I have a 74 year old male client who is awaiting a knee replacement (the other knee has already been replaced). He has had numerous surgeries (quadruple bypass, brain stem, removal of fluid from his knee, etc.) and is a real trooper. He cannot stand for very long so I have been doing most of my workouts with him in a chair. He would like to build more leg strength so he can stop using his walker and use a cane but it is very difficult to work his lower body with strength building exercises. Any suggestions on what I should be doing to (1) build his leg strength up and (2) keep him from getting frustrated until he gets his knee surgery?
Most things said here, I tend to agree with. Due to the circumstances, however, I think that for knee flexion and knee extension I would only work off of the recommendations offered by a physical therapist. I would also get all other exercises approved.
I think that Judy did a great job of keeping the client’s needs in mind here. Were this my client and I had the resources available to me, He would without a doubt start his training out in a pool setting using proper floatation assistance. I think there are only benefits here. Less load on the joint during motion being my primary concern. With this client not being able to stand up for an extended period of time, you have to train functionality and stability in that joint as much as you can. That limits the strength building part of this client’s plan quite a bit. A step at a time is the only way to go, especially with much older clients, having worked with a few of them, myself.
I think the pool would also be a fun addition to the training. I’ve never known someone not to have a fun time in the water! It’s a great change from the “land-lubber” existence that we have most of the time. =)