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Rehabilitation for Kneecap (Patella) Problems

Whatever your goals, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you reach them. Whenever possible, the goal of your 3-stage rehab program is to get you back to your normal activities. This is done by helping you knee heal and by exercising your knee and its supporting muscles.

Image of young girl sitting on a table working with a physical therapist who is moving her leg.

Stage 1

Starting to Heal

You’ll work with your physical therapist or doctor to reduce pain and swelling. Then you can begin to increase your knee’s range of motion.

Image of a male sitting on the floor stretching his leg.

Stage 2

Improving Your Knee’s Function

You’ll begin flexibility and strengthening exercises. This helps build up the muscles around your knee.

Woman excercising on an elliptical machine.

Stage 3

Practicing Everyday Moves

You’ll get your knee and leg ready for everyday activities. You’ll work to relearn movements and improve your knee's function..

Online Medical Reviewer: Moloney Johns, Amanda, PA-C, MPAS, BBA
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 3/12/2013
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