Exercises after total knee arthroplasty

Here you can find exercises for your kneet that you can do in seated and standing position as you recover. You can do these 2-3 times a day, approx. 5-10 repetitions each time. The most important part is that you do each repetition well, not exactly how many times you do them!

Norsk versjon

Activation of front thigh, seated 

The goal here is for you to achieve contact and control over the muscle in the front of your thigh. Sit on the edge of your chair, with your leg straight and heel resting on the floor. To gain control of the quad muscle, it is important to concentrate on using the part of the thigh muscle that's close to your knee. Extend your knee by activating the front thigh muscle, to the extent that you can see and/or feel the knecap moving towards you. Hold this for 2-3 seconds, and release. It is important that you can feel the difference between flexing and releasing. 


Knee extension, passive

Sit on the edge of a chair, with your leg straight and heel resting on the floor. Place your hands directly above the knee, and press downwards to help you extend the knee even further. Hold for a few seconds, then release.


Slide foot along floor 

Sit on the edge of a chair, with something to reduce friction under the foot of your operated leg (e.g. a washcloth). Pull the foot towards you along the floor, bending your knee as much as you can. Then extend your knee as much as you can, before ending up in your starting position.


Knee extension, seated

Sit on a chair. Extend your knee to the best of your ability, and then slowly lower it down again.


Assisted knee extension 

Find a sturdy ribbon, a scarf or something similar, hold the ends of it in your hands and place the middle of this loop under your foot. Lift your foot, and extend your knee as much as you can. Pull the ribbon slightly to help extend it, while you're actively using the quads. Then you release tension on the ribbon, and try to keep your leg extended without bending.


Assisted knee flexion 

Sit on the edge of your chair. Bend your knee back, while simultanously pulling the ribbon to push even further into flexion. Avoid your feet pointing against the floor.



Stand with a bit of distance between your feet, with your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Bend slightly in hips and knees, make sure your back is straight. Lower yourself into a seated position, then rise up again. Toes and heels should not lift from the floor at any point. When you rise up, it is important that you extend as much as you can in your knees and hips.


Activation of front thigh, standing 

Stand with your back against a wall, with most of your weight in the non-operated leg. Place the heel of your operated leg close to the wall. Activate the quads and press the back of your knee towards the wall. Hold for 2-3 seconds before  release.


Trappetrinn opp, fokus hoftestabilitet 

Place your operated leg up on a step by bending your knee and hip, without lifting your hip up. Shift your bodyweight over to the operated leg and lift yourself up by extending your knee and hip. Be careful to stabilise your hip with your gluteal muscles. Lower yourself back to the starting position.


Stair walking, focus on hip stability

Place your operated leg up on a step by bending your knee and hip. Shift your body weight over to the operated leg, and move the leg forward, bending it as much as you tolerate. Return to starting position.


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