• UK Center for Cartilage Repair and Restoration

    Post-operative (after surgery) exercises for the knee

    All exercises should be repeated 30 times. Two sessions per day are recommended. It may be helpful to apply ice for 15 minutes after the exercises. 

    Download printable Post-operative (after surgery) exercises for the knee (PDF, 59 KB)

    Hip and knee - strengthening: quadriceps sets 

    quad sets strengthening  

    • Tighten muscles on top of thigh by pushing knees down into floor or table.

    Ankle/foot - range of motion: plantar/dorsiflexion 


    • Avoid pain.
    • Relax leg.
    • Gently bend and straighten ankle.
    • Move through full range of motion.

    Hip and knee - passive range of motion knee flexion 

    hip and knee 

    • With towel around heel, gently pull knee upwards with towel until stretch is felt.

    Hip and knee - strengthening 

    hip and knee strengthening  

    • Straight Leg Raise Phase 1: Tighten muscle on front of thigh then lift leg 8-10 inches from floor keeping knee locked. Hold 10 seconds.

    Hip and knee - quad set in slight flexion 

    hip and knee quad set  

    • Gently tense muscle on top of thigh. Hold 10 seconds.

    Check with your doctor to make sure these instructions apply to your case.