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Foot frame exercise programme

This resource has been designed to help you remember the exercises your therapist taught and practised with you.

The exercises should be done slowly and smoothly. You may feel some discomfort whilst doing these exercises after your surgery or injury.

If pain limits your ability to do your exercises, then timing them around your pain relief may be helpful. However, if pain becomes worse please seek advice from a healthcare professional and stop the exercises.

You may need assistance may be needed when carrying out your exercise programme to support the additional weight of the frame.

How many times should I do these exercises?

It is recommended that each exercise should be repeated 10 times and be done a minimum of 3 to 4 times a day. Make sure the exercises are staggered throughout the day.

How do I manage my swelling?

Swelling is common in the first few weeks following an injury or surgery. Elevating your foot will be necessary. Proper elevation means your foot should be positioned above the level of the heart. You can use pillows or cushions at home to do this.

What happens next?

You may continue to be seen for therapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital or you may be referred for ongoing treatment at a local NHS Trust. However, it is important to continue with the exercises you have been given during your inpatient stay until you are seen by outpatient physiotherapy. This will make sure you have the best outcomes for your rehabilitation journey.


Static quads (knee squashes)

Lie down on your back. Start with your legs straight and together. Push your knee down firmly towards the bed or floor and keep your toes pointing upwards. Hold for 5 seconds then relax your leg.

Photograph of person laid with legs in leg frames, with their toes pointing upward

Repeat 10 times.

Knee bends

Lie down on your back. Start with your legs straight and together. Bend your knee as far as possible by bringing your heel towards your bottom, then straighten.

Photograph of person laid with legs in leg frames, with one leg outstretched, and the other leg's knee up with their foot resting on the floor

Repeat 10 times.

Hip abduction (scissor exercise)

Lie down on your back. Start with your legs straight and together. Bring your leg out to the side, keeping it straight with your knee and foot in line and your toes pointing upwards. Return it back to the starting position.

Photograph of person laid with legs in leg frames, with one leg outstretched, and the other leg out to the side with the help of another person holding their leg frame

Repeat 10 times.

Hip flexion (knee to chest)

Lie down on your back. Start with your legs straight and together. Bend your hip and knee by bringing your knee towards your chest. Return to the starting position.

Photograph of person laid on their back with one leg outstretched and their other leg's knee up in the air being brought to their chest

Repeat 10 times.

Static glutes (bottom squeeze)

Lie down on your back. Squeeze your bottom firmly together. Hold for 5 seconds then relax.

Photograph of person laid on their back with their legs outstretched and squeezing their bottom

Repeat 10 times.

Prone lying (tummy time)

Lie down on your front. Keep your hips straight and knees together as able. Lye on your tummy for a minimum of 30 mins.

Photograph of person laid on their front with someone holding their leg frames

Repeat 2 times per day.


It is important to put as much weight as possible through your legs to help your bones get stronger. You should aim to be walking as much as possible throughout the day, for example, when you want to go to the toilet.

Photograph of person stood up walking using walking aids and with their legs in leg frames

Keeping your foot in a good position

You may have toe wires inserted, toe loops or a toe splint made to measure. It is important that you maintain a good foot position and follow any specific instructions as advised by your therapist.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the therapy number on 0114 271 7148 or the ward number on 0114 271 7394.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: PT62

Resource Type: Article

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