The patella bone or kneecap lies within the tendon of your quadriceps muscle and is prone to dislocation when your foot is planted on the ground, your knee is bent and your thigh is turning outward as if you were cutting to the side. Once the pain and swelling on your injured knee subsides and you have a doctor's approval, begin rehab exercises for the hurt leg, suggests Peggy Houglum in her book, “Therapeutic Exercise for Musculoskeletal Injuries.”
Isometric leg raise
Isometric leg raises maintain tension in the quadriceps muscle, strengthening the knee. Perform this exercise using bodyweight only. Once your strength improves, incorporate ankle weights and gradually increase the resistance. First, lie flat on your back and completely straighten your injured knee. Then, raise the leg off the floor, contracting your quadriceps muscles in the same position for five to six seconds. Next, slowly drop the leg to the floor and repeat for 10 total repetitions. Do this exercise for multiple sets of 10 throughout the day.
This exercise focuses on the sensory input and movement output of your knee to maintain your balance, activating your quadriceps and the muscles of your lower leg and feet. Start with the uninjured knee first, to get a feel for the exercise; then work your rehabilitating knee. Stand with one leg on the floor and the other leg bent and off of the floor for 30 seconds. Complete three repetitions per leg. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by performing the stance on an exercise disc pillow or a mini trampoline.
Standing hamstring curls
This exercise strengthens the posterior side of your knee by strengthening your hamstring muscles. Do this exercise first with light ankle weights standing up and holding a chair, then progressing to the hamstring curl machine. First, secure an ankle weight around the ankle of your injured leg then stand on your uninjured leg. Next, bend your injured knee as far as possible drawing your foot toward your buttocks. Complete three sets of 10 reps on the injured leg.
Step-ups are slightly more advanced for your recovering knee. Incorporate this exercise only when you can bear weight and shift your weight on to your injured leg. Perform this exercise first by standing to face a step bench, placed at its lowest position. Then, shift your body weight to your hurt leg as your uninjured leg steps up on the bench; straighten your uninjured knee to lift your body up to the step with your injured leg behind you. Next, return to the start position by lowering your body using your uninjured leg. Do three sets of 10 reps on the injured leg.
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