How long is the recovery time after knee replacement surgery?

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22 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
I had knee replacement surgery 8 weeks ago, and I would never do it again.it was the worse surgery I ever had. Very painful, 24/7 the whole time. Dr says I have a lot of scar tissue so I am always  massage in the knee with vitamin E oil and ginger oil . But nothing helps the pain. I live in pain every day and night. I would never do this again. Dr says my other knee is bad also, too bad I’m not doing it. I will find something else. So if you ask me, i’d Say no don’t do knee replacement unless you want to cry 24/7
It'll surpass. And thanks for sharing.
It depends on the individual. I had it a year ago and now on occasion, I can't bend or lift it. I don't know.
I had my left one done 15 years ago it’s still working well but starting to swell because of the pressure added to it by the other knee that will be fine in December. Did it hurt? Of course. But I was up to the bathroom I’m 3 days on my own and driving myself to physical therapy in 3 weeks. I know every one is different. The real question is can you live with what you have now?
what's the pressure added to it by another knee?

For the swelling of the replaced one, you need to be alert that several factors can also cause the swelling, which were shown as follows:

Loosening of the implant: This is most often the cause of pain years or decades after the knee replacement; however, it is seldom the cause of persistent pain right after surgery.
Infection: Infection is a serious and worrisome concern. Any increase in pain after knee replacement should raise concerns for infection. Most often, the signs of infection are obvious, but subtle infections may be the cause of persistent discomfort.
Patellofemoral (kneecap) problems: Kneecap problems are a common cause of knee replacement pain. Significant forces are applied to the kneecap, even with normal activities, such as getting up from a chair or walking down the stairs. Getting a kneecap to perform well with a replacement can be technically challenging even for a skilled surgeon.
Alignment problems: Many patients focus on the knee replacement implant brand or type. But most surgeons will tell you the brand matters much less than how well the implant is put in. A poorly aligned implant may not function well, no matter the brand. Surgeons are investigating if computer navigation will help improve implant alignment.

Thus, you'd better be examined by an orthopedist.
I agree! Never again!!!!
Just wondering how old you are?  I am 77 and would love such an outcome but last left leg was torture for 4 mo
Had mine done in New Albany Ohio.  1week ago the knee replacement no pain or very little.  It's the hospital to go. JIS   Dr hurst. 64 years old
I believe your post op experience is among the very few from what I am reading. Thank you for the positive feedback. I am scheduled for 8/7/20 and even as a nurse, I have never been more nervous. Any hints for getting through the pain is so welcome. I know ice, elevate and walk every hour. PT is tough, but I’ll do whatever is needed!
Thank for the positive feedback! I hope my surgery will be as easy for me!!
It is normal to go through pain after the knee replacement surgery, and here are some tips to relieve the pain in the process of recovery.

The pain will usually last for a few weeks after the surgery. Right after the surgery when the effect of anesthetics wears off, you may take pain killers under the guidance of your doctor. And the dose of it will reduce over time as the conditions get better. If the sharp pain does not disappear, you may require a stronger dose of the medication. Besides, the compression stocking is also necessary for your recovery and pain-releasing after the surgery. It can help to prevent the risk of blood clot and reduce the pain in your leg.
Lot of pain 24/7 after my knee replacement 4 months ago. This is worst thing that I did.  Painful physical therapies and knee manipulation under anesthesia.  Please give me a hope when my pain gone.  Am crying every day.  Thanks.
Is there any relevant imaging examination such as X-ray after surgery? If the pain is severe, it is recommended that you take some medicine to relieve postsurgery inflammation.
Hi Lourdes. I had my right knee replaced on December 19. It's been four very painful and emotional weeks. It's only been the last two days that  I haven't cried like a baby, and I'm only 58 years old. I believe it's the opioid pain medicine that was making me such a mess. I'm tapering down and feel much better. Best of luck.
Hi my name is Brent McBride and i have the same issue. My pain js not managed at all they. Gave me really low dose pain medicine and i hear you loud and clear a doctor rated the best of the best did it and pain management is not getting managed at all.  Percocet 10/325s is not a great pain med for knee replacement i am 29 year old was born with this disease what i have no idea what it is and neither. Does any of the doctors i have seen i would ask for a cryogenic ice chest they work very well and i cant stress this enough use the ice chest and your cpm machine. My legs were very badly bowed and i got my knee fixed and the curve fixed and let me tell you i screamed bloody murder after they really do not mention how bad it can hurt. Especially with deformities and bad pain medicine if your in pain constantly at greater than 5 its highly Un likely it will recover 100% due to not being mobile
I'm in the medical field and did my homework. I had my total knee replacement 3 yrs ago, and I wish I'd never done it. As far as pain, I have it once in a while. But I have a horrible scar that hurts and feels like the skin is been ripped open. I feel this 24/7. The Dr. I had had great reviews, is part of a big ortho practice and knees is all he does. I guess all I can say is, reading everyone else's post surgical reviews, I should be happy and not complain.
Hi, Delisa, scars around the joints will limit joint mobility and cause severe pain when stretched. I wondered have you seen a plastic surgeon? Maybe a plastic surgeon has some way of scar debridement.
Anyone who had double knee replacement and went back to work after 3weeks is really hard to believe the pain you go through for 11/2 months is rough on you, you can hardly move around 2 months is more reality
My prayers for you I’ve been in a lot of pain most all the time so I know how you feel. However I haven’t had knee surgery so I can’t imagine what that pain will be like
I had a TKR August 14th 2019
Still in more pain then pre surgery with less mobility!! $49K later can barely walk & in pain 24/7
My right knee is bone on bone and better than my "new" knee!!

