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How Long Does Swelling Last After Knee Replacement

How Long Does Foot Swelling Last After Surgery

Knee Replacement – How Long Does Swelling Last?

The amount of time your feet will remain swollen depends on the specific surgery as well as the amount of time it takes you to get back to normal daily activities.

Arthroscopic surgery of the knee will typically have less swelling and produce less downtime than a total knee replacement.

A great question to ask your surgeon before surgery would be How long am I expected to be off my feet?

What Helps Pain After Total Knee Replacement

Its vital to note that pain is often inevitable right after knee replacement surgery. However, you should also know that the success rate of such procedures is 90% to 95%. Successful implant placement also lasts for over a decade.

With that said, there are many ways to manage and ease pain following knee replacement. Here is a general guideline, including a timeline, of what you can do to reduce knee surgery pain.

Genicular Nerve Block With Radiofrequency Ablation

Instead of more invasive surgical options, many patients turn to a genicular nerve block to treat and diagnose persistent knee pain. A genicular nerve block uses anesthetic injected into one or more of the genicular nerves to interrupt pain signals being sent to the brain.

Unfortunately, a genicular nerve blocks effects only last eight to 24 hours. Doctors use genicular nerve blocks to test the effectiveness of the procedure on a persons knee pain. Many patients who experience relief with genicular nerve blocks will then get radiofrequency ablation. When combined, these two procedures can offer pain relief that lasts anywhere from six months to a year.

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Malpositioning Of The Implants

Surgeons make an effort to balance the knee at the time of surgery. This means finding the proper size and alignment of the knee replacement so that the knee joint is not too tight, and not too loose, and so this balancing is the same with the knee straight and bent.

This is precisely why a knee replacement is a difficult procedure, and the art of perfecting this takes many years. Errors in the positioning of an implant may not be apparent on the operating table and only become evident when the recovery is stalled.

Newer patient-specific knee replacements are tailor-made and may reduce the risk of malpositioning.

Elevation After Knee Replacement

How Long Does Pain Last After Knee Replacement: What to ...

Elevating your knee above the heart level helps reduce the swelling after knee surgery and help you control the fluid build up in your lower legs.

Having a right knee wedge can make your life much more comfortable. However, you can manage with regular pillows as well.

How to elevate knee after knee replacement surgery. query into the web comes out with a mixed result, which can confuse you.

It is not rocket science, and the whole aim of elevating your knee is to reduce swelling. Just stack three or four pillows so that your knee is above heart level.

Also, avoid dangling your feet and keep your legs above heart level position for a longer time.

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What Are The Complications After Total Knee Replacement

Complications of total knee replacement surgery are rare. They include general surgical complications, such as adverse reactions to anesthesia and infection, as well as complications specific to knee replacement surgery. Possible complications from anesthesia include heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and blood clots.

What Should I Be Doing In The Early Stages Of My Recovery

  • Continue your exercise program and increase activity gradually your goal is to regain strength and function.
  • Follow all therapy instructions.
  • Resume activity as you gain strength and confidence.
  • For total knee replacement, swelling of the knee or leg is common with an abrupt increase in activity. If this occurs, elevate the leg above the level of your heart , and apply ice directly to the knee. You may continue with elevation and icing as needed to help decrease swelling and discomfort.
  • Continued exercise at this early stage is important to achieve the best outcome with your new joint replacement. Based on your needs, your therapy may be continued at home or in an outpatient setting of your choice. You will be given an exercise program to continue exercising at home.

Don’t sit for longer than 30 to 45 minutes at a time. Use chairs with arms. You may nap if you are tired, but do not stay in bed all day. Frequent, short walks either indoors or outdoors are the key to a successful recovery.

You may experience discomfort in your operated hip or knee, and you may have difficulty sleeping at night. This is part of the recovery process. Getting up and moving around relieves some of the discomfort.

You should climb stairs with support. Climb one step at a time good leg up bad leg down. Hold on to a railing, if available.

When you’re a passenger in a car, sit on a firm cushion or folded blanket to avoid sitting too low.

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How Long Do You Have Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery

It is usually normal to have some pain after surgery, but this pain generally improves with time. However, doctors can provide some pain relief until this happens.

In rare cases, pain may persist longer. Therefore, people who have ongoing or worsening pain should seek advice from their doctor, as there may be a complication.

The most common complication is that people dont like the way their knee works or they continue to have pain or stiffness.

Swelling After Knee Surgery

How Long Does the Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Swelling after surgery is a normal finding, especially after a knee procedure. Many patients ask me if their swelling is normal, how long will it last, and is it dangerous? These are all great questions.

First, lets understand what swelling is and why it happens. Swelling can mean more than one thing. The development of fluid in a knee joint, in doctor-speak called an effusion. This is not the same as swelling in the tissues around your knee or in your leg. Swelling occurs as a natural part of the inflammatory response to injury. There may be very little after a simple procedure like a knee arthroscopy, or more swelling after a joint replacement.

After a knee scope, or arthroscopy, it is common to have swelling, or an effusion, in the joint for a few days, or sometimes, as long as a few weeks. Patients with arthritis tend to be swollen longer. Patients that have a knee replacement surgery can have knee swelling, or a knee effusion as we call it, that lasts for months.

After a big knee surgery like a ligament repair or replacement, you may have some of both fluid in the knee joint and swelling in the leg. This often lasts for several weeks. Sometimes, I see people that are still swollen several months later and I believe this can be normal everyone is different.

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Knee Replacement Recovery Timeline

Most patients are discharged one day after surgery. On your discharge day, you may be able to stand and walk out of your hospital room, or you may need assistance with walking, which is completely normal. In the weeks following, most patients gradually expand their physical abilities. Every case is unique. Your surgeon and your physical therapist will coordinate to progress you as quickly as possible. Although everyone progressed at a different pace based on numerous factors, some common timeframes are:

  • 3 weeks after surgery: At this point, you should be able to walk for more than 10 minutes at a time, without a walker or crutches. Your physical therapist may challenge you to go on longer walks and stop using an assistive device like a cane.
  • 6 weeks after surgery: Between weeks 4 and 6, you may be able to start driving again, if your doctor clears you.
  • 12 weeks after surgery: Typical physical therapy programs last for up to 12 weeks. At this point, you should be able to walk for several blocks at a time and may even be able to pick up hobbies like swimming and cycling. As your therapy program ends around the 12-week mark, stick with your walking schedule and gradually challenge yourself to walk further and longer.
  • One year after surgery: You will continue to make progress for an entire year after knee replacement. By this time, your knee should reach its full strength and you should be able to return to most activities.

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Where Will I Feel Knee Replacement Pain

As mentioned above, knee replacement pain can come in many different forms depending on the cause. Knee pain is to be expected due to the surgical procedure itself, with swelling, bruising, and the introduction of prosthetic parts.

Beyond that, it is possible to feel pain in parts of the body other than your knee. This is known as referred pain.

Your hips, lower back, groin area, and calves may initially hurt due to the change in your stance and the way you walk. Of course, it is also typical to feel sore due to extended amounts of time in bed during your recovery.

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Do Your Feet Swell After Knee Replacement

Yes, as a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment of patients following a total knee replacement surgery, I can tell you that significant swelling on the surgical lower extremity down into the foot and ankle is extremely common.

I often recommend my patients utilize an active recovery to minimize the swelling. Then between exercise sessions, I recommend my clients utilize compression stockings or socks to reduce swelling while resting.

Anthony Maritato, PT

Physical Therapist

Anthony Maritato, PT is an Ohio licensed physical therapist and private practice owner.

Mr. Maritato specializes in helping patients who have received a total knee replacement or rotator cuff repair surgery. Ohio license #PT011602

What Are The Alternatives To Revision Surgery

How Long Do Knee Replacements Last? The Truth.

Alternatives to revision knee surgery are rarely used as they can sometimes be more complex and lead to worse results than revision surgery, but they include knee fusion or .

The following alternatives are employed depending on the seriousness of the problem affecting the knee:

  • of the knee joint may relieve pain but at the expense of keeping the knee in a fixed, non-bending position.
  • may be used in extreme cases in which the knee joint has a severe infection that cannot be eradicated

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Knee Replacement Range Of Motion

Knee swelling will limit knee flexibility, but there is also healing and scarring of tissues to consider that will prevent a knee from bending and straightening. Patients need to slowly improve their flexibility so their knee does not heal stiff, but at the same time not push too much that they are aggravating the recovery and causing more swelling.

The normal knee range of motion is 0 degrees of knee extension to 135 degrees of knee flexion . It is not unusual for someone to have 5-10 degrees of hyperextension and knee flexion varies anywhere from 120-150 degrees.

