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What To Expect With Knee Replacement Surgery

What To Expect For Recovery

Knee Replacement Surgery | What to Expect

Patients who have knee replacement surgery will typically be hospitalised and monitored for several days before being discharged. Some pain is to be expected, but it is recommended to move your foot and ankle to encourage blood flow and prevent blood clots. It is important to follow your doctors instructions on bathing and changing wound dressings. You will need to use crutches to move around for about six weeks after surgery. A follow-up appointment will be arranged for the removal of stitches or surgical staples. It may take three months or so for the pain to subside, and full recovery may take at least a year with the help of physical therapy.;

The good news? Individuals who had knee replacement surgery can go on to live active lifestyles, enjoying restored mobility and strength in their knee joint. It may be a daunting procedure, but it can be highly worthwhile as it offers you a pain-free life.;

If you have any questions about knee replacement surgery in Singapore, or if you would like to know whether you are suitable for it, reach out to us at OrthofootMD.;

Motivation To Regain Physical Function

And finally, Dr. Courtney sees another factor speeding recovery for certain patients. Motivation is big one, especially with knee replacement surgery, he says. If patients are involved in sports, like golf, tennis, or swimming, their motivation to get back to their activities plays an important role.

Immediately After The Operation

After the operation, you can expect:

  • Your knee is covered with a dressing and a drainage tube removes excess fluids from the wound.
  • You are monitored by nursing staff who regularly check your vital signs .
  • You are given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
  • You are given medications to thin your blood and reduce the risk of clots both during and after the operation.
  • Strong pain relief can be given via an epidural or drip.
  • You can start eating again on the second day after your operation.
  • Nurses encourage you to move your feet and bend your other leg as soon as you can this helps to reduce the risk of clot formation.
  • You are encouraged to walk around on the second day after surgery.
  • Physiotherapists show you how to perform knee exercises.
  • Occupational therapists advise you on how to best modify your home to make daily life easier during your recovery .
  • Knee replacement surgery without complications usually involves a seven to 10 day hospital stay.
  • Your stitches are removed about 10 days after surgery.

Read Also: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery

Returning To Activities / Sports

Here is some more guidance relating to specific activities and knee replacement recovery time:

  • You can resume many activities after 6-12 weeks, for example swimming
  • Some activities should be carried out with care e.g. golf dont wear shoes with spikes
  • Some activities are not advised following a total knee replacement as they put too much stress on the new knee joint. These include: jogging, contact sports e.g. basketball and football, squash, badminton, jumping activities and skiing. If you are unsure, discuss things with your doctor.

Pain and swelling can take up to 3 months to settle and knee replacement recovery time continues up to 2 years after your operation.

Why Have Knee Replacement Surgery

What to Expect When Recovering From Knee Replacement ...

There are three common reasons for the procedure:

Osteoarthritis: this type of arthritis is age related, caused by the normal wear and tear of the knee joint. It mostly affects patients aged over 50 years, but younger people may have it.

Osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation, breakdown, and the gradual and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Over time, the cartilage wears down and the bones rub together. To compensate, the bones often grow thicker, but this results in more friction and more pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis: also called inflammatory arthritis, the membrane around the knee joint to become thick and inflamed. Chronic inflammation damages the cartilage, causing soreness and stiffness.

Post-traumatic arthritis: this type of arthritis is due to a severe knee injury. When the bones around the knee break or the ligaments tear, this will affect the knee cartilage.

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What Should I Expect When Undergoing Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Whether youre thinking about having a total knee replacement or youre currently in the works of setting up a consultation, its important to do your homework to better understand what lies ahead.

Meet Dr. Barry Cayen, Orthopedic Surgeon, specializing in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery, Sports Surgery of the Knee, and Trauma. Dr. Cayen operates out of Humber River Hospital and at our Clearpoint Health Surgical Centre in Toronto, serving private surgery patients in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and throughout Canada. Practicing an overall heathy lifestyle, Dr. Cayen enjoys activities such as, mountain biking, downhill skiing, and tennis to name a few. Dr. Cayen is a firm believer in mixing up various exercise regimens as it will help avoid overuse injuries. Maintaining a loving and supportive family life is extremely important for not only his personal happiness, but there is an increasing evidence that it is important for overall physical health and longevity.

We wanted to share Dr. Cayens insight on one of the most top requested surgeries across Canada, Total Knee Replacement Surgery and why this procedure is changing lives every day.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure & Techniques

Total knee replacement is a successful surgery for the treatment of severe knee arthritis. ;The knee joint is connection between the bottom the thigh bone and the top of the leg bone . ;Knee arthritis is when the cartilage cap surrounding these bones in the knee wears out.

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Taking Care Of Your Wound

Taking care of the surgical site is another vital component of recovery.

Most likely, youll have suture underneath your skin that wont have to be removed. If your surgery requires exposed stitches or staples, those will be removed in the weeks following surgery in your surgeons office.

Remember to keep the wound dry until its completely sealed. A sterile bandage will be placed after surgery and you will be given instructions when you can take this off.

Recommended Reading: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery

When Can A Knee Replacement Patient Leave The Hospital

Most knee replacement patients will be discharged once pain is under control and they are able to:

  • Get in and out of bed and walk short distances with the aid of a walker or crutches
  • Get into and out of bed and get up and down stairs
  • Bend the knee 90 degrees
  • Follow precautions to avoid injuring the new knee

Discharge criteria can vary depending on the patient and the hospitals policy. For example, some hospitals may require the patient to only bend the knee 80 degrees.

Some patients meet the criteria for discharge after just one or two days. People who have two knees replaced at the same time, certain pre-existing medical conditions, uncontrolled pain, or general weakness may be kept in the hospital longer.

See Facts and Considerations for Total Knee Replacement

Discharge to a rehabilitation facilityPatients who live in multi-level homes, who do not have live-in caregivers, or who face other rehabilitation challenges may be discharged to a short-term care facility that provides health care and physical and occupational therapy. These stays may be covered by insurance, depending on the policy and patient circumstances.

Are You A Candidate For The Io

Knee Replacement: What to Expect | IU Health

Choosing to undergo total knee replacement surgery is a life-changing decision. If youd like to explore other options before moving ahead with surgery, find out if youre a candidate for the iO-Core procedure. Many people who were told they needed a total joint replacement surgery have found long-term pain relief and greater mobility from iO-Core instead. Contact our team today to learn more and see if you qualify.

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Possible Benefits Of Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Regardless of whether a traditional total knee replacement or a minimally-invasive partial knee replacement is performed the goals and possible benefits are the same: relief of pain and restoration of function.

The large majority of total knee replacement patients experience substantial or complete relief of pain once they have recovered from the procedure. The large majority walk without a limp and most dont require a cane, even if they used one before the surgery. It is quite likely that you know someone with a knee replacement who walks so well that you dont know he even had surgery!

Frequently the stiffness from arthritis is also relieved by the surgery. Very often the distance one can walk will improve as well because of diminished pain and stiffness. The enjoyment of reasonable recreational activities such as golf, dancing, traveling, and swimming almost always improves following total knee replacement.

How Much Should You Walk After A Knee Replacement

After you have recovered from your knee replacement surgery, you should be able to walk normally with minimal pain or no pain at all. Youll likely be able to return to your normal activities.;

Its crucial is to take your time during the recovery process, complete all of your physiotherapy, and wait until your knee is fully recovered before doing all the things you used to do pre-surgery.

Make sure to get the ok from your doctor or physiotherapist before returning to any activities.

Pending on your recovery and your own situation it might be recommend that you exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day and walk for 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day during your early recovery Orthoinofo

Also Check: Knee Needs To Pop

Medical Issues To Consider

Prior to the operation, you will need to discuss a range of issues with your doctor or surgeon, including:

  • Thorough assessment of your knee joint, which may include x-rays and other imaging techniques.
  • Your medical history. If you are elderly, you will need to undergo tests to make sure you are fit for the operation. These tests may include an electrocardiogram and blood tests.
  • Inform your doctor about any drugs you may be regularly taking, particularly drugs that affect the bloods ability to clot such as aspirin or Warfarin.
  • Your expectations you need to understand that although the prosthesis is sophisticated, it cant replicate the full function of a healthy knee joint.Possible complications of surgery will also be discussed.

Characteristics Of Severe Arthritis Of The Knee

What To Expect After Total Knee Joint Replacement Surgery ...


Pain is the most noticeable symptom of knee arthritis. In most patients the knee pain gradually gets worse over time but sometimes has more sudden flares where the symptoms get acutely severe. The pain is almost always worsened by weight-bearing and activity. In some patients the knee pain becomes severe enough to limit even routine daily activities.


Morning stiffness is present in certain types of arthritis. Patients with morning stiffness of the knee may notice some improvement in knee flexibility over the course of the day. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience more frequent morning stiffness than patients with osteoarthritis.

Swelling and warmth

Patients with arthritis sometimes will notice swelling and warmth of the knee. If the swelling and warmth are excessive and are associated with severe pain, inability to bend the knee, and difficulty with weight-bearing, those signs might represent an infection. Such severe symptoms require immediate medical attention. Joint infection of the knee is discussed below.


