4 mos knee NOT straight

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Hi Everyone! 

Had surgery TKR on Aug 17th my physical therapist has mostly focused solely on ROM which is improving but hasn’t really been focused on how straight I can get the knee. So I am getting nervous. What exercises would be good for straightening. I do have a cylinder device I can put under ankle and let leg hang there would that be helpful? Are balancing exercises useful in this purpose? I just don’t know. Chico has described one exercise having lower leg Hang over bed but I am afraid as I can’t exactly invision the correct position. Anyway any ideas please advise.

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  • Posted

    Lie on your bed face down with your knees on the bed and your shins and feet hanging off the edge.  That's it...just let the bad leg hang...

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    • Posted

      Do like 5 reps...see how long you can stand it.  Back off so it's not really super painful and do the 5 reps a few times a day.  Over the course of weeks, increase the time per rep and the number of reps.  Gravity is a b**ch...  If you get adventurous, try strapping on a 2-pound ankle weight.  That will have you screaming for mercy.  Play "Hurts So Good" by John Mellencamp during the exercise!!!

      The good part?  Straight leg!!!!!!

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    • Posted

      oh my gosh so funny ~ thanks will do it.  Repeating heel slides several times a day seems to be pushing me through getting a better ROM so more work and I might be back to normal one day lol TY
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    • Posted

      does doing recumbent bike help too with straightening with seat pulled back? I want to use it now mostly for extension vs ROM as I feel heel slides are more effective than bike
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    • Posted

      I'm not a PT or medical professional in any way, however...IN MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION...

      Any biking is good to get the blood flowing to all your muscles and warm up the knee.  The "straightening" part comes from putting downward pressure ON the knee to break up the scar tissue so the back of your knee can touch the floor (zero, or close to zero) degrees.

      On ANY bike, when you set the seat to the highest (or backwards) position for your good STRAIGHT leg, your bad leg cannot achieve that full extension...yet.  So when you extend that leg as far as you can, it stands to reason that your entire flat foot will not be on the pedal since the knee cannot completely straighten out yet.  So we cheat by using our toe or leaning over to that side.  The problem, as I see it, is that there is no weight on the knee to force it down into a final, straight position.

      Strapping a light ankle weight onto your knee in a recumbent position might help but I don't see that small weight as making a difference.  However, using any kind of bike plus hamstring stretches, apart from the good warm-up, can probably set you up for the real straightening work your PT has given you.  In the end, the bike is great but I don't think that it alone will get you to zero degrees.  

      My PT got me to -1 in 10 weeks @ 2X/week.  I did more heel slides at home with my wife pushing down on my knee.  At the gym, I did leg presses with a spotter pushing down on my knee with a 20 pound plate.  

      So all of the above is based on my opinion and experience.  I would LOVE to hear from some PTs and other members on whether they believe that a bike alone can achieve a zero degree ROM.  I went the other way and got to zero.  "But that's just my opinion...I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller

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    • Posted

      This makes good sense. I just got back from riding recumbent bike and doing a few weight machines I do at PT. I will also try to remember when I am standing to not let knee just casually be bent but will try to stand with knee straight. So much work lol TY
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    • Posted

      It will pass.  There will soon come a day that your leg will be healed and fully straight and you will not even give it a second thought.  Just takes time, work and patience.
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  • Posted

    In physio they told me to sit on couch or chair with heel on coffee table so gravity slowly straightens leg. Put weight on it (ankle weights or sugar in a bag etc) to put more force on it.

    Hope this helps 😊

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