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How Long Does Pain Last With Knee Replacement

Why Do I Have A Problem With My Patella

How Long Does the Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Her left kneecap was getting way off track, but not quite dislocating. This is called subluxation. In fact, both her patellae have this problem. The left subluxes most often, but the right actually dislocates. Shes had several falls right onto her knees. Both knees hurt, and shes having trouble getting up and down stairs.

In most cases, the kneecap shifts to the outside of the leg, but it can also move towards the inside. Heres what you need to know about patellar tracking disorder and keeping your knees healthy.

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What Not To Do After Knee Replacement

After undergoing a partial or total knee replacement, there are certain movements to refrain from to avoid re-injuring your knee or causing pain.

Avoid any risk of falling After knee surgery, it will take a while before you regain strength and balance in the leg, making you more likely to experience a fall. Avoid activities like climbing ladders and take care to hold on to handrails when using stairs. Hiking or walking on the uneven ground should also be avoided until your knee is properly healed.

Dont sit for long periods Sitting for long periods after knee replacement surgery is correlated with a higher risk of blood clots. Make sure youre getting enough light activity to support healing after your operation.

Running Running puts three times the amount of pressure on the knee as walking. Avoid running while youre healing from knee replacement surgery until cleared to do so by your doctor.

How Soon Will I Be Up And About

The staff will help you to get up and walk about as quickly as possible. If you’ve had keyhole surgery or are on an enhanced recovery programme, you may be able to walk on the same day as your operation. Generally, you’ll be helped to stand within 12 to 24 hours after your operation.

Walking with a frame or crutches is encouraged. Most people are able to walk independently with sticks after about a week.

During your stay in hospital, a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen your knee. You can usually begin these the day after your operation. It’s important to follow the physiotherapist’s advice to avoid complications or dislocation of your new joint.

It’s normal to have initial discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen.

You may be put on a passive motion machine to restore movement in your knee and leg. This support will slowly move your knee while you are in bed. It helps to decrease swelling by keeping your leg raised and helps improve your circulation.

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How Long Does Knee Replacement Surgery Last

How long does it take for a total knee replacement to stop hurting? General pain may occur for up to several weeks following a total knee replacement. Swelling typically lasts for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, but may persist for as long as 3 to 6 months. Bruising may last for 1 to 2 weeks following surgery.

Knee Replacement Recovery Tips

How Long Does Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery ...

Here’s some top tips for four common questions about total knee replacement recovery time:

  • How Long Does The Pain Last? Many people find they have less pain after their knee replacement as the arthritis pain is no longer there. The post-op pain usually settles down within 6-12 weeks although their may be some residual pain and swelling for up to a year.
  • How Do I Sleep After A Knee Replacement? Typically people find it most comfy to sleep on a firm mattress, either lying on their back or on their side with a pillow between their legs.
  • Can I Kneel Down With My Knee Replacement? Yes you can although it may be uncomfortable in which case use a cushion or knee pad. Kneeling won’t cause any damage to the knee replacement and certainly won’t delay your knee replacement recovery time.
  • How Do I Make the Best Recovery? In order to make the best knee replacement recovery, follow all the advice from your doctor and physical therapist. Start exercises prior to surgery, get up and about as soon as possible, stick to your rehab program, take medications regularly when advised and keep going. There may be ups and downs along the way, but stay focused and positive
  • You can find the answers to loads more similar questions in the total knee replacement recovery questions section.

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    Swelling After Knee Replacement

    While some swelling is normal even up until 6 months post-surgery, swelling may also occur as a result of serious complications such as deep vein thrombosis or prosthetic joint infection.

    Arthritis of the knee joint is the most common indication for replacement surgery. During replacement surgery, the surgeon gives an incision in front of the knee and cuts/separates tissues to reach the diseased knee joint. During the entire surgery, the patient remains under either general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.

    X-ray showing a total knee replacement.

    The surgeon further proceeds to cut and remove the diseased ends of the thigh bone and the shin bone. The removed ends are replaced with metal alloy and plastic parts. The prosthetic joint functions to recreate the motion and alignment of the natural joint.