The knee joint has three compartments that can be involved with arthritis . Most patients have both symptoms and findings on X-rays that suggest involvement of two or more of these compartments; for example, pain on the lateral side and beneath the kneecap . Patients who have arthritis in two or all three compartments, and who decide to get surgery, most often will undergo total knee replacement .

Also Check: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery

What Should I Expect During The First Six Weeks After Discharge

During the first six weeks after discharge, you should be making progress week by week. Most patients are eager to report their progress at follow-up visits and are ready to move to the next level in their recovery. Most patients can accomplish the following during the first six weeks after total joint replacement:

  • Walk without help on a level surface with the use of walker, crutches or cane as appropriate.
  • Climb stairs as tolerated.
  • Get in and out of bed without help.
  • Get in and out of a chair or car without help.
  • Shower using a tub bench once staples are removed as long as there are no issues with the incision.
  • Resume your activities of daily living including cooking, light chores, walking and going outside the home. You should certainly be awake and moving around most of the day.
  • Some patients return to work before the first follow-up visit. This is approved on an individual basis and should be discussed with your surgeon.

Icing and elevation

After a joint replacement, swelling is expected. Swelling can cause increased pain and limit your range of motion, so taking steps to reduce the swelling is important. Continue using ice packs or some form of cold therapy to help reduce swelling.

Sexual activity after joint replacement

Many people worry about resuming sexual activity after a joint replacement.

Resuming your diet

If youre not eating well after surgery, contact your healthcare provider about nutritional supplements.

How Does The Patient Continue To Improve As An Outpatient After Discharge From The Hospital What Are Recommended Exercises

For an optimal outcome after total knee replacement surgery, it is important for patients to continue in an outpatient physical-therapy program along with home exercises during the healing process. Patients will be asked to continue exercising the muscles around the replaced joint to prevent scarring and maintain muscle strength for the purposes of joint stability. These exercises after surgery can reduce recovery time and lead to optimal strength and stability.

The wound will be monitored by the surgeon and his/her staff for healing. Patients also should watch for warning signs of infection, including abnormal redness, increasing warmth, swelling, or unusual pain. It is important to report any injury to the joint to the doctor immediately.

Future activities are generally limited to those that do not risk injuring the replaced joint. Sports that involve running or contact are avoided, in favor of leisure sports, such as golf, and swimming. Swimming is the ideal form of exercise, since the sport improves muscle strength and endurance without exerting any pressure or stress on the replaced joint.

Patients with joint replacements should alert their doctors and dentists that they have an artificial joint. These joints are at risk for infection by bacteria introduced by any invasive procedures such as surgery, dental or gum procedures, urological and endoscopic procedures, as well as from infections elsewhere in the body.

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What To Expect After A Total Knee Replacement

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  • If you struggle with chronic knee pain and knee mobility, your doctor may recommend total knee replacement surgery once conservative treatment options are exhausted. Knowing what to expect after a total knee replacement can help you regain knee strength and mobility so that you can resume independent living more quickly.

    What To Expect Before During And After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    What to Expect During your Knee Replacement Surgery hospitalization

    As total knee replacements become more common, some of our clients have questions about staying active before and after surgery, as well as questions about the surgery itself. Those who are very active want to keep their current lifestyle and activity levels post-surgery. A common misconception is that once you have a total knee replacement, you can no longer be active on that knee. The fact is, you can be active post-surgery, however you have to be cautious about what types of activities you choose. If you are a candidate for a knee replacement who has some concerns about your lifestyle post-surgery, we have some pointers for what you can expect.

    Read Also: How To Get Your Knee To Pop

    Prepare Your Home For Life After Knee Replacement Surgery

    Walking and moving around the house may be difficult for you in the first days and weeks after your surgery. Your body needs time to heal. So, its important to take some steps to prepare your home for after knee replacement surgery.

    Here are a few things you can do before surgery to make your home safer and more comfortable for you while you heal.

    • Move tripping hazards to avoid falls. Items like throw rugs, childrens toys, electrical cords and general clutter can get in your way and cause you to trip or slip. So, make sure your floors are clear.
    • Clear a walking path around all furniture. Youll likely need a walker, crutches or walking assistance from a loved one for a while after surgery. Rearranging your furniture so you can easily move around it can make your recovery easier. Try to create pathways that are at least three feet wide.
    • Place items youll need within reach. You might have trouble bending down after surgery. Take anything you need regularly out of lower cabinets and store them somewhere you can access them without bending your knees. Keeping a grabbing device nearby can also help you pick up items that are low to the ground.
    • Consider adding safety rails to your bathroom. This will make it safer and easier for you to use the bathroom.
    • Arrange a one-level living space. Stairs can be difficult to climb while youre recovering. If you live in a house with multiple levels, consider adjusting your living space as much as possible so you can recover on one level.


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