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We all know that this is one of the best exercises to both straighten out your leg and increase the bend. Tips:
- Your worst enemy is friction... Gotta have a surface and something on your foot that will slide easily with as little friction as possible. Silk or sil-like sheets are great if your doing this in bed watching TV. On the floor, any plastic chair mat (the ones for your desk chair at the computer), thin plastic sheet (like those cheap ones for the snow), or anything else that slides easily will do. Put a plastic bag with a rubber band over your foot to make it slide better.
- Maximize your exercise for zero degrees... To get your knee cloer to zero degrees, extend it as far as you can then put a 2-pound anke weight on the knee. Just this slight extra pressure will pay off when you go to PT. Not sure if I'd do this right after surgery...wait until you see your doc and have the staples removed. But once you are doing full-on PT work, this helps a lot. Just let the weight sit there as long as you can stand it...then back off and ice.
- Maximize your exercise for 120 degrees... When you bend your knee, it's really hard to keep it bent and even push it to the next degree. Just put a belt around your ankle and hold on with both hands. Bend as far as you can and use the belt to hold it where it is. When comfortable, give the belt a slight tug to bend just a fraction more. Don't yank on the darn thing! This is not a race. Slow and easy...one degree at a time.
- A GREAT aid... I got rid of all the friction problems with a device called a Knee-Flex...
It's a set of frictionless wooden rails with a heel cup between them. Use this in bed, on the floor, in a pool, wherever. It completely eliminates the friction problem and makes the exercise much easier. Mine was actually from a different company and there are many "brands" of these devices around. I just happened to grab this one off the web but you get the picture.
So... No friction, add some weight, pull on the belt. DON'T OVERDO IT but push it a bit to keep progressing. Everyone has to find their own "sweet spot". And always ice afterwards...
Hope this helps.
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