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What exercises do I need to do to strengthen my knee?

Q: I underwent an operation on my left knee a year back for repairing a torn ACL and for removing the torn medial cartilage. After the operation I have recovered but still I do feel pain in my knee while walking or moving up the stairs. Moreover, my knee gets twisted if I place some wrong step unknowingly. Also my weight has increased recently, but I find it difficult to do exercises. So please suggest what to do? I am 29 years old.

A:You have an unstable knee. Your pain is due to a mechanical problem and the problem at the patello-femoral joint. This could be because you seem to have neglected your exercise regime and post-operative instructions. It will be a little strenuous but you can build up your muscles around the knee joint and also at the hip so that you can get back to your normal gait. I would advise you to go to a local physiotherapist and learn your exercises. 1. Relaxed knee swinging. 2. Straight leg raising (later adding weights). 3. Isometeric Quadriceps contractions. 4. Knee flexion exercises and cycling (speed and time to be increased gradually). 5. Progressive resisted exercises as per your progress. 6. Hamstring stretching and strengthening. 7. Aim at getting full knee extension terminally. 8. Strengthening exercises for adductor and internal rotator muscles. 9. Gait training. 10. Gradually progress to kneeling, assisted squatting, stair climbing and descending and cross legged sitting. 11. Aim at reducing your weight too. This is causing additional strain on your knee. You will have to combine exercises and relaxation techniques in order to get maximum results.

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