Total Knee Replacement

Recovery and Rehabilitation

How long will it take to recover?

It takes about 3 months to recover from this operation. You will be given exercises to do for a month after your surgery. You will also be shown how to safely climb stairs, shower, dress and toilet yourself.

It is important to follow the advise of your surgeon and physiotherapist in order to ensure the recovery goes smoothly.


Wound Care | How do I look after my wound?

It is importatnt to keep your wound as dry as possible.

Most patients are discharged home with a waterproof dressing, which can be left on for showering.

During the first 24 hours, it is normal to have some minor bleeding. After being discharded home, there should be no discharge, redness or bleeding around the wound.

If there is redness, discharge or a foul odour, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Wound Care | When will my stitches be removed?

There are a number of ways your wounds may be closed.

You may have either have

  • nonabsorbable stitches
  • absorbable stitches
  • surgical staples.

The stitches or staples are usually removed 10-14 days after surgery.

Diet | What should I eat and drink?

There are usually no specific diet or extra vitamins / nutrients needed to recover from a total knee replacement operation.

It is important to have a normal healthy balanced diet and plenty of nonalcoholic fluids.

Activity | What exercises should I do at home?

Physiotherapy and the exercises that you perform at home are extremely important to achieve the best results after a knee replacement.

After returning home, you should gradually be able to do more and more. It is important to look after your new knee and follow your surgeon's and physiotherapy instructions.

Your program may include exerises that work on your:

  • walking
  • sitting
  • stair climbing
  • muscle strength

Avoiding Falls

A fall during the first few weeks after surgery can damage your new hip and may result in a need for more surgery.

Be careful on Stairs. Stairs are a particular hazard until your knee is strong and mobile, and you've regained your balance. You should use a walking aid such as cane, crutches, a walker. Use the handrails on your stairs or ask for someone to help you., or handrails or have someone help you.

Looking after my knee joint

Joint replacements can become infected at any time after the surgery from the first postoperative day to many years down the line.

You can take the following steps to help prevent infection:

  • Take antibiotics before dental or any medical procedure.
  • See your doctor to treat all suspected urinary tract infections.
  • Look for signs of infection in the knee including pain, redness, swelling or increased warmth.
  • Your new joint replacement may trigger airport metal detector alarms. We will give you a certificate that verifies that you had a knee replacement.
  • Keep in mind that you need to protect your knee replacement to ensure a long lasting, successful result. Follow all instructions concerning any activity restrictions.

18 April, 2014