T Nation

Knee Surgery and Working Out


Hey guys,

Not entirely sure where this belongs, but I figured this was as good a bet as any. I have MPFL reconstruction for my right knee in a month, and the surgeon decided to put me in a lockout brace until then because my dislocations are too frequent and he doesn't want one close to the date.

So my normal workout routine is kinda shot to hell. Normally I sprint/run, do martial arts, and twice a week I do strength training. I'm looking for ideas for things I can do that don't involve my locked out leg. I'm not strong enough in my other leg for things like pistol squats. And I have no ideas for conditioning work.


Can you take the brace off briefly and swim? You can concentrate on controlling your breathing, which is important for martial arts.

If you have access to a heavy bag do the Bas Rutten training dvd's, focusing on the one for boxing and work on your hand speed & head movement between combinations.


I'm unsure of your options regarding training prior to surgery however my boss is recovering from hip surgery (immobilised) and can still train seated or lying down. he still manages to complete all upper body work (bench, modified good mourning, pull downs, fly, lateral raise etc). if we had the equipment we be using an upper body ergonometer to maintain CV health

i am working with a client who is post op MPFL and occurred two major problems. 1. her pt failed to restore adequate ROM and joint play of the knee 2. she suffered large size and musculature control loss due to inactivity

  • From this experience i would advise you to invest in a tens machine (or find someone with one) to provide immediate stimulation to muscles like the VMO, glutes (etc) to maintain its activity and muscle bulk.
  • find a trusted pt that ensures you have ROM restored ASAP to allow return to exercise

Once my client regained full ROM of the hip, knee and ankle her strength and muscularity returned quickly in which she can now squat, lunge and dead-lift without serious pain or fear of dislocation.