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How Long Knee Replacement Pain Last

Benefits Of Regenerative Medicine In The Healing Process

How long does the pain last after a knee replacement?

The relatively new field of regenerative therapies is offering patients with a myriad of ailments new hope. The two forms of therapies offered at CELLAXYS are:

  • Stem Cell Therapy: this form of therapy involves harvesting stem cells that already exist in the body. They are typically taken from adipose tissue, or fat cells, but can also be taken from blood cells or bone marrow. The stem cells are processed to become more concentrated and reinjected into the area where an injury or degeneration has occurred.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: this form of therapy begins with a blood draw. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge which separates platelets out from other components in the blood. Platelets are an aspect of blood which contains proteins and growth factors. Platelets are a crucial part of the healing process, from a paper cut to knee surgery. The concentrated platelets are then injected into the area where the pain is occurring.

Both of these forms of therapy are taking the bodys own healing processes, amplifying them, and using them to heal more intensely.

Both procedures use an imaging technique such as ultrasound or MRI to pinpoint the exact location they should be injected that will have the most benefit.

Knee replacement is a drastic and life-altering process during recovery. When faced with the option to undergo surgery, patients should consider all of the options available, especially those which offer hope for a speedier recovery such as regenerative therapy.

How To Get Rid Of Unused Opioids

Do not keep unused medicine “in case” you think you may need it. Having it in the house where other adults, children or pets could reach it is unsafe.

  • To get rid of unused opioids, bring them to a drop-off location or to an Allina Health Pharmacy. To find a location near you:
  • Minnesota: Go to and type “household hazardous waste” in the search box.
  • Wisconsin: Go to and type “health care waste” in the search box.
  • If you can’t get to a disposal site:
  • Scratch off your name, your provider’s name and the prescription number on the medicine label. Or, scribble the information out with a black marker.
  • Add a small amount of vinegar to dissolve most of the pills.
  • Take the cap of your medicine container shut with a strong tape.
  • Put the taped medicine container in a paper bag or other container you cannot see through .
  • Throw the contents in the garbage, not the recycling bin.
  • How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

    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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    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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    Should I Use Muscle Relaxers After Knee Surgery

    Knee Implants  How Long Do They Last

    Many surgeons use muscle relaxants on patients who undergo surgeries. They do so to restrict muscle movement while patients are unconscious. However, researchers now associate them with increased risks of lung complications.

    As such, you may want to avoid over-the-counter muscle relaxants after your surgery. You should only use them if your doctor prescribes them.

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    What Happens During Surgery

    Prior to surgery, your physician and surgeon will consider things like weight, the condition of existing bone and cartilage, and other medical factors, and will have a plan in place post-surgery for optimal healing.

    During knee replacement surgery, your doctor will make an incision, moving your knee cap, and cutting away any damaged bone, cartilage, and joint surfaces. This is then followed by the attachment of artificial joints, which are tested by rotating and bending the new knee replacement, before the incision is closed up with stitches and/or surgical staples.

    Factors during the surgery, including blood loss, and unforeseen medical issues involving the condition of the bone, cartilage and underlying muscle can have an impact on recovery time and post-op pain following a knee replacement surgery.

    Pain after knee replacement surgery is sometimes caused by biological factors present before the surgery, while others may be caused by complications and conditions during the surgery itself.

    Arthritis is an example of a biological factor that may be present before the surgery, which can flare up after knee replacement surgery. Similarly, patients with pre-existing concerns about fibromyalgia may find their pain response heightened after knee replacement surgery for as much as six months.

    • Infection
    • Stiffness

    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 patientâs questions and concerns, as well as those of the family, are answered.


    The surgeonâs office should provide a reasonable estimate of:

    • the surgeonâs fee
    • the degree to which these should be covered by the patientâs 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:

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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.

    What To Expect 5 Weeks After Knee Replacement Surgery

    How long will a total knee replacement last?

    When you reach 5 weeks post-knee replacement, you’ll likely notice a huge improvement. Generally, you’ll be able to walk on your own anywhere between 4 and 8 weeks after a knee replacement. The pain will have mostly subsided, and the swelling and inflammation should be greatly reduced.

    You still won’t be able to drive until about 8 weeks after your knee replacement but so long as you’ve been sticking with your physiotherapy, normal everyday activities should require much less assistance.

    You should wait a full 12 weeks before lifting anything heavier than 4.5 kg and all weightlifting for exercise purposes is still off-limits unless prescribed by your physio.

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    What To Expect From Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    A total knee replacement should relieve knee pain and increase your ability to bend your knee. You should notice a difference shortly after surgery. You will have some pain from the surgical cut, however. This pain will decrease steadily over time. After a few weeks, you should be able to perform the tasks of daily living.