NEVER again!!
I've seen some people talking about the pain after the knee replacement surgery, this makes me scared, my Dr. wants me to take the surgery, I'm considering. Maybe NOT!
Had krs on July 25 2019 and now Feb.2020 and still gave swelling and stiffness. Surgeon won't give anything for swelling. What's good to take for swelling? Would not say to have knee replacement surgery for anything ain't worth it. My knee hurts more now than before surgery.
Odom, I had my TKR in August of 2019  I still have more pain and less mobility than pre surgery. I consider it the biggest mistake of my life!!  As for swelling try ice and elevation and maybe ibuprofren.  Best of luck to you
anonymous from 12/26/2019
If you can still walk and still have to work for a living, forget about the surgery!!  If you have the funds try stem cell therapy. You would have to pay out of pocket but I have been reading about people having great results with no surgery. Best of luck to you
Hi Odom, have you always had swelling and stiffness after the surgery or you just have it recently? If you've been having it, it means you have not recovered from the surgery. If you have it recently, you may have new complications of the joint.

Swelling is a sign of inflammation, you can alleviate it by icing, elevating your legs and taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
I had knee replacement 3 months ago..doing very well. Up ,walking ,driving in a couple of weeks..done as out patient. Still a little sore but getting better every day. Way better than before surgery
Occasional pain in the knee joint is normal, as long as the pain is gradual relieved
Tom cairina, read post on your knee replacement. Did u have a total knee replacement? I have to have one. Advice u can give me about what type they used? You’re the only one that sounded successful . Anything about degree of pain after surgery ect. Would be very helpful. I really dreading doing this but pain & range of motion is so bad have too. My phone is not letting me get emails, have to factory reset. Could u please text or call me at+18162150751.  Would appreciate it, so very much. Thank you , Christy.
I just had tkr, 9 days ago. I am very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the opiates 5 days ago because they just scrambled my brain and hurt my stomach. I now use ibuprofen, cbd oil and once in a while a tiny edible.( I don’t generally use any meds or drugs) it’s been helpful and about the same relief as the opiates.
Sounds like there are a few of you had a really negative experience sorry for that. I can feel a difference already because even though I’m in pain I can bend my knee and I can put weight on my leg. I have not walked two months prior to the surgery. I do not regret it, even though it’s really uncomfortable and I haven’t slept well in days. I can see how much better my life will be once I heal. I only allow myself to believe that it’s a great success and my life’s going to be painfree soon!
I agree, I had mine done six weeks ago. Went to my dr yesterday and he said all was good my range of motion is great just have to work on straightening and it is going great. Told me to take ibuprofen or tylenol for the pain and stop the opioids because they make the pain worse. I can walk without my cane up and down steps. It all takes time but you will be fine. I still have stiffness and it is still swollen. I don't have to go back until November unless something goes wrong.
Had complete left knee replacement 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately I did not have the epidural for pain because of an allergic reaction. Been off my pain meds (dilaudid) after 12 days. Was able to bend my knee to get into my truck so I’m driving and walking quite normally now. My suggestion to anyone with current pain and stiffness is to keep the leg elevated with ice surrounding the knee at least 20 hours a day right after surgery.
When sitting in a chair constantly move you’re knee and foot pointing the toes up and back towards your self until it hurts. I climb my stairs a dozen times a day to stretch my leg muscles and keep the new knee joint limber. I’m walking, driving, and working through the pain 18 days in.  Stay with you’re PT  and don’t give up because of the pain.
I’m 65 and pray for my healing everyday. I hope this was helpful.   Jack
Thank you, I wish you happiness and happiness forever.
I totally agree. It is amazing what icing can do. I try to only use tylenol when it is extremely necessary like after therapy and at bedtime.
Thank you Jack I'm 63 and going to have right knee replacement I was hoping for comforting words from  someone in my age group I feel a little more relief.thank you again God bless
Had a total knee replacement 30 Dec 19, was up with a walker next day. now walking without a walker and working out on a airdyne bike. Driving at 4 weeks. Be patient and follow the instructions of your care providers. We all react differently and have differing levels of pain tolerance but I found my pain to be equal to or less than I had pre surgery at the 5 week point. Good fortune.
I still have pain 2 years after knee replacement surgery and it still pops.
It's awful, knee replacement surgery is super painful, now you don't have the post-surgery relief, the horrible pain of surgery, what's for? That's too bad.
Who is the doctor?
I had both knees replaced. Aug will be 2 years.  I am in a lot of pain. I get blisters on my legs from poor circulation in in pain when I walk and I’m told you have to walk. I did p t. I’m still in pain. Dr said all was hood.  Will walking help. They say push through the pain. It’s so hard.  Help
Reccovery treatment should be guided by professional or the surgeon.Rehabilitation goal