The expected range of motion after knee replacement is 0 degrees of knee extension to at least 115 degrees of flexion or greater, but this can take several weeks or months to achieve. Starting out, the goal is to get the knee to bend to 90 degrees within the first week and then improve 5 to 10 degrees each week after that until full flexion is reached. Again, this timeline is variable from patient to patient.

It is important to achieve full knee extension for walking to feel more natural and have less knee pain. If you dont achieve full extension, it will feel like youre walking with 1 leg shorter than the other.

Helping Patients To Make Informed Decisions

Were funding research to improve patient experience before, during and after knee replacement surgery. This includes a project based at the University of Sheffield which aims to help patients make informed decisions about their surgery. The research team will use the UK National Joint Registry dataset to develop and validate a personalised, web-based decision aid to help patients considering knee joint replacement to make informed choices about their treatment.

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Use Ice Packs On Your Knees

In order to reduce swelling immediately after surgery, ice can restrict blood flow to the affected area and slow cellular metabolism. To deliver cold to a particular part of the body, you can use cold packs, ice baths, cryotherapy chambers, or ice baths.

In the first few days after an injury, apply ice every 10 to 20 minutes. Dont apply ice directly to the affected area wrap it in a thin cloth.

Stiffness After Knee Replacement Surgery

How long does the pain last after a knee replacement?
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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.

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    What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery

    Typically a patients knee will be swollen, stiff, weak, and sore following surgery. This makes functional activities such as walking and standing up difficult to perform.

    The timeline for regaining strength and range of motion after knee replacement is variable. These two elements are key to successfully completing the total knee replacement recovery process.

    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.

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    What Causes Pain In Knee After 7 Years Of Knee Replacement

    The most common causes of pain after knee replacement include: Loosening of the implant : This is most often the cause of pain years or decades after the knee replacement however, it is seldom the cause of persistent pain right after surgery. Infection : Infection is a serious and worrisome concern. Nov 17 2019

    Why Do I Have A Problem With My Patella

    How Long Does Swelling Last After Knee 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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    How To Reduce Swelling After Surgery

    Compression stockings

    There are several simple things you can do. First, wear a pair of TED hose, or compression stockings. This will help to literally squeeze the fluid out of your legs and feet. You can wear these almost 24 hours a day.


    Keep your leg up and elevated. The higher the better. This will help to drain fluid out of your leg.


    Ice your knee. This can be done with ice packs, or with a ice machine a special pad and a pump that circulates cold water through the pad like the one shown here. The cold helps to reduce inflammation which will decrease the swelling and effusion.

    Ibuprofen / Naproxen or other anti-inflammatory medicine

    These medicines work to stop inflammation and thereby reduce the swelling after surgery. I often suggest 600-800mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day, or 440mg of naproxen twice a day. Be sure to check to see if this is something you are allowed to take after surgery. Patients on strong blood thinners should not take any anti-inflammatories.

    Ive put a number of products that Ive seen help patients with knee swelling on my related products page. I dont sell these but refer you to amazon to find them. .

    Patients ask a lot of questions about swelling feel free to ask me below if you have some of these questions and Ill try to answer them for you. I want you to understand what knee swelling means and when it is important to see your doctor.

    Common Symptoms After Surgery

    Your incision will be swollen, bruised and may be red after surgery. These symptoms are common and part of the healing process. The following symptoms are also common after surgery:

    • temperature below 101.6 F
    • warmth or numbness around your incision
    • spotty drainage, red or clear in color, lasting for one to five days

    It is important to monitor your symptoms every day to make sure your incision is healing properly.

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    Conventional Treatment Methods Of Knee Pain

    Knee pain is treated in a variety of ways. Once the cause is diagnosed using proper techniques, a treatment plan is set in motion. Doctors use information such as a patientâs medical history, overall health, activity level, and comfort level to create a treatment plan that is unique to each patient. In the beginning, these plans typically enact the RICE method. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Sometimes patients also take over the counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. Pain is often caused by a form of inflammation, so these methods can help subside the pain.

    If these less invasive methods fail to relieve pain, doctors will turn to slightly more intense treatment methods such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy seeks to strengthen muscles surrounding an injury and increase a patientâs range of motion. Corticosteroid injections are used to inject a powerful anti-inflammatory agent directly into the pain area. This is most often successful at relieving pain in the short-term but has been proven to damage tissue over time. Corticosteroid injections are not considered a long-term solution to knee pain.

    After undergoing slightly more invasive treatment methods and still failing to see results, doctors may discuss surgery as an option. Initial surgeries for knee pain are less invasive than a total knee replacement. These surgeries may include:

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