What Does Range of Motion Mean After Knee Surgery?


Its been a very long time since most of us have been in arithmetic class. So it may be confusing when your physical therapist, nurse, or doctor start talking to you in terms of “range of motion” or angles or degrees.

Range of motion, simply put, means how much your knee can straighten or bend. While you may not be interested in some of the activities in these photos, keep in mind that studies show no true increase in functionality past 130º of bending, but most people report decreased pain with movement when they get to 125º to 130º.

When looking at this graphic keep in mind that we all are different heights, and have different lengths of legs. An 8” curb to my 6’2” husband will require much less knee bending to clear than for me, at 5’2.” And always consult with your surgeon before kneeling on your knee.

Here is an infographic to make sense of those range of motion angles.

Printable download below.





Dr. Anna Stromquist, PT, DPT is a physical therapist in Atlanta, Georgia. Her mobile clinic provides physical and speech therapy in the home under outpatient benefits.

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