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HomeSurgeryHow To Get Swelling Down After Knee Surgery

How To Get Swelling Down After Knee Surgery

Immediately After The Operation

Suggestions to keep the swelling down after knee surgery..ACL & Meniscus

Doctors have made big advances in pain management after total knee replacement over the last 10 to 15 years due to advancements in using regional nerve blocks, spinal blocks, and other methods of pain control.

During knee surgery, your healthcare team might either use a general anesthetic, where you will be fully asleep, or a localized anesthetic, where youre numb from the waist down but still awake.

After the surgery anesthesia wears off, your healthcare team can provide pain medication either orally or through an intravenous tube.

These medications may include a strong opiate or opioid such as morphine, fentanyl, or oxycodone, and are intended only for short-term use. Its important to note that larger doses over time can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Follow your doctors instructions to avoid adverse effects.

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.

Ice Machine For Knee Swelling

Even though we are moving away from using ice for recovery, there is still a place for it. When edema or pain gets out of hand, using ice is still effective in bringing those you back down to a manageable level. We love the vive ice machine because you can circulate the cold water through a compress. You can disconnect yourself and walk short distances if needed and can leave it on between icings. Ice for no more than about 20-25 minutes and no more than once per hour. We also reviewed the best ice machines for knee swelling earlier this year so be sore to check it out.

Read Also: Why Does My Knee Hurt When Lying Down

Will I Need To Have Physical Or Rehabilitation Therapy

Physical therapy is definitely recommended after meniscus surgery. It is of course highly recommended that you consult with your doctor, surgeon, or physical therapist before tying any exercises on your own. Some physicians will recommend non-weight bearing activities for a long time and others may want you to start trying weight-bearing activities sooner in your recovery. Always consult your physician first and follow their instructions.

Strength building exercises and other physical rehabilitation therapies can be a vital part of the recovery and can help to reduce popping sounds.

Thoughts On 2 Months After Tkr Surgery

Natural and Medical Ways to Remove Knee Fluid
  • Caroline

    This article is amazing and Im so grateful I came across it. Im on day 8 after my TKR and have experienced everything from day 1 as you have described it. I am tired tonight and going to read more tomorrow but just wanted to say thank you.

    My main battle and task which I find is getting me down is my range of motion. I cant move my operated knee out of the bed without the aid of a strap I feel like I will never be able to do this again without an aid at the moment.Can you help with this?

    Thanks again,

  • Hi and thanks for reading. I hope you can use my articles as a resource during your recovery. I only have my experience to pull from but I always welcome input from others, like you, who are going through knee replacement recovery. At day 8 your range of motion will still be limited due to swelling . Dont let it deter you from your exercises and dont forget to ice! I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery just as I have.

  • J Frain

    After 2 years, I get tingling and needle pain occasionally. My problem was the morphine and codeine made me sick and dizzy. I had only tylenol for pain. I had a longer recovery. Took me at least 3 months before I could think about rehab. and/or exercise.

  • Angela

    I use my other foot to hook up ,at the ankle, the surgical leg to get in and out of bed. I too wish the therapists could have prepared me for this part of the recovery.

  • Ken

    Excellent method. I did the same!

  • Susan

    Thank-you Ken Stang , writing this as it helped me a lot.

  • Recommended Reading: What To Do For Sore Knees

    Number 1 Tip To Reduce Knee Swelling After Surgery

    If you are having a hard time reducing swelling after knee surgery I have a tip for you which involves

    • Cryco Cuff
    • Warm Pack

    The process is simple and uses gentle heat and cooling to pull the blood out of the knee. Everyone knows that if a door seperating two rooms one warm and one cool is opened the two rooms temperature will equalizeall reasonable things being held constant. Using this principle you can use physics to suck the swelling out of your kneehere is how

    Step 1 Warm up a Hot PackStep 2 Put on your Cryo CuffStep 3 Get an ice pack from the freezerStep 4 Elevate your kneeStep 5 Put the warm pack on your upper thighStep 6 Put at least one ice pack on your ankleStep 7 Hold for 15-30 minutes


    My Scar 2 Months Post Knee Replacement

    What a difference!; I began with a swollen knee and staples holding my leg together.; 2 weeks later my staples were removed and 8 weeks later a very fine line marks the area I was cut open.

