Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

What happens in the postoperative period?

A total knee replacement generally requires between one and a half to three hours of operative time. After surgery, patients are taken to a recovery room, where vital organs are frequently monitored. When stabilized, patients are returned to their hospital room.

Passage of urine can be difficult in the immediate postoperative period, and this condition can be aggravated by pain medications. A catheter inserted into the urethra (a Foley catheter) allows free passage of urine until the patient becomes more mobile.

Physical therapy is an extremely important part of rehabilitation and requires full participation by the patient for optimal outcome. Patients can begin physical therapy 48 hours after surgery. Some degree of pain, discomfort, and stiffness can be expected during the early days of physical therapy. Knee immobilizers are used in order to stabilize the knee while undergoing physical therapy, walking, and sleeping. They may be removed under the guidance of the therapist for various portions of physical therapy.

A unique device that can help speed recovery is the continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. The CPM machine is first attached to the operated leg. The machine then constantly moves the knee through various degrees of range of motion for hours while the patient relaxes.

Patients will start walking using a walker and crutches. Eventually, patients will learn to walk up and down stairs and grades. A number of home exercises are given to strengthen thigh and calf muscles.

Return to Total Knee Replacement

See what others are saying

Comment from: MommaJean, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I'm 6 weeks plus 1 day post operation for total knee replacement. I've progressed better than I thought I would. I walk without mobility aids now. I'm a nurse, so going back to work will have to wait a while longer. I have a problem that I haven't seen addressed here. The skin over my kneecap feels adhered to my kneecap. I've kept it lotioned and moisturized thinking maybe the skin was just tight and needed to stretch. But, if I try to manually move the skin, it won't move. This is what makes it difficult to do my bending exercises. I wonder if anyone else has this problem and if so, what was done to correct it.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Ouch, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I had knee replacement surgery almost a year ago. I was doing really well until it was sadly discovered my husband had cancer. Caregiving was very hard. Friends and family disappeared. I had no help except from our son when he was able as he travels. My husband is in remission right now. My knee is now agonizing and it's difficult to walk even with a walker. The problem is no one believes me. My former surgeon did x-rays and said all looked well. Yet the pain persists. Even my husband gets upset with me and gets upset if I use a wheel chair. I can't stand the pain medicines yet have been accused of wanting them. I just bear the pain the best I can. I do exercises but they are excruciating. Still, I do them. I had a hip replacement almost three years ago that has gone well, but not the knee replacement.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors