Knee Arthroscopy Recovery Exercises – Must Read

Knee Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in the medical field which is used to diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. It is a surgical technique that allows surgeons to view inside the knee joint without making any cut through the skin and other soft tissues.

Knee Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems such as knee pain, discomfort, restricted movement and torn meniscus or a misaligned patella, etc.

During the procedure, your surgeon inserts a small camera called an arthroscope through the small cut inside your knee that allows him/her to view inside the joint.

The arthroscope displays image on a screen and your surgeon uses these images to investigate a problem with the knee or to guide miniature surgical instruments.

You will only need Knee Arthroscopy if your doctor is not able to diagnose a condition of Knee with the help of X-rays, blood tests, CT scans, MRI, etc.

After undergoing Knee Arthroscopy, it is essential to begin Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises to restore your knee mobility and strength.

Initial exercises must be light weighted and should focus on gentle strengthening of the muscles around the knee as well as increased mobility of joint.

During the exercise, the movements should be gentle and balanced. Jumping or overstretching should be avoided. After some time you can move on to next level of exercise for full recovery of Knee.

The following Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises are suitable for rehabilitation of Knee which is undergone for the procedure.

Initial Exercises for after Knee Arthroscopy

These are the initial Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises that should begin immediately after Knee Arthroscopy. These exercises essential to do regularly throughout the day as given instruction, at least six times a day.


  • Buttock tucks:  This is a simple exercise, in which you have to lie down on your back, tighten and hold your buttock muscles for 5 seconds and relax.
  • Circulation exercise: Sit or lie with your leg elevated, to allow your foot to be higher than your hip, and practice pedaling your feet up and down at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Straight leg raises: With your knee upright, push it down to tense the Quads, as before, pull your toes up towards you and slowly lift your straight leg 20 cm off the bed. Hold for 5 seconds and lower.
  • Terminal knee extension:  Lying or sitting on the couch, put a rolled up towel under the knee allowing your heel to rest on the couch. Tighten your knee to straighten it, keeping the back of your knee on the towel and raising your heel off the bed. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Knee flexion and extension: Lay on your back, place a sliding board or a sheet of plastic under your foot. Lean your knee by sliding your foot up and down the board or plastic sheet. Aim to increase the range of movement to full bend. If you spot bending difficult, try putting a belt on your foot and, as you slide up, assist the move by pulling on the belt.


Intermediate Exercises for after Knee Arthroscopy

After doing initial exercises for two weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided, and the pain has lessened you should move on to intermediate Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises.

These exercises should perform for 10 to 15 days regularly.


  • Partial squats with a chair:  Hold onto a strong high table or chair with your feet slightly separated. Bend both of your knees smoothly, make sure you are maintaining a straight stance, to keep your leg in correct order. Remember, you should not bend your knee more than 90 degrees. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds, and then slowly return to standing.
  • Wall Sliding:  Stand leaning with your back next to a wall, about 20 cm away from the wall. Gently slide down the wall allowing your hips and knees to bend gently. As your knee regains strength, aim to push further down until your hips and knees are at right angles. Return to starting position.  
  • Step ups-forward:  Stand in front of a 20 – 40 cm step. Step up leading with your operated leg followed by the other leg. Step down with the good leg first. Return to start position.
  • Step ups-lateral:  Face sidelong to the step, with your operated leg next to it. Step up sidelong with the treated leg, supported by the other leg. Step down beginning with the good leg first. Return to start position.


Advanced Exercises after Knee Arthroscopy

After doing intermediate exercises for 10 to 15 days, you can start increasing resistance by using weights around your ankle when practicing Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises mentioned above.

Start with a 2lb weight and 10 repetitions, increasing weight and repetitions as you can. You can also add following advance Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises for better result and fast recovery.


  • Cycling:  If you have access to a static bicycle, start with a low friction for a 5 to 10 minutes. Set the saddle to a suitable height to allow a full revolution. Progress resistance and time as your knee improve.
  • Knee Bend, Partial, Single Leg:  Stand with the support of back of a chair. Bend your uninvolved leg with your toe touching for balance as necessary. Slowly get down yourself, keeping your foot flat, straighten up to the starting position, Relax.
  • Walking: Walking is an excellent physical exercise for recovery from surgery. You can start walking with the help of a walker. Slowly, when your knee is getting starts a lot of strength, you can leave the walker and begin to walk without it.


As you increase the intensity of your Knee Arthroscopy recovery exercises program, you may experience temporary setbacks.

When your knee swells or hurts after a particular exercise, you should decrease or stop the activity until you feel better. Contact your Physiotherapist if the symptoms persist.

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