A Pre-hab PT Home Exercise Program prior to knee replacement from Peerwell.co

In 2010, there were approximately 700,000 knee replacements (arthoplasty) in the United States. The number of knee replacement surgeries is expected to grow to 3.48 million procedures by 2030 which is a reflection of the expected growth in the population over 45 years of age.

In the article “Pre-hab for Surgery” on the Arthritis Foundation’s website, “patients who had participated in water- and land-based strength training, and aerobic and flexibility exercises for six weeks prior to their surgeries reduced their odds of needing inpatient rehabilitation by 73 percent”.

However, the BMJ Open article “Does preoperative rehabilitation for patients planning to undergo joint replacement surgery improve outcomes? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials” questions the benefits of pre-hab and comes to the conclusion that “Existing evidence suggests that prehabilitation may slightly improve early postoperative pain and function among patients undergoing joint replacement; however, effects remain too small and short-term to be considered clinically-important, and did not affect key outcomes of interest”.

From the patient’s perspective, pre-hab helps set up the habits and intent of exercise that is critical during post-surgery rehabilitation. Especially for those individuals who have been suffering severe pain and have not been exercising.

Peerwell.co has an article “10 PREHAB EXERCISES TO PREPARE YOU FOR JOINT REPLACEMENT SURGERY” with a set of exercises that we’ve curated into a Home Exercise Program (HEP) using the PT-Helper CONNECT platform and presented on the PT-Helper mobile app.

These sample exercises can be quickly downloaded into the PT-Helper mobile app using

HEP code: C936967

You can also find these exercises in the Knee & Hip category in the PT-Helper mobile app to add to your Favorites which allows you to customize each exercise’s repetitions, sets, and hold time.

Reminder: Please consult your physician before engaging in any physical activity and stop if you experience pain or discomfort.


  1. Ankle Pumps
  2. While sitting or lying down, pump your ankles up and down.

  3. Quad Sets
  4. Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other leg as straight as possible. Place a rolled towel under your affected ankle. Tighten your thigh muscle on the straight leg and push the back of your knee down towards the ground. Hold. Relax. Repeat.

  5. Gluteal Sets
  6. While lying on your back with your legs straight, squeeze your buttocks together. Hold. Relax. Repeat.

  7. Heel Slides
  8. Lie on your back with one leg bent, foot flat on the floor, while other leg is straight. Keep your heel on the floor and slide your heel towards your buttocks bending at the knee. You will feel your hamstrings working and a stretch in the knee. Pause, slowly lower to starting position keeping heel on floor.

Start your Free 30-day Trial of the PT-Helper CONNECT tool for physical therapists and other therapy providers, so you too may create and prescribe Home Exercise Programs like the one shown above.

Click here to view Knee & Hip exercises currently available within the PT-Helper Exercise Library.

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