Recovering from a knee injury or surgery can be daunting, and often it is hard to know whether you are doing too little or too much. At Queensland Knee Surgery Clinic (QKSC) we understand the importance of quality advice, expert supervision and timely feedback to make those early weeks after injury or surgery both productive and safe. QKSC has a well appointed gym with weights equipment (Smith machine, squat rack, barbells and dumbbells) for all levels of strengthening, a Theraband station for lighter elastic resistance drills, Swiss balls and stretching mats to work on flexibility and a state of the art Lifecycle treadmill and exercise bike. Our in-house physiotherapist is experienced in rehabilitating all knee conditions and will be able to schedule a gym and fitness needs assessment appointment for you. Once you have been assessed by our physiotherapist, a specific gym strength and conditioning program will be designed for you including appropriate cardio drills to regain both your lower limb strength and general aerobic fitness to optimise your knee rehabilitation.
After sustaining an injury or undergoing knee surgery, most patients experience deconditioning of their lower limb strength and their general aerobic fitness. This strength and fitness can be difficult to regain without aggravating the knee if rehabilitation and exercises are performed incorrectly. Our patients can access our weights room and collocated cardio lounge in the QKSC gym to recommence some graduated strengthening using lighter resistance with Theraband drills initially working up to moderate resisted drills using the dumbbell and barbell weights and if necessary, heavy leg weights using the squat rack and Smith machine. As all patients will have a different level of fitness at the time of their injury or surgery and different athletic goals, no single fitness program will cater to everybody but our physiotherapist will carefully assess your individual level of fitness and target activities before designing a specific program for you. In the early stages of recovery, it is usually safest to commence your initial aerobic conditioning with unidirectional exercises in a controlled environment using a treadmill and exercise bike. Both the strengthening and aerobic conditioning are vital parts of your rehabilitation and are best managed under the watchful supervision of an experienced physiotherapist and one of our team will help co-ordinate this either at the QKSC gym or with a physiotherapist of your choice.
Depending on the knee injury or operation you are recovering from, once you have regained your range of motion and a base level of strength and fitness, you will be ready to commence some higher functional rehabilitation to regain confidence with your knee. In order to negotiate the daily need to walk on different terrain and gradients and for the higher demand patient who engages in change in direction sports, proprioceptive exercises including cylindrical and figure of 8 drills in clockwise and counter-clockwise direction, at slow then medium then fast pace will usually help recruit new neural motor feedback pathways. This allows the knee to move in a safe and stable manner by learning how to co-ordinate the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups with one tightening in a concentric contraction whilst the other relaxes in an eccentric contraction achieving an effective co-contraction. Once a certain level of ability has been achieved, this skill can be further enhanced by doing some additional proprioceptive exercises on the wobble board, mini tramp and step-up blocks. This is one of the last stages of any rehabilitation program before re-commencing sports specific drills and when the time comes to do so, our physiotherapist will liaise with you directly and / or with your personal physiotherapist, sports trainer or coach. At QKSC, we look forward to helping you make a full recovery from your knee injury to return to whatever level of activity that you aspire to in the future.