1. Prevention of complications of long-term bed rest: deep vein thrombosis, pressure sores, lung infections, urinary tract infections, etc.

2. Improve and restore the range of knee activity and reduce knee pain.

3. Through walking training, as soon as possible to restore the patient's independent activities of daily living activities, improve the quality of life.

Postoperative rehabilitation program

1. On the day after surgery, the heel is raised, and the affected limb is raised to avoid pressure sores.

2. On the first postoperative day, the isometric contraction exercise of the quadriceps and hamstrings was performed. Raise the affected limb at rest.

3. On the 2nd to 4th day after surgery, the passive activity is continued. The initial activity range is 0°-45°, 2 times a day, 1 hour each time. And perform joint mobility exercises.

4. On the 5th to 6th day after surgery, start balancing and coordination exercises and practice standing down.

5. On the 7th day after surgery, practice cruising or walking.

6. At the second week after operation, the CPM flexion and extension gradually increased to 0°-90°, and the knee flexion range could reach 90° within 2 weeks after surgery. Perform resistance to the device to perform isotonic contraction muscle exercises of the quadriceps and hamstrings, practice bicycle exercises, and practice up and down the building as appropriate.

7. In the third week after surgery, increase the squat practice.

8. 3 to 6 weeks after surgery, to strengthen muscle strength, and continue to exercise joint activity, while continuing to improve walking ability, full weight bearing.
Had tkr doc tells me I cant play golf.when I went to him he said I couldn
 Pain as soon as I woke up for 6 weeks brought tears to my eyes. Never ever get knee replacement surgery.surgeeons are whores
7 months after my total surgery, was playing golf... Hit the ball better than ever... In 8 month and ready to play softball... You got to do the exercises and weight training to build up quads and hamstring... Getting other one done in November...
Six weeks after complete knee replacement I started getting unbearable very sharp pain on the outside part of my knee when extending my leg .What cause this
First, you have to do a knee MRI scan. Without knowledge of the cause, it is very difficult to find an appropriate treatment. The most common causes of pain after knee replacement include:

Loosening of the implant: This is most often the cause of pain years or decades after the knee replacement; however, it is seldom the cause of persistent pain right after surgery.

Infection: Infection is a serious and worrisome concern. Any increase in pain after knee replacement should raise concerns for infection. Most often, the signs of infection are obvious, but subtle infections may be the cause of persistent discomfort.

Patellofemoral (kneecap) problems: Kneecap problems are a common cause of knee replacement pain. Significant forces are applied to the kneecap, even with normal activities, such as getting up from a chair or walking down the stairs. Getting a kneecap to perform well with a replacement can be technically challenging even for a skilled surgeon.

Alignment problems: Many patients focus on the knee replacement implant brand or type. But most surgeons will tell you the brand matters much less than how well the implant is put in. A poorly aligned implant may not function well, no matter the brand. Surgeons are investigating if computer navigation will help improve implant alignment.
The anesthesiologist should block the Patellar nerve before surgery. The first two days are the lowest in pain compared to weeks 3-6 and that is because the physicals therapy. There are other surgeries more painful. Compared to the pain before surgery
And the future of your knee as you get older you bet you will regret not having the surgery
Had a TKR five months ago, what kind of weights can I do?
There's actually no guideline of body weight after the total knee replacement surgery. As for activities post-surgery, in 3-6 weeks, you'd start an activity program which is a very important part of your home care.  The activity program may include:
    
1. A graduated walking program to slowly increase your mobility, initially in your home and later outside. If you feel sour after walking, use ice pack to relieve.

2. Resuming other normal household activities, such as sitting, standing, and climbing stairs

3. Specific exercises several times a day to restore movement and strengthen your knee. Jogging or running is recommended, too much weight on the knee. However, cycling, swimming, and dancing are good.

You probably will be able to perform the exercises without help, but you may have a physical therapist help you at home or in a therapy center the first few weeks after surgery.
Had to end of March.  Only one week of pain meds. 5 weeks ago   today.  Having other knee done november
I had two knee replacements eight weeks apart.  My doctor does knees and hips only.  He said if you aren't going to do the rehab don't do the surgery.  So glad I had the surgery.  Can walk and do things I enjoy pain free.  So very sorry others have had so many problems.
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