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How Long Does Pain And Stiffness Last After Knee Replacement

Exercises To Improve Knee Flexion

How long does the pain last after a knee replacement?

Knee stiffness is defined as a range of motion of less than 90 degrees of bending, or flexion, 12 weeks after surgery. People with less than 90 degrees 6 weeks after surgery require an additional procedure to restore their range of motion. In these cases, your surgeon will manipulate your knee while you are under anesthesia. Loss of knee flexion will result in difficulties sitting, climbing stairs, and sleeping.

Start the heel slide exercise immediately after surgery. Research shows performing active knee exercise is better than depending on a continuous passive motion machine. These CPM machines often do not fit properly and lead to unnecessary pain and aggravation. You are better off lying in your bed and repeatedly sliding your heel up towards your hip on your own. After a week or so you can begin using a belt or a strap to assist.

Riding a stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes daily begins around 2 weeks after surgery. Dont worry if you cannot perform complete revolutions. Try rocking back and forth to start. In a few more weeks, start stretching your knee from the prone lying position.

Final Thoughts On Preventing Stiffness After Your Knee Replacement

Recovering from your knee replacement surgery is no easy task. Set yourself up for success. Start early. Ideally, begin exercising several months in advance of your surgery. Be consistent with your exercises each day and dont push too hard. Creating unnecessary pain is unhelpful and can set you back in your recovery.

Most importantly, work closely with your physical therapist. Your physical therapist will be your guide. It is rarely, if ever, necessary for your physical therapist to be forceful with bending or straightening your knee. If you have questions or would like some help, give us a call.

Is It Normal To Still Suffer Knee Pain Months After A Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Immediate post-surgical pain is expected, but were talking months here.

Knee replacement patients are given powerful narcotics to numb the post-surgical pain.

However, for how long after knee replacement surgery is it still normal to feel pain?

My father had knee replacement surgery in March of 2009, and afterward, the pain in the surgical joint never disappeared.

Of course, the pre-surgical pain of osteoarthritis went away. But now, he was left with a newpain, and the joint didnt feel right.

The pain wasnt just in the knee it was in the area above it, and was most pronounced every time he stood up from a chair or climbed stairs. Many times, hed say, It just doesnt feel right. I know something is wrong.

A few times he speculated that it was infected. Signs of infection would include swelling, redness and fever, of which my father had none.

He even wondered if the surgeon had made a mistake with the knee replacement procedure, even though the same surgeon performed the procedure on my fathers other knee about a year prior to the second operation.

My father adhered to all the prescribed post-knee replacement surgery exercises, which included physical therapy and stretching.

He regularly went to the gym to do leg presses, leg extensions and seated leg curls. He had been doing these leg exercises long before even the first surgery.

The surgeon told him he was absolutely NOT to do any leg extensions.

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Pain After Knee Replacement: Six Months

If you are still experiencing pain six months after surgery, you may be wondering how long it will be until you feel normal again. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

In some cases, it may take up to a year for all of your swelling to completely go away. Your knee will continue to recover for years to come, as scar tissue forms and your muscles become stronger with continued physical therapy and light exercise.

As previously mentioned, if you are still experiencing debilitating levels of pain at this stage, you could be suffering from chronic pain. While you may be tempted to tough it out, its important to talk with your doctor. Together, you can find what is causing your persistent pain and come up with a plan to fix it.

How Much Weight Can Be Put On The New Knee

What is Total Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement patients are given weight-bearing guidelines to follow in the hospital and at home. Exactly how much pressure the new knee can initially support will depend on factors such as:

  • The type of surgery preformed
  • The type of prostheses and how it is fixated to the natural bone
  • The condition of the patients natural bone

Over time, patients will be asked to put incrementally more weight on the new knee.

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Returning To Activities / Sports

With knee replacement recovery time is one of the biggest healers. Over time the swelling will reduce, your muscles will get stronger and your knee should free up becoming more flexible than beforehand.

It is important to take things easy for the first few weeks but after that, you can start thinking about returning to your favorite activities. Here are some helpful tips on knee replacement recovery time:

  • You can resume most activities after 6-12 weeks, for example swimming
  • Some activities should be carried out with care e.g. golf dont wear shoes with spikes
  • Some activities are not advised following a total knee replacement as they put too much stress on the new knee joint. These include: jogging, contact sports e.g. basketball and football, squash, badminton, jumping activities and skiing. If you are unsure, discuss things with your doctor.

Pain and swelling can take up to 3 months to settle and knee replacement recovery time continues up to 2 years after your operation.

How Long Do You Use Ice Machine After Knee Surgery

4.6/5about 10-20 minutesthis is here

It’s generally recommended that you use an ice pack 3 to 4 times a day for about 20 minutes each time. Get a recommendation from your physical therapist or doctor if you see no improvement, or if you think additional icing might help. After several weeks, you may also benefit from applying heat to your knee.

