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Isometric Straight Leg Lifts – TKR

Here is one of the exercises I was given by both my physical therapist and doctor’s clinic to help with my total knee replacement recuperation. Believe me, it’s a doozie when first attempted! (meaning….hard, hard work) It’s easier and more fun to read about it than actually do it – but where does that get you? 😦

Isometric Straight Leg Lifts

  1. Begin lying on your back with your legs fully extended.

  2. With the leg straight, lift the leg so that the heel is 12” off the floor.

  3. Your toes (foot) should be pulled back toward your knee.

  4. Hold your leg in this position for a full 10 seconds.

  5. After 10 seconds, lower your leg and repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

  6. Continue to alternate legs until you have done 30 lifts on each leg.

  7. This program should be done twice a day (two times).

When it becomes easy to do 30 leg lifts twice per day, add 2-1/2 pounds of weight to each ankle. Continue to exercise in the same manner as above. Continue to increase the weight as it becomes necessary, usually 2-1/2 pounds every 7-14 days.

Week 1 – no weight to 2-1/2 pound weights

Week 2 – 2-1/2

Week 3 – 2-1/2 to 5

Week 4 – 5

Week 5 – 5 to 7-1/2

Week 6 – 7-1/2

Do not expect results in 2-3 days. It usually takes 3-4 weeks before you notice any improvement.

Be patient and do the exercises faithfully.

If you develop soreness or irritation due to the exercise program, use ICE for 30 minutes following each exercise session.

Originally Published by:

Virginia Mason/Department of Surgery

Section of Orthopedic Surgery

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