Recovery & Rehabilitation

What to expect from knee replacement recovery & rehabilitation

A video that depicts the post-operative phase of the knee replacement surgery and what a patient can expect after this procedure.
Post-Operative Care

When your surgery is complete, it’s time to focus on your recovery and the rehabilitation you’ll need to get back to your normal activities. By sticking to your rehabilitation program and following your doctor’s orders, you can improve the results of your knee replacement.

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During your first week post surgery, you may experience:

  • Some pain – You’ll be prescribed pain medication to help make you comfortable.
  • Rehabilitation – There should be noticeable improvement every day.
  • Discomfort while exercising – It’s normal to feel some discomfort after surgery when performing exercises prescribed by your physical therapist.

Warning sign – Discomfort levels should diminish three days after surgery. If you have increasing pain in and around the knee joint three days after surgery, contact your surgeon.

Two to four weeks into your journey to recovery, you may be able to perform activities like walking up stairs, driving, kneeling and going back to work.

Everyone is different—be sure to listen to your body and ask your doctor whenever you’re in doubt. For more detailed information about your recovery,read the Weekly recovery calendar and Transitioning from hospital care.



The performance of knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee replacement is right for you.

DSUS/JRC/0914/0475(1) 10/2016

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