in speeding up your recovery. So, let's get started and explore these exercises that will help you get back on your feet and enjoy an active life post-knee replacement.

When can you start exercising again after knee replacement Surgery?

Patients can begin particular postoperative workouts as soon as they are comfortable doing so. This may be while they are still in the hospital or from their bed.

These exercises increase blood circulation in the feet and legs, which can aid in the prevention of blood clots. Blood clots are a few of the most prevalent side effects of knee replacement surgery.

Starting knee exercises can also help strengthen muscles and improve the knee's range of motion. Although the exercises could be painful at first, they might speed up recovery and lessen postoperative pain.

Most Effective Exercise Post-Knee Replacement

Initial Postoperative Exercises

1. Quadriceps Sets Exercise

Here's how to do this exercise:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Tighten the muscles in one thigh.
  • Try to make your knee straight. Hold it for a duration of five to ten seconds.
  • Repeat this around 10 times, all within 2 minutes. Then rest for 1 minute.
  • After resting, do it again.
  • Keep going until your thigh feels tired.
  • Next, repeat this same procedure with your other leg.

2. Ankle Pumps Exercise

Here's how to do ankle pumps:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Keep your leg straight.
  • Move your foot up and down.
  • Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Repeat it 2 to 3 times every hour.
  • If you're watching TV, do it during each commercial break.
  • Keep doing this exercise until you're fully recovered.
  • Continue until there's no more swelling in your lower leg and ankle.

3. Bed-Supported Knee Bends Exercise

Here's how to do bed-supported knee bends:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bend one knee and slide your foot toward your buttocks. Keep your heel on the bed.
  • Doing this try to bend your knee as completely as you are able to
  • Keep this position for at least five to ten seconds.
  • Then slide your foot back, straightening your leg.
  • This exercise will take around 2 minutes of time. So, keep doing this until your leg feels tired.

4. Straight Leg Raises Exercise

Here's how to do straight leg raises:

  • Start by tightening your thigh muscles. Keep your knee straight on the bed.
  • Raise your leg off the bed by a few inches.
  • Take a deep breath and keep this position for five to ten seconds.
  • Then, slowly lower your leg back down.
  • Keep repeating until your thigh feels tired.
  • This should take about 3 minutes.

You can perform this exercise while seated as well:

  • Straighten your knee and contract the muscles in your thighs.
  • Keep your leg up without any support.
  • Repeat the same steps as when lying down.
  • Keep doing these exercises until your thigh is fully strong again.

Early Workouts for Recovery

1. Walking Exercise After Knee Surgery

Walking correctly is key for knee recovery. Here's how to do it:

  • In the beginning, use a walker or crutches. Your doctor or therapist will tell you how much weight to put on your leg.
  • Stand up straight and balance your weight on your walker or crutches.
  • Move them forward a little. Then step forward with your operated leg. Your knee should be straight, and your heel should touch the floor first.
  • As you step, bend your knee and ankle. Your whole foot should be flat on the floor.
  • Finish the step by lifting your toes. Your knee and hip will bend, getting ready for the next step. Always heel first, then flat foot, then toes up.
  • Walk smoothly. Don’t rush. Change how long and fast your steps are to keep a steady pace.
  • As you get stronger, you can walk more and put more weight on your leg.
  • After about 2 to 3 weeks, when you can walk and stand for 10 minutes without help, and don’t need to put weight on your walker or crutches, switch to a crutch or cane. Use it on the opposite side of your surgery. Don’t limp or lean away from your operated knee.

2. Stair Climbing and Descending Exercise

Stair climbing is great for building strength, endurance, and flexibility. Here's how to approach it:

  • In the beginning, you'll need to hold onto a handrail for support.
  • Start by going one step at a time.
  • When going up, start with your good knee. When going down, start with your operated knee. Think of it as "up with the good, down with the bad."
  • It's a good idea to have someone help you with stairs until you're stronger and more mobile.
  • Stick to steps that are standard height (7 inches) and always use the handrail.
  • As you get stronger and more flexible, you can start climbing stairs one foot after the other.

Advanced Workouts & Exercises

1. Standing Knee Bends Exercise

Here's how to do standing knee bends:

  • Stand up using crutches or a walker.
  • Raise your leg and flex your knee to the greatest extent possible.
  • Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Then straighten your knee and slowly put your heel on the ground first.
  • Do this several times until you feel tired.
  • Aim for about 2 minutes.

You can make this exercise harder:

  • Use light weights for extra resistance.
  • Doctors usually say to start this 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
  • As you get stronger, you can slowly use heavier weights.

2. Assisted Knee Bends Exercise

Here's how to do assisted knee bends:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place a folded towel over your operated knee, letting it drop down to your foot.
  • Bend your knee gently. Use the towel to push a little to bend it more.
  • Try to stay in that position for a duration of five to ten seconds.
  • Do this several times until your leg gets tired.
  • Try to keep going for about 2 minutes.


Recovering from a knee replacement requires a commitment to a regular physiotherapy routine. The above exercises, when done consistently, can significantly improve the outcome of your surgery. 

Additionally, You may suffer knee discomfort or swelling following exercise or activity. To alleviate this, apply ice that has been wrapped in a towel. When you use ice, apply it to the knee for 20 minutes and then remove it for 20 minutes; repeat this procedure for around 2 hours.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your orthopedic surgeon or Brampton physiotherapists. To schedule an appointment with the knee replacement clinic Brampton call 905-452-0222. Besides, you can also send us an email at revitalizephysio@gmail.com.