knee surgery consultation
English version of the website of Dr. J.E.Perraudin, french orthopaedic surgeon in paris : : the content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. Last updated Feb 12, 2017
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Knee rehabilitation : a few EXERCISES for your knees
anterior cruciate ligament surgery knee anatomy
If your knee is painful, you will avoid using it but the risk is to loose your muscles, especially your quadriceps (muscle of the thigh). This quadriceps weakness will increase your pain. Simple exercises will allow you to get less pain and feel better.
knee rehabilitation
patella instability
Knee surgery can help relieve pain and restore function in knee joint. However, many knee problems do not require surgery. Some can be significantly improved by simple measures (and particularly these exercises) if patient involvement and responsability are there.
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anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

The first thing to do is to strengthen the muscle of your thigh, called quadriceps. This can be easily done by pushing the knee down towards the bed and holding the movement for a few seconds (10, 15 , 20... it's up to you). You can use your hand or a towel roll you put under your knee to make the exercise more difficult and more efficient. No bouncing! Maintain a steady, prolonged stretch for the maximum benefit.

If you feel pain when contracting your muscle, just go on! pain will diminue as you go along. You can't imagine getting better if you just stop this exercise already. Go on slower but go on .

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Tight and weak hamstrings not only contribute to knee pain but an imbalance in the ratio of the strength of the quads and hams can render the knee prone to real injury.

Hamstring contraction : Lie on your back with your knees bent in a 45° angle.Without moving your leg, pull your heel into the bed . This will cause the muscles of the back of your thigh (hamstrings) to contract. Hold this for a few seconds. Relax and repeat.

You need to improve your muscle balance between the quad in front of your thigh and the "hamstrings" at the back of it by stretching:

  • Hamstrings stretching :
    • Standing with the involved foot on a table, bend your body forwards, feeling a stretch in the back of your leg and thigh. Hold it for a few seconds, then relax and repeat.
    • Lie on your back.Bend your hip, grasping your thigh just above the knee. Slowly straighten your knee until you feel the tightness behind your knee and thigh. Hold it for a few seconds. Relax and repeat.
    • Lie next to a doorway with one leg extended. Place your heel against the wall. The closer you are to the wall, the more intense the stretch. When you feel the tightness behind your knee and thigh, hold it for a few seconds. Relax and repeat.
  • Quadriceps stretching: standing with the involved knee bent, gently pull heel toward buttocks, feeling a stretch in the front of the leg. Hold it for a few seconds, then relax and repeat.

When exercise triggers local inflammation : rest, ice, elevation .


Docteur Jean Etienne Perraudin last reviewed 03/09/2012