What To Expect After A Total Knee Replacement

Posted on: 7 June 2017

When a person suffers from severe arthritis or has sustained extensive trauma to the knee, a total knee replacement may be necessary. During a knee replacement surgery, plastic and metal parts are used on the knee joint and knee cap to construct a new knee. If you need a total knee replacement, continue reading to learn more about what you can expect:

Hospital Stay

After your surgery is completed, you will need to spend a few days in the hospital so your orthopedic surgeon and nurses can monitor you. While in the hospital, you may be placed in a continuous passive motion machine, which will continually move your knee to help prevent joint stiffness. Your surgeon will also prescribe physical therapy prior to being discharged.

Since a knee replacement is major surgery, you are likely to experience some pain and discomfort afterwards. If you are in pain, let your nurse know so he or she can give medication to help. During your hospital stay, your doctor and nurses will help keep you comfortable. You will be discharged from the hospital when you are able to get out of bed on your own, walk around your room, and bend your knee.

Walking Assistance

By the time you are discharged from the hospital, you should be able to bear weight on your new knee. But most people do not feel comfortable walking without assistance for the first few weeks after surgery. Typically, people who undergo a total knee replacement will use a cane, walker, or crutches for a period of time as their knee continues to heal.

Help at Home

For several weeks after surgery you will most likely need assistance with daily activities around the house. If possible, arrange for a friend or family member to stay with you if you live alone. In the event that there is no one available to assist you, your insurance may pay for a home health aide to help you during your recovery.


Rehabbing a replaced knee can be a long process. You will need to be diligent about attending physical therapy and performing the exercises prescribed by your therapist at home. The more effort you put into physical therapy, the more likely your knee is to recover properly. Several weeks after total knee replacement you should be able to resume most activities, and regular exercise can help strengthen your replaced knee. However, activities that are high impact and require running or jumping should be avoided. 

For more information, contact companies like Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.