    Swelling and pain are the most common complaints after knee replacement. The swelling is normal and is usually moderate to severe in the first week but gradually decreases for the next weeks and months. Mild swelling may persist normally as long as six months post-surgery.

    The swelling persists even after the skin incision heals as the tissues in the body take a long time to get back to their condition before the surgery. The patients may complain of swelling around their knees, below or above their knees. The swelling may get worse at the end of the day with activity.

    Dr. Suhirad Khokhar

    What Are The Risks And Complications Of Revision Knee Replacement

    Any surgery can have potential complications. The complexity of revision joint surgery increases the chance of surgical complications, which include but are not limited to:

    • wound drainage
    • damage to nerves or blood vessels
    • intra-operative fractures
    • pulmonary embolism

    Infection, bleeding, damage to nerves or blood vessels, and intra-operative fractures can be minimized by using antibiotics before and after surgery, employing sterile surgical techniques and utilizing well-planned surgical exposures. Patients who are obese are particularly at increased risk of infection and wound drainage issues post operatively.

    Similar to primary knee replacement, some mild swelling of the knee or ankle may be present after surgery for as long as three to six months. Swelling can be treated by elevating the leg, applying an ice pack, and wearing compression stockings.

    Prior medical conditions, such as heart and lung complications or stroke conditions, can be aggravated by a revision procedure. These conditions may also develop in patients after revision surgery. Very rarely, death can occur. The decision to perform revision joint surgery is made when the benefits of pain relief and functional improvement outweigh the risk of potential complications.

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    How Long Does Pain Last After A Total Knee Replacement

    5 Jul 2018 by pasuzz


    I had both my knees replaced last year on July 11th. I went home the next day after showing the Dr I could walk. As long as you take your pain meds as instructed the pain in minimal. Night time is pretty bad but ice helps a great deal. It took 3 months for the pain to subside. Go to physical therapy it does work and keep moving. Im doing great. Im weight training and doing some running. It was the best thing I ever did.


    I had mine this year on may 8th. Was in and out of hospital in 12 hours,used walker few days, In therapy up to last week,passed all goals but knee hurts bad at times, ice often just get so frustrated with aches and pain want it gone now!


    I know it is frustrating. The pain will go away. You will experience stiffness if you sit too long so get up and move after awhile.


    I do, try to move legs even while sitting, ride stationary bike once a day, walking too much at walmart really causes pain,I’ve read pain lasts 6 months to a year,is that true?


    Different Types Of Surgery

    How long does the pain last after a knee replacement?

    There are 5 main types of knee replacement surgery:

    • Total knee replacement. This is the most common form. Your surgeon replaces the surfaces of the thigh bone and shin bone that connects to the knee.
    • Partial knee replacement. If arthritis affects only one side of your knee, this surgery may be a possibility. However, itâs only right for you if you have strong knee ligaments and the rest of the cartilage in the knee is normal. Partial knee replacement can be performed through a smaller cut than is needed for total knee replacement.
    • Patellofemoral replacement. This replaces only the under-surface of the kneecap and the groove the kneecap sits in. This can be very effective for people with chronic kneecap arthritis.
    • Complex knee replacement. This procedure may be needed if you have very severe arthritis or if youâve already had two or three knee replacement surgeries.
    • Cartilage restoration: Sometimes when the knee only has an isolated area of injury or wear this area can be replaced with a living cartilage graft or cells which grow into cartilage.

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    Your Role In Creating A Pain Plan

    After surgery, it is common to have pain. A member of your health care team will monitor your pain level often and help you review treatment options.

    All of the following information will help your health care team prescribe the right medicine and therapy for your pain, and prevent problems . Tell a member of your health care team:

    • if you have allergies or reactions to pain medicine
    • what methods of pain control have worked or have not worked well in the past
    • where you feel pain and how much pain you have
    • what makes your pain better or worse
    • if your pain starts to get worse or you have new pain
    • what vitamins, herbal and natural products you are taking
    • if you drink more than two alcoholic drinks each day.

