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Physical therapy phase I – Ellipse nail

Physical therapy phase I – Ellipse nail

Patient at physical therapy with ellipse nail

These exercises are for current patient reference only. You will receive a personalized rehab plan after surgery.

General guidelines

Patient on crutches at therapy


  1. Non-weight bearing (no walking, standing, or kneeling) on surgical leg.
  2. Home exercise program twice daily.
  3. May use ankle weights with mat exercises under PT guidance.
  4. May pedal stationary bike with no resistance.

Note: Do not begin weight bearing on your surgical leg until your doctor advises you to do so, even after you are finished lengthening.

Positioning and bracewear


  1. Wear knee brace as instructed.
  2. Lie flat on stomach at least once daily for 30 minutes.
  3. No compression garments or devices. May elevate and ice as needed for swelling.

Note: Do not modify your bracewear schedule or adjust your brace settings except as instructed to do so by your doctor.


Ankle pumps

Ankle pumps: With leg resting on bed and knee straight, slowly pump ankle up and down as far as possible.

Quad sets

Quad sets: Tighten thigh muscle and straighten knee as much as possible. Hold 5 seconds.
Glute sets: Tighten buttocks, hold 5 seconds.

Hip abduction

Hip abduction: Slide leg slowly out to side, keeping knee straight and pointed towards ceiling.

Hip rotation

Hip rotation: Gently roll leg inward and outward, keeping knee straight.

Heel slides

Heel slides: Slowly bend your knee by sliding your foot as close to your buttocks as able.

Short arc quads

Short arc quads: Place a firmly rolled blanket under knee, with foot resting on bed. Straighten knee and hold 5 seconds.

Straight leg raise

Straight leg raise: Lie on your back with opposite knee bent. Slowly raise leg, keeping knee straight. Hold 2 seconds.


Heelcord stretch

Heelcord stretch: Pull heelbone AWAY from patient while pushing ball of foot TOWARDS patient. Hold 20 seconds.

Knee extension stretch

Knee extension stretch: Gently push down on top of thigh (just above the knee) while lifting calf upward, to straighten knee. Hold 20 seconds.

Hip extension stretch

Hip extension stretch: Stabilize buttocks with one hand while lifting thigh upward with other hand. Hold 20 seconds. Alternate: perform in sidelying.

Hip abduction stretch

Hip abduction stretch: Take leg out to side until a stretch is felt on inner thigh. Keep knee straight and avoid leg rolling outward. Hold 20 seconds.

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  Ellipse Exercise Program, Phase 1
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Where to call with questions or concerns

Tracy Przybylski, PT
Physical Therapist
Limb Reconstruction and Lengthening
314-432-3600, ext. 1138

Jill Hahn, Clinical Coordinator
Limb Reconstruction and Lengthening