    The body has an amazing way of healing itself.; Not only did my wound heal nicely, but the decrease in swelling is also evident.

    During the healing process, I used my Carmex hydrating lotion on my scar 8 to 10 times a day, especially after swimming and after icing.; The Carmex lotion was recommended to me by my physical therapists.

    I recommend asking your doctor and therapist a lot of questions about scar management.

    I believed the extra care helped reduce the appearance of the scar.; Make sure you dont forget to keep the scar moisturized otherwise it might crack or leave a larger scar.

    I expected there to be a more visible scar but Im also surprised at how well it looks.;Much better than I expected and I dont feel any scar tissue under the scar.

    Also Check: Do Knee Sleeves Really Work

    Expected Range Of Motion

    After knee replacement surgery, it is important to work with a physical therapist to achieve the maximal range of motion. Typically, the range of motion will progress quickly during the first three months and can continue to increase for up to two years following surgery.

    Normal motion after knee replacement is defined as the ability to get within 5 degrees of a straight knee and the ability to bend the knee back to 90 degrees. Most knee replacements have movement ranging from 0 degrees to 110 degrees or more.

    The optimal motion of the replaced knee can be achieved with a combination of stretches, exercises, and gradual resumption of normal activities. Some surgeons will recommend the use of a machine to bend the knee, called a CPM, .

    How Soon Will I Be Up And About

    Elevation To Reduce Swelling After A Total Knee Replacement

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Why Does My Knee Click When I Walk

    Looking After Your New Knee

    • continue to take any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain and swelling
    • use your walking aids;but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
    • keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
    • do not sit with your legs crossed for the first 6 weeks after your operation
    • do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as;this can result in a permanently bent knee
    • avoid twisting at your knee
    • wear supportive shoes outdoors
    • do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says;you can
    • raise your leg when sitting and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours to reduce any swelling

    Page last reviewed: 02 August 2019 Next review due: 02 August 2022

    How To Reduce Swelling After Foot Surgery

    Swelling and inflammation are your bodys natural responses to injury.

    However, too much swelling and inflammation can slow healing, cause additional pain during recovery, and make it difficult to move. Learning how to reduce swelling after foot surgery will help you recover faster and get back to full mobility more quickly.

    Following your doctors post-op procedures and adhering to these five simple tips on how to reduce swelling after foot surgery can help you recover and get back to everyday life faster.

    Recommended Reading: What Causes Your Knee To Lock Up

    Is It Normal To Have Swelling After Knee Surgery

    Swelling can be normal after many injuries and some surgeries. When should a patient worry about it, though? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain whether its normal to have knee swelling after arthroscopic surgery.

    Wallace asks:Is it normal to have swelling on the knee 3 weeks after arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear?

    When an orthopedic surgeon performs arthroscopic surgery of any joint the knee, shoulder, elbow and more we run a lot of fluid through the joint to distend it and improve our visibility. We try to remove that fluid at the end of the surgery, but swelling after knee surgery can be common.

    How long the swelling is present depends on what was done in the surgery. More invasive surgeries, like ACL reconstructions, have more swelling because the bones and the tunnels drilled bleed somewhat. Likewise, although not to the same extent, a surgery to sew a meniscus tear together a meniscus repair can have swelling for several weeks.

    In this video, I share some thoughts on what to look for and what you might ask your surgeon about your swelling after knee surgery.

    Also read:

    Will Swelling After Knee Replacement Surgery Go Down

    How to Manage Pain Swelling and Bruising After Total Knee ...

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

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    Recommended Reading: What Can Cause Your Knee To Swell And Hurt

    Why Is My Knee So Tight After Surgery

    Arthrofibrosis is also known as stiff knee syndrome. The condition sometimes occurs in a knee joint that has recently been injured. It can also occur after surgery on the knee, such as a knee replacement. Over time, scar tissue builds up inside the knee, causing the knee joint to shrink and tighten.

