Knee Replacement Rehabilitation Protocol


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Maximise conditioning for accelerated recovery

Physiotherapy assessment to optimize joint strength, ROM, flexibility and balance

Use of stationary bike to strengthen quadriceps (thigh) muscle

Balance and core exercises (e.g. Pilates, yoga, Wii-Fit)

Weeks 0-2

Soft Tissues

Swelling reduction critical to reduce pain and improve ROM (aim 0-90°)

Cold therapy 6-8 times per day (for 20 min. periods)

Constant leg elevation (ankle at level of chest whilst reclining or lying down) unless exercising

Short leg TEDS stockings both lower limbs with double layer tubigrip to operated knee

Regular calf and quads co-contractions

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Rehab exercises

3-4 times per day

Follow with ice to knee and elevation of leg for 20-30 minutes


Immediate full weight bearing with crutches

Gait re-training aiming to optimize heel strike, full knee extension and toe off

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Week 2 – Week 6

Soft Tissues

No dressings from day 14 unless during hydrotherapy

Daily scar and lower limb massage e.g. Vit E, sorbolene cream, bio-oil

Continue with swelling reduction techniques as above

Tubigrip to knee during day only

Stocking not required on opposite leg.

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Rehab exercises

Commence outpatient hydrotherapy program 1-2 times per week

Continue with exercises as directed by physio

Stationary bike can commence at 3-5 weeks


Walking 10 to 20 minutes 1-2 times per day

Slowly wean off ambulatory aids at home

Continue use outdoors

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Week 6 - Week 12

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Rehab exercises

Continue home-based exercises including ROM (aim 0-120°) and lower limb stretches

Increase strengthening exercises e.g. resistance bike and gym program


Increase walking distance 20 to 40 minutes per day

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Weeks 12+

Return to functional activities

Resumption of normal activities (e.g. golf, tennis, bike riding and bowls)

Kneeling on knee can commence on soft cushions for short periods of time if comfortable

Consider long term exercise program to optimize knee function (e.g.: bike 3 times per week, swimming, gym exercise, balance)

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Knee background

Do you need a

Knee replacement?

Dr Seeto in affiliation with Medibank Private and East Sydney Private hospital, offers a program for eligible Medibank Private Members, to eliminate medical out of pocket costs for your Knee Replacement.

The program includes a pre-surgery preparation program, spending the minimal time necessary in hospital, as well as home rehabilitation if necessary.


Out Of Pocket

Knee operation

Book a consultation


Contact us