A Word About How to Build Muscle Strength Following A Total Knee Replacement
To build the muscles of your knee back to full strength after knee replacement surgery or to build any muscle for that matter, you have to give the muscle a signal. What is that signal? You must ask the muscle to do something that it is not used to doing. When a new challenge presents itself and the muscle does not feel up to the challenge- the muscle will initiate steps to build up so that next time it will be ready.
The key is to not accelerate this challenge too quickly because your tendons have the potential to
react in a negative way. Tendons need time to adjust to new challenges as well. Increasing a workload on a muscle too quickly can result in tendinitis, an inflammation that causes pain. It is a signal your body sends to tell you to slow down.
So if you are eager recovery quickly from your knee replacement surgery, knowing exactly how to ramp up your strength training without overdoing it is critical. So here is the key to knee replacement therapy success…
Purchase A Set Of Home Ankle Weights Before Your Knee Replacement Surgery
One of the best knee replacement exercise equipment pieces to purchase is an ankle weight. I know it’s not sexy, but it is so important. Just like a lot of things in life. Here are the criteria you should use when selecting a set.
Adjustable weight set (2 weight cuffs)
- 2-1/2 lb. each or 5 lb. total for the average total knee candidate [one-half pound increments]
- 5 lb. each or 10 lb. total for those heading back to physical occupations that are demanding or high activity levels.[one pound increments]
- Adjustable units should be a slug or sand packet that ideally slip in and out on the outside of the weight cuff
- Avoid zippered units like the plaque unless you like needlessly wasting time
The adjustable units of weight (1/2 lb Increments are best) increase the challenge systematically to ensure an even acceleration of strength without a set back.
I am sure many of you may be thinking …I don’t really need to do this because I will be going to physical therapy after my knee replacement. Rehabilitation facilities are great but most insurance companies will only pay for 3 days a week.
What will you be doing on the other days? Once your knee is strong enough to do active range of motion with weights, doing active range of motion without them do nothing to improve your knee strength. Yes you will be reducing stiffness and promoting blood flow, but you are spinning your wheels as it relates to strength training.
The other big reason to use a home weight set is to establish a base of strength at home that you can build on when you go to outpatient. I mean why on earth pay a $40 co-pay to do exercises at a rehab center that you could have performed at home? Save the $40 co-pay for using advanced strength building devices and save yourself some cash.
Here Are The Steps To Accelerate Your Knee Replacement Recovery
Do 4 separate exercises sessions per day without weights doing each exercise 20-30 times.
When this can be performed with ease: Add 1/2 -1 pound ankle weight
* If adding the weight for all four sessions seems to hard… Add in for two of the sessions and work up to 4 sessions.
Continue to repeat step two until you can do 2 1/2 for all your exercises
At this point you have a very good base level of strength and in most cases this sequence can be completed in 2-3 weeks following surgery.
A simple weight set costs $10-15 at Walmart and can save you time by accelerating your recovery and save you money on PT co-pays. What are you waiting for?
Here are some examples of ankle Weights
And if you have no extra money at all. Here is an idea to get a similar effect on the cheap. Remember though that you will need to make more than one or keep changing the amount of sand.