Fit Life: 3 exercises you can do after meniscus surgery

Published: Feb. 21, 2020 at 10:26 AM CST
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We're taking you on the journey through meniscus surgery and into recovery this month on our Fit Life series. We're showing you the exercises you'll start doing about 14 days after surgery.

"I want your toes tucked up," Physical Therapist Katie Harman tells Paul Adler at the beginning of the session.

It may look easy to you (see video). But, two weeks after meniscus surgery this is uncomfortable for Paul.

"So, when you get to that tight point, I want you to hold for 5 seconds and take a nice slow deep breath," instructs Katie.

Katie's goal for Paul includes restoring the full range of movement in his knee joint.

"I'm gonna wrap this and then have you do the same thing you were just doing," explains Katie.

They call that band around Paul's thigh (in the video) a Voodoo Band and it works like magic.

"It's a way to almost kind of trick your brain into relaxing and letting your body move into that position," says Katie. "Just shifting back. Better worse or the same?" "Totally different feel," Paul responds. "That's pretty amazing how that just changed everything."

"Your brain naturally goes into a fight or flight mode and you get into a position and it perceives that as a threat and your brain sends a signal to your knee to go 'errhh.' Don't do that, that's going to hurt. So, then when we take away the threat your brain says, oh, that's not so bad." says Katie.

Then, it's onto an exercise many of you may like all that much; The Deadlift.

"We're trying to get your quads and your glutes and your hamstrings all firing," describes Katie.

Paul starts out with really light weight.

"All the way up. Squeeze your glutes. Squeeze your quad. Good. Count to 5. And, then, you can set that back down," Katie demands.

The work is getting Paul's body ready for the squat position and rebuilding leg strength.

The third move takes place on the mat. It looks deceptively easy. But, Paul reports feeling a bit clumsy trying it out.

Katie hopes each client improves the range of motion by the end of each session.

"Hopefully, they feel better when they walk out the door than when they came in," Katie adds.

The homework after the session; squat sits onto a chair.

Next, the final work before getting clearance to run once again.