Close-up on person with stiffener on broken leg during rehabilitation with physiotherapist


Phase I

Weeks 0 to 4


  • Protection of the post-surgical knee 
  • Restore normal knee extension 
  • Eliminate effusion (swelling) 
  • Restore leg control 


  • The patient may gradually wean from two crutches to one crutch to no crutches as long as the knee is in the locked knee brace, and there is no increase in pain or swelling for 4 weeks. 
  • Knee brace locked for all weight bearing activities for 4 weeks 
  • Do not flex the knee past 90°


  • Knee extension on a bolster 
  • Prone hangs 
  • Supine wall slides 
  • Heel slides (caution with posterior medial meniscus repair secondary to the semimembranosus insertion) 
  • Knee flexion off the edge of the table
  • Quadriceps sets 
  • Straight leg raises 
  • 4 way leg lifts in standing with brace on for balance and hip strength 
  • Abdominal isometrics

Progression Criteria:

  • 4 weeks after surgery 
  • Pain-free gait without crutches 
  • No effusion (swelling)

Phase II

Weeks 4 – 12


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