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Total Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement
Frequently Asked Questions

In the Hospital
You will be in the hospital for 3 days after surgery. Physical therapy will begin the day after surgery. You will also begin the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine the day after surgery. The case management worker will talk to you in the hospital to discuss setting up home health versus outpatient therapy versus inpatient rehab (this will depend on your insurance).

How long will my knee swell?
Swelling is normal for about 3 months after surgery. Swelling will increase as your activity increases. Submerging your leg in cool water up to your thigh will help to reduce swelling.

How long will it take to regain motion?
The goal is to achieve 0-120 degrees of motion. At your first postop appointment about 10-14 days after surgery your goal should be 0-90 degrees. It can take up to 3 months to regain 120 degrees of flexion. After 3 months if you are lacking a large amount of motion, we may consider using other methods to help you regain motion.

What exercises should I do on my own?
The most important exercise is simply to sit somewhere high (tailgate, tall chair, etc.) and swing your leg. Use your good leg to push the knee a little straighter and littler more bent. Get in a pool or lake and walk. Water therapy is excellent for total joint replacements. Do not begin water therapy until our office has cleared you.

How long should I use walker/cane/crutches?
Your new knee is stable and able to hold all of your weight immediately after surgery. Walking aids are just for your stability. Typically patients use a walker for 1-2 weeks and then a cane or crutch for another week and then nothing. You may require walking aids for longer periods or may progress to nothing more quickly.

What is that clicking sound in my knee?
That sound is the metal rubbing on the plastic. It’s normal.

My knee feels numb on the outside. Why?
The nerves on your skin grow from the inside to the outside. These nerves are cut during surgery. Having decreased sensation on the outside of the incision is normal. These nerves may or may not regenerate. It can take 3-5 years for this sensation to return.

What restrictions do I have in terms of my activity level?
After your knee has healed from surgery you may do almost all activities. Your only restriction is no jogging distances. This is because the plastic spacer will wear out sooner due to the high impact. You may run if you are being chased. You may play golf, tennis, basketball, and pretty much everything else.

Can I kneel on my knee?
Yes. Kneeling will not cause damage to your implant. It may be uncomfortable for you to knee. Everyone is different and some people can kneel and some people cannot.

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