    How Can We Help These Problems The Often Overlooked And Ignored Cause Of Pain After Knee Replacement The Knee Ligaments

    When a knee replacement is performed, the joint itself has to be stretched out so the surgeons can cut out bone and put it in the prosthesis. When the joint is stretched out, the knee ligaments and tendons that survive the operation will cause pain as they heal from the surgical damage. Sometimes the ligaments and tendons heal well. Sometimes they do not heal as well.

    In this video, Ross Hauser, MD explains the problems of post-knee replacement joint instability and how Prolotherapy injections can repair damaged and weakened ligaments and that will tighten the knee. This treatment does not address the problems of hardware malalignment that our patient Jeannette described in the video above.

    Summary of this video:

    The patient in this video came into our office for low back pain. I did a straight leg raise test, on this patient to help determine if his back pain was coming from a herniated disc.

    • During the test I noticed a clicking sound coming from his knee. The patient had a knee replacement.

    It is very common for us to see patients after knee replacement who have these clicking sounds coming from knee instability. This is not an instability from hardware failure. The hardware may be perfectly placed in the knee. It is instability from the outer knee where the surviving ligaments are. I believe that this is why up to one-third of patients continue to have pain after knee replacement.

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    Whats It Like To Recover From A Knee Replacement

    As soon as you wake up from knee replacement surgery, your rehabilitation can begin. Patients are encouraged to begin walking with a walker, crutches, or a cane on the same day that their surgery occurred. Within three to six weeks after total knee arthroplasty, you will gradually resume many of your normal activities, but not all until you are released from a doctors care.

    Your physical therapist will help you learn to safely use the new joint and will go over all of the aftercare necessary to recover successfully from the surgery. They will help you use a continuous passive motion machine, to gently move the joint to speed the healing process. Youll also learn to change your bandage, and practice how to get to and from the bathroom. Your physical therapist will also teach you the exercises necessary to help you regain the full range of motion in your new joint.

    Typically, you will return home as long as you have a support system in place to help care for you during the rehabilitation process.

    You will have some pain, bruising, and swelling after the surgery. Your doctor will likely prescribe some pain medications that are stepped down to over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers over time. Your orthopaedic surgeon may have you wear a support hose or compression boots to reduce the risk of blood clots and cut down on leg swelling.

    • Slow, careful stair climbing
    • Achieving full knee extension and knee flexion
    • Standing up and slowly walking

    What Not To Do After Knee Replacement

    How Long Does Pain Last 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.

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    Is A Knee Replacement Painful

    Knee replacement surgery is a common orthopedic surgery in the U.S. with the number of surgeries performed each year expected to hit 1 million by 2040. Knee replacement surgery is proven to provide pain relief, improve mobility and quality of life, but it has a reputation of being painful. Patients considering this procedure are often hesitant because theyve heard that the surgery itself has a long recovery time and they wonder if the pain and time recovering will be worth the benefits.

    Are you considering knee replacement surgery? Lets first look at the facts- Most knee replacements are expected to last more than 15 years, and according to recent statistics, three to six weeks after surgery is the average time it will take to resume to most daily activities.

    Rehab Begins One Step At A Time

    Rehab after knee surgery begins slowly, but almost immediately. Its important to get in and out of bed that same day, walk a few steps, and learn how to use the continuous passive motion machine, which youll also be using at home as you start the recovery process.

    Within the first 24 hours after surgery, you begin standing and walking on your new knee with the help of a walker and your physical therapist. We start you off with gentle, muscle-strengthening exercises and guide you through each move so you know how to safely take your first steps with your new knee.

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    Exercises To Improve Knee Flexion

    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.

    Adhere To Your Doctor’s Medication Prescriptions

    How Long Does the Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery?

    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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    How Long For The Tightness In My Upper Thigh To Go Away After A Full Hip Replacement

    surgery, hip replacement

    I am 48 and had a full hip replacement on Dec 27,2017 as an outpatient procedure. The success has been remarkable. I was able to walk without any support about a week after surgery. I did physical therapy for four weeks after and even my therapist said I was healing very quickly and my progress was great but not normal. I was in severe pain before the surgery as I thought the pain was coming from sciatica and was making it worse by treating it like a back injury. Once I was diagnosed and had the surgery the relief was so great that I believe that is why I have healed so well. My only lingering problem 4 weeks post op is my upper thigh on my replacement hip leg is still tight. I know its from months of limping along on a bad hip but now that its fixed any idea how long until it loosens up? My PT says it could take months to fully stretch out and gain flexibility. Is there anything I can safely do to help it along. It is the only thing left from keeping me from feeling normal again. Thanks.


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