The knee is a strong joint, but there are a lot of problems that can arise. Generally after a knee injury it is important to get strong. Strong muscles around the knee means less pressure on the joint. Not all injuries call for the same rehabilitation, but there are a few exercises that are likely to be seen in many knee rehab programs.
In general if you have some kind of inflammation or overuse injury, a little amount of time needs to be taken to reduce that inflammation and give the joint rest. Rest is a relative thing, and often resting simply from the activity in which you overloaded it is enough. Whilst doing relative rest it is essential that the strength in the knee is kept up. If the knee is so bad that it cannot be worked at all, then the surrounding muscles need to be kept strong. This might even be the issue at hand. Some common exercises that will be seen in these kind of rehabilitation programs are single leg squats, bridges and it’s many variations, and calf raises. As strength is increased and pain is reduce other exercise like squats and leg press can slowly be introduced. however the load still needs to be reduced and the impact kept low. Power and plyometric exercises are a no go during early stages of rehabilitation and should be introduced with care once the knee is ready.
Every knee injury is a different animal, but often the same principles apply on a different scale. Get some rest, get strong with some basic exercises and build up without pain. We will talk in more detail about knee rehabilitation strength exercises for different specific injuries.