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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelling

What you need to know for a successful knee replacement RECOVERY!

First, you have to MOVE YOUR KNEE.  Starting day one, bend the knee and straighten the knee.  It’s really that simple but also essential to have the best results. The first two weeks following a knee replacement are very challenging in terms of movement and pain. Make sure you have your schedule completely cleared out during this time frame so you can simply focus on getting your knee moving again.  

Second, there WILL BE PAIN!  Again, the first two weeks are the worst.  Once you get through that phase the pain tends to subside and becomes much more manageable. You will then begin to use it better and get it to function more.  The knee will remain very stiff from two weeks up through three months. After three months many people will turn a corner and return to most of the activities that they enjoy.  At three months we expect people to go up and down stairs step over step without assistance.  However, if you are not 100% at three months that’s okay. It takes over a year for the tissues around the replacement to fully heal so be prepared for the long haul!

Third, PROTECT YOUR KNEE!  Be smart and use your walker for the first two weeks after surgery in order to avoid falling and reduce swelling.  Using a walker will keep you stable and will remove some of the stress from your knee caused by weight bearing and this will in turn reduce the amount of swelling that you experience.  By maintaining control of the swelling you will set yourself up for better knee mobility which allows for better function and a smoother rehab process.  

You also need to take measures to avoid infection.  This means keeping the incision clean and avoid all risks of infection.  Infection would be indicated by increased redness, swelling, and pain around the knee.  While a knee replacement always comes with some redness, swelling, and pain, it should be at its worst in the first week after surgery. If these symptoms worsen after the first week then this could be an indicator of infection.  An infection usually comes with other systemic symptoms like a fever which is a sign to immediately get ahold of your surgeon. 

Hopefully you found this helpful.  If someone you know is considering a knee replacement be sure to send this information their way!  If you have any questions, feel free to email us at


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