What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged part of the knee and replace  with an artificial joint. With the new joint, you can get back to your daily activities, but you need some recovery time. If you are planning or if you have already scheduled your knee replacement surgery, it is important to be aware of what you can expect following the procedure. Preparing well prior to the procedure and recovery plays a crucial role in the success of the procedure and your recovery. 

What Can I Expect Once the Knee Replacement Surgery is Completed?

Once the procedure is completed, you will be moved to the recovery room and you will be under 24 hr observation. Since this is day 0, main emphasis is recovery from anaesthesia and pain relief. All the vitals are monitored closely by the nurses and Anaesthesia doctors. Once the pain is under control, you will be made to walk the next day with the help of the walker. Your  stay in the hospital for 2-3 days as knee replacement surgery is  based on your overall health, pain levels and  mobility. During rest the hospital stay, a physical therapist will help and teach you techniques of how to use the walker, get in and out of the bed and how to sit and get up in the washroom. 

The physical therapist may also suggest using additional supplies to walk such as a walker and booster seat for your commode if needed. He will also give you a set of exercises which you need to do regularly even at home. These exercises focus on improving the range of motion and strength of your muscles. Once the pain is under control, and you are independently walking with the help of the walker and able use the washroom, it’s time to go home.

How to Take Care of Myself After Returning Home?

Before discharging you, the doctor will make a customized plan to deal with the pain and suggests continuing your physical therapy session usually for a month. You should follow the guidelines given by your doctor to ensure you regain the motion and strength required for your knee joint. You may have swelling after surgery. The swelling can be seen around the surgical area and sometimes feet as well. Swelling is common after surgery and the following strategies can help manage swelling and other issues:

  • Keep your leg elevated as long as you can
  • Apply an ice pack to your knee for twenty minutes every hour
  • Medications can be used to only deal with pain and inflammation
  • Practice physical therapy exercises focusing on your new knee joint and walk once every 3-4 hours
  • Use compression stockings as suggested by your doctor
  • Make follow-up appointments with your doctor to know about your recovery. If you experience severe pain, swelling, redness, or fever, you should immediately visit your doctor
  • Remove loose cords and rugs at home to prevent an injury or a fall

Recovery Time After Knee Replacement Surgery

The recovery time after knee replacement surgery varies from one patient to another. The rehabilitation time ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. These 4-6 weeks after knee replacement surgery is the crucial rehabilitation period. You should be very committed to following the instructions given by the doctor during this period to ensure a quick recovery and long-lasting results. Suture removal is usually done day 14 – 18. 

After 4 weeks of surgery, you can notice significant improvements by following exercise activities and all your doctor suggestions. You can return to simple activities such as driving, walking, and doing common household activities. 

Usual follow ups to the doctor are at 14 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. 

How Long Does the Pain Exist After Surgery?

Most of the patients find improvement in their pain and mobility after knee replacement surgery. But you should remember that it is major surgery and it takes time to recover. 1 month is usually the time most of the pain should go away.  It may take around three months to return to your regular activities.


Want to Know More About Post-Surgery Care After Knee Replacement? Contact Dr Suhas Masilamani

If you are experiencing severe knee pain that is affecting your daily activities, then you need to visit a doctor for assistance. Dr Suhas Masilamani has helped several patients suffering from knee pain and helped regain their mobility. He has performed hundreds of knee replacement surgeries in Hyderabad and has excelled in them. He is not only trained in surgical treatment but also trained for effective non-surgical treatments. To know if you are suitable for surgery, schedule your appointment today.