How Long Is the Recovery Period from Total Knee Replacement?

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If you’re facing knee replacement surgery, you probably have this question on your mind: how long until I’m back to normal after knee replacement surgery? The impact of knee replacement surgery is different for every patient. Your current health condition, medical history, family background, diet, age, and even stress level can play a significant role in your recovery.

There are a few common stages of recovery that most patients experience following knee replacement surgery:

  • Initial Recovery: Your orthopedic surgeon will probably want you to be taking a few steps with your new knee within hours of surgery. This encourages blood flow to help prevent blood clots and mobilize any extra fluid received during surgery. You will probably be in the hospital for one or two days following knee replacement surgery. Pain is highly variable but is frequently controlled with a combination of medicines.
  • Weeks 1-2: As you transition home, you may be feeling like your knee feels strong and reliable again. This is where you need to trust your doctor’s advice: take it slowly. Your doctor will probably prescribe physical therapy to increase mobility. Follow their direction and give your body enough time to heal.
  • Weeks 3-6: Exercise and increasing activities are essential to a successful recovery. Physical therapy may be painful, but it will help your body regain mobility and strength over time. This means your new knee can have the greatest opportunity to improve your lifestyle.

Most patients are able to resume moderate levels of activity within the first three months following total knee replacement surgery. More strenuous exercises, including higher impact sports, jumping, and heavy lifting are strongly discouraged for several months, even up to a year following surgery. As with all exercises and physical activity, we recommend consulting with your doctor before beginning any exercise following surgery.

Are you curious about the post-total knee replacement recovery period? Download our FREE resource The Step-by-Step Guide to Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery and What to Expect Following Surgery”. This valuable gift will give you a clear perspective on the weeks and months after surgery and how you can best prepare in advance.

If you’re in need of knee replacement surgery, our team of board-certified physicians are some of St. Louis’ best at knee arthroplasty. We encourage you to ask questions, share your concerns, and give our team a chance to serve you. Connect with Orthopedic Associates today.