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How To Sleep After Knee Surgery

When Can I Go Back To Work After Knee Surgery

How should i sleep after knee replacement?

The faster you get back to work, the better it is for you, psychologically and physically. We can accommodate your requests for time off work and your return to limited duties. Each individual and job situation is different. Your medical team will work with you to expedite your transition back to your job. Some people with desk jobs have returned to limited work in two weeks after knee replacement others have preferred to take several months off.

Sleeping After Abdominal Surgery

For example and this is merely one example you might have had a surgery in the abdominal region. Recovering from those can be more complicated than you think.

So, under those circumstances, you normally want a little bend at the waist. You see being straight upright tends to pull on the incision lines in that area of the body.

If the elevation is for whatever reason, not a practical option, there is also the choice of sleeping in a recliner chair. You also want to avoid sleeping on your sides and a recliner chair helps escape that temptation too.

If you think about it practically, when you are sleeping on one of your sides, the side of your body that is on the downside is likely to swell at a more alarming rate than the side of your body facing up. That lengthens recovery time and can present additional complications post-surgery.

The last thing you want or need is to end up popping stitches. The pain and discomfort you are likely experiencing post-surgery are bad enough. The last thing you need is an additional complication.

During the first few weeks after major abdominal surgery, your movements will be hugely restricted. Some doctors advise that tilting slightly to one side when sleeping is acceptable but never sleeping fully onto one side.

The most difficult part during a period like this is avoiding the temptation to ignore the restrictions or even push the boundaries.

Why Is The Outside Of My Knee Numb

This is normal after all knee surgery. The incision cuts small nerve fibers that run from inside to outside of the knee, so the skin to the outside of the cut always feels numb after knee surgery. Usually, this sensation will resolve over time and is not a major problem for patients. Most patients will not notice that the outside of the scar feels numb.

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Why Is It Hard To Sleep After Surgery

The amount of sleep you get after surgery can be determined by a number of things, which include: pain, reaction to treatment and medication and even the psychological burden that comes with worrying about the surgical incision lines.

Doctors will always place a considerable amount of emphasis on patients not putting any extra stress or strain on the incision lines. Failure to comply with those instructions and sometimes that is out of a patients control risk undoing everything that medical practitioners had hoped to achieve before performing the surgery.

Because patients can end up doing that damage to their surgical wounds without even knowing it, doctors and nurses often have to intervene in the immediate aftermath of a surgery.

Among other things, you want any swelling to be reduced after surgery. You need gravity to help you reduce that swelling. So, whether you are still in the hospital or whether you are allowed to return home after surgery, one of the key aspects is to elevate the affected part of the body.

You may have to spend at least one night in the hospital so in case you do why not be a little more prepared and read this article about sleeping in a noisy hospital. Just click here and you will get a heap of tips you had not thought of.

Insomnia After Knee Replacement

Best Position To Sleep After A Total Knee Replacement ...

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to go to sleep or to stay asleep.

Discomfort and pain may affect your sleep after a knee replacement. Over 50 percent of people who have had knee surgery wake up in the morning with pain, according to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons .

Medication use and restricted leg movements during the night can also contribute to sleeping problems.

Sleep is important for both mental wellbeing and physical healing. If you have trouble with insomnia, it is a good idea to try to find a solution.

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Activities With A High Risk Of Falling

After a total knee replacement, loss of strength, range of motion, and balance lead to an increased risk of falling. A fall can damage the prosthesis or interfere with the healing process.

A 2018 study found that 17.2 percent of a group of 134 people who had undergone a knee replacement fell at least once within 6 months of their operation. Roughly two-thirds of these falls occurred when walking.

Some lifestyle modifications to reduce your risk of falling include:

  • using the handrail when going up and down the stairs
  • using a rubber mat or shower chair when showering
  • sitting down when putting on shorts or pants
  • keeping the floor clear of stray toys, slippery rugs, and other objects that pose a tripping hazard
  • avoiding slippery terrains like mud, ice, or wet grass

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Follow Sleep Hygiene Measures To Trigger Sleep

These simple and inexpensive measures can have a significant effect on improving the quality of your sleep.

I have always stressed the importance of sleep hygiene in conjunction with medications and other therapies.

The following is a list of recommendations that you should follow after knee surgery:

  • Go to bed at a fixed time, and do not disturb this cycle, even on weekends.
  • Go to the bedroom only when you are sleepy, and get out of your bed if you are unable to sleep after 30 minutes.
  • Do not watch TV, eat, play games, or use your mobile devices in the bed.
  • Do not exercise before going to bed.
  • A dark and quiet room will stimulate sleep.
  • Relax your mind.