Likewise, how long should you ice your knee after ACL surgery? Ice helps with the swelling and can help to decrease pain after surgery. For the first few days after your surgery, the more, the better.Ice approximately 30 minutes 35 times per day. The first night and first day following surgery, you should ice as much as possible.

Similarly, you may ask, can you ice too much after knee replacement surgery?

Early after TKR surgery, you‘ll be icing more often. After a few months, you‘ll likely ice less often. The length of time you ice matters and you won’t want to ice for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer icing might damage skin or cause localized frostbite.

What happens if you ice for too long?

Leaving ice on an injury for too long can cause more harm than good. Because ice constricts the blood vessels, it can reduce the blood flow to the injured area and slow the healing process. Ice should not be needed after the first 24 hours unless your doctor recommends it to reduce active swelling or to relieve pain.

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How Long Does Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery

Our knees are used in almost all daily activities, from standing to sitting to walking and even sleeping. It can be particularly devastating when knee pain occurs. Quality of life and enjoyment of daily activities can be altered quickly when experiencing knee pain.

The causes of this pain vary from person to person, but treatment options are generally the same.

This article will discuss:

  • Basic anatomy of the knee
  • Where the knee pain may be coming from
  • How knee pain is typically treated
  • A brief overview of total knee replacement surgery
  • What to expect after surgery
  • How regenerative medicine could alter the recovery timeline in a beneficial way.
  • Get Plenty Of Rest And Limit Knee Movement

    How Long Does the Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery?

    You need plenty of rest, which is what youre likely to do during the first 24 hours following your knee surgery. However, you can still take a few steps during the latter part of the first day. After all, you would still need to heed the call of nature.

    The most important thing here is to place as little force and weight on your operated knee. For this, your doctor will likely prescribe a knee brace, a cane, or crutches. After a few weeks, you may no longer need the cane or crutches, but your physician may still require you to use a brace.

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    Characteristics Of Severe Arthritis Of The Knee


    Pain is the most noticeable symptom of knee arthritis. In most patients the knee pain gradually gets worse over time but sometimes has more sudden flares where the symptoms get acutely severe. The pain is almost always worsened by weight-bearing and activity. In some patients the knee pain becomes severe enough to limit even routine daily activities.


    Morning stiffness is present in certain types of arthritis. Patients with morning stiffness of the knee may notice some improvement in knee flexibility over the course of the day. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience more frequent morning stiffness than patients with osteoarthritis.

    Swelling and warmth

    Patients with arthritis sometimes will notice swelling and warmth of the knee. If the swelling and warmth are excessive and are associated with severe pain, inability to bend the knee, and difficulty with weight-bearing, those signs might represent an infection. Such severe symptoms require immediate medical attention. Joint infection of the knee is discussed below.


    The knee joint has three compartments that can be involved with arthritis . Most patients have both symptoms and findings on X-rays that suggest involvement of two or more of these compartments for example, pain on the lateral side and beneath the kneecap . Patients who have arthritis in two or all three compartments, and who decide to get surgery, most often will undergo total knee replacement .

    Total Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery

    Patients are encouraged to begin ambulation the same day as their knee replacement surgery, with the aid of a walker or other orthopedic device. A patient typically stays in the hospital for 1 to 2 days, and longer if needed. Some may be able to go home the same day of their surgery if their medical team feels it is safe to do so. Patients who require extra attention or do not have home support may be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, but every effort is made to help the patient return to their home environment with additional support.

    Anterior view of a knee that has undergone a total knee replacement.

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    Mayo Clinic Q And A: Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: It has been months since I had knee replacement surgery, but my knee is still hurting. Can anything be done at this point, or does the surgery just not eliminate pain in some patients?

    ANSWER: Although its uncommon, a small percentage of patients continue to have chronic knee pain after knee replacement surgery. But when that happens, you dont have to just put up with the pain. Have your situation evaluated. Several additional treatment options may ease chronic knee pain after knee replacement.

    Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed today. It is most often used to repair joint damage caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis that causes severe knee pain and makes it hard to perform daily activities.

    During knee replacement, a surgeoncuts away the damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone andkneecap, and replaces it with an artificial joint. For most people, kneereplacement significantly improves mobility and relieves knee pain. But in somepatients, the pain persists after surgery.

    Your first step in dealing withongoing knee pain in this situation is to make an appointment to see thesurgeon who performed your knee replacement. He or she can evaluate your kneeand check for possible complications from the surgery, such as an infection ora problem with the artificial joint.


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    Stiffness After Knee Replacement Surgery

    How Long Does Knee Pain Last After Knee Replacement ...
  • Home
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  • In the days leading up to and following knee replacement surgery, patients face many questions. How long does it take for a knee replacement to feel normal? How long will pain and stiffness last? Will I experience any complications? Our team at OrthoBethesda has answers to your most common questions so you can prepare for surgery with peace of mind.

