Exercising an injured knee properly will help your child return to sports sooner and more safely. The following exercises are designed to help regain full knee motion, strength, and balance. Make sure your child follows these directions carefully.
Range of Motion
- Sit on the floor or the edge of a table.
- Bend and straighten each leg 10 times, two to three times per day.
- Stop this exercise when you can bend and straighten the injured knee as well as the other one.
Thigh Muscle Tightening
- Sit on the floor with your injured leg in front of you and slightly bent.
- Push your heel down on the floor.
- Once the muscle at the back of your thigh is tight, tighten the muscles at the front of your thigh by flexing them slightly.
- Hold this position for five seconds.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times, two to three times per day.
- Stop when you are able to perform leg lifts.
- When your knee is not too painful, begin doing leg lifts.
- Lie on your back on the floor.
- Bend the uninjured knee.
- Hold the injured leg straight and tighten up the muscles on the front of the thigh.
- Lift the injured leg slowly so it is parallel with your other thigh and hold it in that position for three seconds.
- Lower your leg slowly.
- Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times, two to three times per day.
- When the exercise becomes too easy, wear ankle weights on the injured leg or attach a fanny pack containing a soup can around your ankle.
- It's a good idea to do this exercise with both legs.