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Reduce Stress To Improve Sleep Quality

Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the strategies used to reduce stress levels after surgery.

Stress is a normal response after surgery, due to multiple factors such as trauma, pain, a feeling of losing control, separation from family, and limited mobility.

However, stress has a negative impact on sleep, as well as on wound healing .

Moreover, lack of sleep worsens the stress, and a vicious cycle starts.

Therefore, to experience good quality sleep, it is essential to control your stress levels.

I have compiled a list of recommendations to help you with this:

  • You should reassure yourself that stress is a normal response to an unusual situation, and everything will be back to normal in a short while.
  • Discuss your worries and fears with your friends, family, or doctor. Do not keep them yourself.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Practice relaxation exercises.

What Should I Expect

How to Sleep after Knee Surgery | Knee Replacement, Injury or Surgery

Its important to note that everyone has different pain level tolerances, and no two cases are the same because our knees are complex joints. Knees are the second-largest joints in the body, after the hip joints. As such, a knee replacement is a complicated surgery that involves balancing ligaments, cutting into the bones of the knee joint, and replacing parts of the knee joint with artificial parts. The manipulation of the knee joint to place the parts leads to the pain after the procedure. Postoperative pain after knee replacement surgery is related to the healing, stretching, bending, and rotating that the knee must do after surgery.

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Do Follow Your Doctors Instructions On Caring For The Wound

To avoid post-op infection, be sure you understand how and when to change your bandage. If the skin aroundthe wound becomes red or drains, or if you develop a fever and chills, call your doctor right away. To avoidcomplications of a clot, call your doctor if your leg is tender, swells unduly below or above the knee, orif you develop pain in your leg or calf.

How Do You Get Out Of Bed After Knee Replacement Surgery

Sometimes getting in bed is harder than getting out of bed. Weakness in the hip and thigh makes flexing the hip to get the surgical leg into bed a monumental challenge. Regardless of whether you are getting in or out of bed, the recommendation is to use a log roll position. Turn to your side facing the edge of the bed. It is preferred to have the surgical leg resting on top of the non-surgical leg. As you slide both feet and lower legs off the side of the bed your hands will push your torso up so you will be sitting in the middle edge of the bed.

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How To Sleep On Side After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery can change a person’s life for the better in many ways 12. Many patients are able to resume activities they have been unable to do for some time. Sleeping after a total knee replacement can present something of a challenge, however, and learning some tricks to help you sleep in different positions can come in handy 12.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Why Elevating Legs Above Your Heart Is Important

Total Hip Precautions: Anterior, Posterior &  Lateral ...

People often say the level to elevate your legs should be above the heart. But what does this mean?

If youre laying flat on your back you dont need to raise your legs very high to be above your heart . However, if youre sitting upright, your legs will also need to be high to be level with your heart .

Simply put, raising your legs above heart level makes it easier for blood to exit your legs and return to your heart which helps filter toxins. Whether it be working all day on our feet or exercising, blood and fluid can build up in our legs and cause swelling .

At night we typically sleep horizontal which makes it easy on our heart to flush out blood and fluid from our limbs. If youve recently had an injury, or surgery, elevating our legs more frequently can be healthy.

According to Livestrong, to improve circulation, elevate legs above the heart level to promote venous drainage and reduce swelling. Furthermore, in excess of 45 degrees is not recommended.

Keep leg elevated for twenty minutes.

To improve circulation while legs are elevated, move your feet in a circular motion to get blood moving.

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Tips For Improving Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping after surgery, it’s important to try to pinpoint the issue.

If lights are keeping you awake, a sleep mask may help. If you are struggling with noise, ask the staff to decrease the noise level or consider using earplugs. If the temperature is an issue, ask about changing the thermostat before going to sleep.

You may sleep better sitting up in a comfortable chair or with extra pillows, especially if you have sleep apnea or snore. The change in the height of your head can often decrease these symptoms and allow for more restful sleep.

If medications are interfering with sleep, ask your healthcare provider if they can adjust the dose or switch to another drug. If pain medications are the problem, you may benefit from switching to a non-opioid pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil .

Bear in mind that over-the-counter pain relievers may not be as effective as their prescription counterparts. Weigh the benefits and potential consequences before requesting a change.

Never alter a medication dose or stop treatment without first speaking with your healthcare provider.

You may need to ask family members to keep visits short if they are causing you stress. Most of all, don’t stay silent if you’re having trouble sleeping. The less sleep you have, the slower your recovery may be.