    Also Check: Can Arthritis In The Knee Be Cured

    What Should You Expect After Knee Revision Surgery

    Most patients who undergo revision procedures can expect to have good to excellent results. Although expected outcomes include pain relief with increased stability and function, complete pain relief and restoration of function is not always possible.

    Up to 20% of patients may still experience some pain following revision knee surgery. This can persist for several years after the procedure. Additionally recovery after revision total knee surgery is heavily dependent on the state and function of the knee prior to the revision surgery.

    Adhere To Your Doctor’s Medication Prescriptions

    Immediately after your surgery, your doctor may give you pain medication. This can take the form of intravenous or oral pain relievers. If you have low pain tolerance, your healthcare team may give you a strong opiate or opioid.

    Don’t worry, though, as you will only need this for a day or two following the procedure. After this, your doctor will put you on much milder anti-pain medications.

    What’s important is to follow everything indicated in your prescriptions. Never take these medications for longer than what your doctor tells you. More importantly, don’t stray from the recommended dosage.

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    The Importance Of Exercise Before Your Knee Replacement

    Your knee range of motion before your surgery is closely associated with how much you will achieve after surgery. If you cannot straighten your knee fully before surgery, it is unlikely you will ever fully straighten it after surgery. This becomes a big problem!

    At least 3 months before your surgery you should start performing range of motion exercises. This will improve your chances of a smooth recovery and rehabilitation after surgery. Losing weight before surgery will also help. And dont forget about aerobic exercise and your diet.

    How Long Will The New Knee Joint Last

    Pain after a Knee Replacement Surgery?

    For 8090% of people who have total knee replacement, the new joint should last about 20 years, and it may well last longer.

    If you’ve had a partial knee replacement, you’re more likely to need a repeat operation about 1 person in 10 needs further surgery after 10 years.

    The chances of needing another operation is greater if you’re overweight and/or involved in heavy manual work.

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    Exercises To Improve Knee Extension

    Knee stiffness is defined as a range of motion loss of 5 degrees or more of straightening, or extension, 12 weeks after surgery. We believe full knee extension is absolutely necessary to achieve the best possible outcome after surgery. When this is not achieved early you will develop problems with your gait pattern. This leads to persistent hip and back pain. Also, if you lack knee extension you will be very uncomfortable sleeping at night.

    Exercises to restore your knee extension should begin immediately after surgery. This means as soon as you are alert and oriented during your recovery. Begin by performing isometric quadriceps exercises with your knee fully straight. Begin the heel prop exercise a few days later. Start with one minute twice per day. Work up to 5 minutes several times per day until your physical therapist advises you to stop.

    There is one last important point to keep in mind. Please do not develop the bad habit of resting with a pillow under your knee. This makes it almost impossible for you to regain your range of motion.

    Preparation For Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    Patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery usually will undergo a pre-operative surgical risk assessment. When necessary, further evaluation will be performed by an internal medicine physician who specializes in pre-operative evaluation and risk-factor modification. Some patients will also be evaluated by an anesthesiologist in advance of the surgery.

    Routine blood tests are performed on all pre-operative patients. Chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are obtained in patients who meet certain age and health criteria as well.

    Surgeons will often spend time with the patient in advance of the surgery, making certain that all the patient’s questions and concerns, as well as those of the family, are answered.


    The surgeon’s office should provide a reasonable estimate of:

    • the surgeon’s fee
    • the degree to which these should be covered by the patient’s insurance.

    Total Knee Replacement Surgical Team

    The total knee requires an experienced orthopedic surgeon and the resources of a large medical center. Some patients have complex medical needs and around surgery often require immediate access to multiple medical and surgical specialties and in-house medical, physical therapy, and social support services.

    Finding an experienced surgeon to perform your total knee replacement

    Some questions to consider asking your knee surgeon:

    • Are you board certified in orthopedic surgery?
    • Have you done a fellowship in joint replacement surgery?
    • How many knee replacements do you do each year?

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    What Does Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery Look Like

    During knee replacement surgery, your doctor will make an incision before moving your knee cap and cutting away any damaged bone, cartilage, and joint surfaces. Artificial joints will then be attached and tested by bending and rotating your knee before your doctor closes your incision with stitches.

    Whether youre having a total or partial knee replacement will have an effect on your pain level and recovery.

    A traditional total knee replacement will typically require one to three months of recovery with the use of a walker or a cane. On the other hand, a partial knee replacement is much less invasive. Patients usually walk without assistance within two weeks. This is because the incision is much smaller and there is significantly less blood loss. While this may sound more appealing than a total knee replacement, only about 10% of patients are good candidates for a partial knee replacement procedure.

    After your surgery, youll follow weight-bearing guidelines. How much pressure your new knee can initially support will depend on the condition of your natural bone, as well as the type of prosthesis you have.


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