What Are The Best Exercises To Do Before A Knee Arthroscopy?

Ready For Knee Arthroscopy?

Knees help with everyday movement but can become painful due to injury or wear and tear. On average, about 1 in 4 adults suffer from chronic knee pain. For severe cases, a doctor can perform a knee arthroscopy. Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and treat chronic knee conditions. Stretches and strengthening exercises can help get the knee ready for knee arthroscopy.

What happens during your knee arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy can help conditions like osteoarthritis, ligament tears, inflammation, and knee infections. These all cause pain, stiffness, and instability. The procedure starts with a small incision around the kneecap. The doctor inserts an arthroscope device, a long, narrow tube with a light and camera attached. The device projects the knee tissue and ligaments on an external monitor. The surgeon can make another incision to insert surgical tools to treat the issue. Knee arthroscopy is minimally invasive, meaning the patient can leave the hospital or clinic the same day.

The power of exercise

While the procedure is minimally invasive, there is still trauma to the knee. With knee arthroscopy, there is a recovery period. Exercise strengthens and stretches the surrounding muscles to support the knee. Without training, there is a chance that recovery can take longer. A physical therapist can help determine the best exercises based on weight and degree of pain. Try the following exercises at least 3 times per week, with 10-15 repetitions.

Ankle exercises

Some simple ankle exercises can strengthen the ankle, calf, and even hamstring muscles. These muscles all support the knee during movement. Start the routine by lying down on a bed with the legs straight. Bend the ankle, pointing the toes toward the body. Hold for a few seconds, then push the ankles down, pointing the toes away from the body. After 10-15 reps, rotate the ankle in a clockwise, then anti-clockwise direction for equal reps.

Heel slides and leg slides

Sliding exercises improve the strength and flexibility of the knee. Like the ankle exercises, start by lying flat on a bed or mat with the legs straight. Slide the leg with the painful knee towards the buttocks, then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. After heel slides, move on to leg slides. Slide the affected leg out to the side, ensuring the kneecap stays pointed to the ceiling. Slowly return the leg to the starting position. Perform both exercises for 10-15 repetitions, 3 times weekly.

Straight leg raises

Straight leg raises and extensions strengthen the hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles. Straight leg raises happen while laying flat on the bed or floor. First, bend the opposite leg, keeping the foot flat on the floor or bed. Then raise the affected leg slightly off the floor, keeping the knee straight. Keep the leg raised for a few seconds, then rest the leg back down again. Repeat the exercise for 10 reps, then switch legs.


Step-ups build muscle strength, support, and endurance of the knee. First, find a sturdy stool, step, or platform. Next, step forward with the affected knee onto the platform and straighten the leg. Hold the position for a few seconds, then step down to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for 10-15 reps, switching legs. Step-ups are also effective from the sides, known as a lateral position.

Enjoy a stronger knee

A doctor or physical therapist will recommend these exercises a few weeks before the procedure. Patients will benefit from a pre-habilitation program as the body becomes accustomed to these movements before surgery. Exercise also speeds up recovery circulation and helps with overall health. Knee arthroscopy and training can improve the quality of life.


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