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Knee Replacement

    If youve been told that you need a knee replacement, you may be wondering how long you should expect the recovery process to take. Knee replacement recovery times can vary depending on a number of different factorsincluding the patients overall health, the condition of the patients knee, and the type of knee replacement being performedso your best bet is to speak with your doctor, who will be able to provide you with an estimate thats tailored to your specific circumstances.

    With that being said, if you undergo a traditional knee replacement, you can probably expect to remain in the hospital for three to five days following your procedure. Hospital personnel will likely help you stand and walk within 12 to 24 hours after your surgery, and youll probably be able to walk on your own after approximately one week. Youll likely need to continue using one of these devices for about six weeks following surgery, after which time youll be able to resume your normal activities . Its not uncommon for pain to continue for about three months after a knee replacement, and for swelling to persist for about a year. In the two years following your procedure, scar tissue will continue healing, and your muscles will gradually be restored to their previous condition.

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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.

    How Long Does Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery

    How Long Does a Knee Replacement Last?

    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.
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    Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Knee

    Inflammatory arthritis

    This broad category includes a wide variety of diagnoses including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and many others. It is important that patients with these conditions be followed by a qualified rheumatologist as there are a number of exciting new treatments that may decrease the symptoms and perhaps even slow the progression of knee joint damage.

    Patients with inflammatory arthritis of the knee usually have joint damage in all three compartments and therefore are not good candidates for partial knee replacement. However, inflammatory arthritis patients who decide to have total knee replacement have an extremely high likelihood of success. These patients often experience total, or near-total, pain relief following a well-performed joint replacement.


    Osteoarthritis is also called OA or degenerative joint disease. OA patients represent the large majority of arthritis sufferers. OA may affect multiple joints or it may be localized to the involved knee. Activity limitations due to pain are the hallmarks of this disease.

    OA patients who have symptoms limited to one compartment of the knee sometimes are good candidates for minimally-invasive partial knee replacement .

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    Tips For How To Shorten Your Recovery

    Your doctor will provide you with instructions to follow while youre recovering from your knee replacement. You should always rely on your doctors instructions, but with his or her approval, there are certain steps you can take to minimize your recovery time and achieve the best possible results:

    • Continue taking pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed.
    • Keep up with any exercises or stretches that were recommended by your doctor or your physical therapist.
    • Wear supportive shoes.
    • Walk around every couple of hours during the day.
    • Raise your leg while sitting .
    • Apply an ice pack for approximately 20 minutes every three to four hours.
    • Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet thats high in Vitamins A and C.
    • Avoid kneeling, sitting with your legs crossed, and twisting your knee.

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    What Is The Recovery Time After Knee Revision Surgery

    It varies, but in most cases, physical therapy will be initiated within 24 hours of the procedure and will continue for up to three months.

    Some patients take longer to recover. In some cases, protective weightbearing or limiting the knees range of motion is needed to promote appropriate healing. Therapy will usually continue for up to three months following the surgery. Assistive devices, such as a walker or crutches, will be used early in the convalescence period, and patients will progress to a cane or walking without any assistance as their condition improves.

    How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

    Knee Replacement – How Long Does Swelling Last?

    You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal leisure activities 6 weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to 3 months for pain and swelling to settle down. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear.

    Your new knee will continue to recover for up to 2 years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and muscles can be restored by exercise.

    Even after you have recovered, it’s best to avoid extreme movements or sports where there’s a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.

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    How Can I Learn More About Recovering From A Knee Replacement

    The best way to learn what to expect while recovering from knee replacement surgery is to talk to an expert orthopedist.

    Our team of orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons at TRIA are some of the best in the Midwest. Weve performed thousands of joint replacements, and 97 percent of our patients report being able to walk down stairs without difficulty a year after surgery.

    When youre ready for surgery, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and other care providers will be by your side every step of the way from your first appointment through your recovery.

    About Amy Haynes, PT, DPT

    Amy Haynes, PT, DPT specializes in orthopedic physical therapy with an emphasis on total joint replacement and osteoarthritis. She enjoys helping patients remain independent within their home environments for as long as possible and continue their recreational past-times.


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