Knee Prehab and How It Can Help You Find Relief Faster!

knee pre-hab Feb15th 2021

What is prehab?

Prehab are exercises and treatment that is done before surgery. The focus of the treatment is on improving strength and range of motion to increase outcomes both before and after surgery.

When should I start doing prehab?

It is never too early to start doing prehab! It takes a few weeks of doing exercises to see a change in muscle strength, so the longer you are able to do the exercises before surgery, the stronger your leg will become. However, it is never too late to start doing prehab exercises. If you have just a short time between now and your scheduled surgery, you can still benefit from prehab!

Why should I do prehab?

Prehab helps to increase strength and range of motion. The stronger and better your knee can move before surgery will help during your recovery after surgery. If you have an upcoming total knee arthroplasty, ACL reconstruction, or arthroscopic surgery for meniscal tear, you can benefit from prehab.

Best Prehab Exercises

Heel Slides

  • Start with lying on your back and slowly bend your knee as much as you can and then straighten it back out
  • Repeat 20 times, 2 times per day

Straight Leg Raise

  • Focus on tightening the quadriceps (muscle on the front of your thigh) and then lift your leg up into the air (about the height of your other knee)
  • Complete 2 sets of 10, 1-2 times per day


  • With your knees bent, lift your hips up into the air and hold for 3-5 seconds
  • Complete 2 sets of 10, 1-2 times per day

Long Arc Quad

  • In a sitting position, straighten your knee
  • Complete 2 sets of 10, 1-2 times per day

Mini Squats

  • Standing next to something to help with balance, slowly bend your knees
  • You will want to focus on moving your hips backwards (like you are sitting down), rather than your knees moving forward as you bend
  • This exercise is not meant to increase your pain, if you have pain while doing this exercise, complete less of the motion (do not go as far into the squat)
  • Complete 2 sets of 10, 1-2 times per day

Single Leg Stance

  • Stand next to something to help with balance as needed
  • Balance on one leg and hold for 30 seconds, trying not to use your hands for support
  • Complete 2 sets of 30 second holds on each leg, 1-2 times per day

For more information on prehab, or answers to your specific questions/needs, reach out to ProTailored Physical Therapy or call us at (260) 739-0300.