    More About Your Injury

    The PCL is one of several ligaments that keep your knee stable. The PCL helps keep your leg bones in place and allows your knee to move back and forth. It is the strongest ligament in the knee. PCL tears often occur as a result of a severe knee injury.

    Injuring the PCL takes a lot of force. It can occur if you:

    • Get hit very hard on the front of your knee, such as hitting your knee on the dashboard during a car accident
    • Fall hard on a bent knee
    • Bend the knee too far backward
    • Land the wrong way after jumping
    • Dislocate your knee

    PCL injuries commonly occur with other knee damage, including injuries to the nerves and blood vessels. Skiers and people who play basketball, football, or soccer are more likely to have this type of injury.

    Read Also: Why Are My Knees Aching

    Allowing The Body To Prevent Edema For Us

    Another common reason for leg swelling after surgery is dependent edema. Patients after surgery often do not move as much as they would otherwise. In fact, many of them sit around for hours with their legs dangling. So there is at least some overlap with the causes for swollen feet after sitting. Getting up, when possible, and encouraging movement should address this as well.

    How To Reduce Swelling After Knee Surgery

    Reduce Pain & Swelling After A Total Knee Replacement And Improve Range Of Motion At Home

    This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 32,352 times.

    Swelling may be moderate to severe in the first few days after knee replacement surgery, but it will gradually subside as you recover. Still, you might experience some mild to moderate swelling in the weeks and months following your recovery. Luckily, there are several strategies you can try to reduce swelling, such as following your doctors instructions after surgery and trying out exercises meant to reduce swelling. If you experience an increase in swelling, tell your doctor right away.

    Also Check: What Causes Knee Cap Pain

    The Biggest Mistake People Make After Knee Meniscus Surgery

    Did you have any meniscus surgery in the past and youre still dealing with pain, swelling and possibly even losing motion in your knee? Well, this is not normal. But youre also not alone. This happens way more often than I like to admit. And the good news is that it can be helped without another surgery. If youre watching this video today, and youre considering having a meniscus surgery for your knee, then youll want to listen closely so that you dont make this mistake after you have your meniscus surgery.

    And if youve already had your meniscus surgery, then you know what to do so that youre not getting more swelling, pain and not losing motion than that knee and youre staying out of the surgeons office, so you dont have to go back again for another knee surgery.

    My name is Dr. David Middaugh. And Im a specialist physical therapist El Paso manual physical therapy. And this channel is dedicated to helping people stay healthy, active and mobile. while avoiding unnecessary surgery, injections, and medications. Please subscribe to this channel and turn on your notifications so that you dont miss a single video with great tips and advice that we put out every single week. So lets get to it.

    Using Exercises To Decrease Swelling

  • 1Get clearance from your doctor before you start doing exercises. If you have had a surgery where doing exercises may be helpful for your recovery, your doctor will likely tell you this. However, you can always ask if you are unsure. Its important to check with your doctor to see if exercising is okay following your surgery, or find out if you will need to wait for a while.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Cancer SocietyNonprofit devoted to promoting cancer research, education, and supportGo to source
  • For example, if you have had a knee or hip replacement surgery, then your doctor may advise you to avoid certain types of movements, such as squatting or bending forward. But other types of gentle exercise may be beneficial, such as doing ankle pumps while lying down.
  • 2Do arm exercises if you have had a mastectomy or lymph node surgery. While lying or sitting, raise your arm above the level of your heart and hold it there. Then, open and close your hand 15 to 25 times while continuing to hold your arm up. This will help to promote drainage from your lymph nodes and reduce the swelling.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Cancer SocietyNonprofit devoted to promoting cancer research, education, and supportGo to source
  • One set is 15 to 25 hand openings and closings. Do 2 to 3 sets twice daily. You can keep your arm up in the air in between sets to continue to promote drainage.
  • Read Also: Where Can I Buy Copper Fit Knee Brace

    Elevation After Knee Replacement

    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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