Tips To Get To Sleepand Stay Asleep

Like the number of factors that are working together and causing you to lie awake at night, a bunch of things work together to help you sleep better. By employing a handful of tactics that are proven to promote better sleep, you should be able to catch more zzzs at night. Here are some tips you can follow ASAP, to rest easy.

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When Can I Travel After Surgery

Whenever you feel comfortable, go ahead and travel by car or airplane. It is best to avoid the same seated position for over an hour, so try to get up and move around when possible. Otherwise, make sure to do ankle and calf exercises every hour to keep the blood pumping and avoid the possibility of blood clots forming. Prolonged sitting will also cause leg swelling, so it is best to change position during travel if possible.

Why Is Recovery After Knee Replacement Said To Be Harder Than After Hip Replacement

Best Sleeping Positions to IMPROVE SLEEP After Knee Replacement Surgery

One, the hip has more muscles covering it, and fewer nerves.

Two, the hip joint is relatively simple, consisting of one kind of movement .

Three, hip surgery can be done even less invasively than knee replacement using modern techniques.

Four, after a hip replacement, very little exercise is necessary for recovery, since there is little risk of the hip getting stiff. In contrast, the knee is a complex joint, relying on outside ligaments for support. These ligaments get stretched with every step. There is very little muscle cover around the knee, so that any bump is felt in the joint.

Finally, the knee tends to scar and stiffen quickly, and the joint must be moved actively to prevent this, and regain motion. For these reasons, recovery after hip replacement is typically a lot easier than recovery after knee replacement.

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S To Take Before Taking Your Next Step: The Best Way To Elevate Feet After Surgery

If youve recently had foot, ankle or leg surgery, theres a good chance that your doctor discharged you with a long list of post-operative instructions. One of the most important yet least understood tasks on the list is post-surgery leg elevation. It seems simple, right? Just prop your treated leg up on a pillow and go about your life. Indeed, there isnt that much to it. But the truth is that many people improperly elevate the legs, which can actually make things worse. Understanding a little bit more about this post-op principle will help ensure that you get on the mend faster and with no complications.

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Sleeping After Hip Surgery


  • Sleep on your back with a pillow between your knees. Avoid crossing your surgical leg across the middle of your body.
  • Sleep on your non-operative side with pillows between your legs. Avoid bending your knees.


  • Sleep with pillows under your knees.
  • Turn or twist your leg or toes inward.
  • Cross your legs and ankles.

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Why Do People Put A Pillow Between Their Knees

A pillow between the knees is commonly used by clients to reduce low back pain. After a total knee replacement a pillow between the knees can help support the surgical knee and balance the stress placed on the knee while positioned in side lying. The most common advice is to place a large enough pillow between the knees that the surgical knee is inline with or slightly higher than the surgical side hip.

Anthony Maritato, PT

Physical Therapist

Anthony Maritato, PT has been a licensed physical therapist and private practice owner since 2006. Ohio license #PT011602.

Anthony has been passionate about helping patients recover from total knee replacement surgery as well as rotator cuff repair surgery.

Why Are My Appetite Mood Food

Total Knee Replacement

Altered appetite, bowel habits, depression, and mood swings are common after any major elective surgery, including knee replacement. This is very important to know, understand, and anticipate. In some cases, medications might be necessary to control such symptoms.

All surgery elicits powerful psychosocial and physiological responses from the patient and vary from one person to another. These responses are normal, and we will help you get through them. It takes time for the body, mind, and soul to recover from any invasive operation.

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What More Should I Know About Blood Clots

Any surgery increases the risk of blood clot formation. Some patients are genetically predisposed to clot formation and are at a higher risk. If you have ever had clots in the past, please be sure to let your doctor know.

Clots can cause serious problems such as heart or vascular disease, or a stroke. A lung injury can occur if the clot migrates to your lungs from the leg. A large enough clot migrating to the heart or lungs can be fatal.

Anti-coagulation therapy is recommended after all knee replacement operations to reduce the likelihood of developing a clot. Even if a clot develops in the leg, if you are on a blood-thinner, the risk of the clot enlarging and migrating to the lungs is reduced. Exercises, spinal anesthetics, early mobilization, intermittent foot pumps, and blood-thinning medications are all aimed at reducing the risk of blood-clot formation after surgery.

What Happens If You Dont Do Physical Therapy After Knee Surgery

Why you should commit to physical therapy after knee surgery

Its important to get moving and functioning as soon after the procedure otherwise, the following can occur: Decreased blood flow to the area can negatively affect healing at the surgical site. Muscles can weaken and atrophy if they go too long without use.

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