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Quad sets are ....


Nurse Director
Jun 8, 2007
The North
United Kingdom United Kingdom
1. Straight leg lifts
This exercise is the most challenging in this list and may not be doable until a few weeks after knee replacement surgery, when the muscle tissue has had time to heal.

Lie on your back, with your new knee leg straight and your other leg bent, with the foot flat on the ground or bed.
Slowly lift the straightened leg as high as you can comfortably.
Hold for 5 seconds, then lower the leg back down.

straight leg lifts 2.JPG

Or if preferred, you can lie with your good leg flat

straight leg lifts 1.JPG

2. Short arcs
Lie on your back with your legs extended and a rolled up towel under your new knee, which is slightly bent.
Straighten your new knee so you heel lifts off the floor or bed, but your knee stays on the towel.
Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your heel.

short arcs.jpg

3. Quad squeezes
Lie on your back on the floor or in bed with your legs extended.
Tighten the quads in the leg with the new knee while keeping your legs straight. If it’s easier to contract the quads in both legs at the same time, that’s okay.
Hold the muscle squeeze for 5 seconds, then release.

quad sqeezes.JPG

4. Knee extensions
Sit upright in a firm chair such as a dining room chair with your feet flat on the ground.
Lift the leg with the new knee and straighten it as much as you can.
Hold for 5 second, then slowly lower it again.

extensions assisted-standing.JPG
extensions sitting.JPG

5. Heel slides
Lie on your back with your legs extended.
Bend your new knee until your foot is flat on the floor or bed, then slide your foot straight back toward your body.
Hold for 10 seconds, then slide your foot back down as you straighten your leg.
Heel slides and how to do them properly

heel slides lying.JPG

heel slides sittingJPG.JPG

heel slides assisted.JPG

Bonus exercise: Ankle pumps
Lie on your back with your legs extended.
Prop a rolled up towel under the ankle of your new knee leg.
Flex your foot so that your toes point up and toward your body. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
Then point your toes down and away from you. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.


However, these are anti-clot exercises and no longer necessary if you are even moderately mobile.

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