Total knee replacement (TKR) is one of the most executed elective surgical procedures in orthopedics, with the capacity to improve function, provide pain relief, and restore the quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis. In the United States, it is estimated that the surgical demand will grow by 673% (3.48 million) from 2005 to 2030.

The knee, the largest joint of the body has several functions to perform – supporting the body’s weight, squatting, pivoting, and more. It also has to perform many common functions that we depend on to get through daily life.

A knee injury or arthritis, inflammation, and pain can often limit the flexibility of the knee. The continuous deterioration of the joint and surrounding tissue makes it difficult to perform daily activities. Knee replacement surgery is a good solution for those people whose knees have worn out from this deterioration.

Recovery after Knee Replacement Surgery

In general, the knee replacement recovery time depends on your age and your general fitness, and whether you have any other medical conditions that could impact your recuperation. On the whole, it is usually advisable to get mobile as soon as possible after knee surgery. For this reason, it is likely that in the hours after the surgery on your knee joint, the hospital staff will expect you to be walking around the ward, with support of course!

In The First Few Weeks

• You should be safe to walk around the house with walking aids, such as crutches. Pain relief will help with this.
• The physiotherapist will have given you an exercise program to maximize the long term results of your knee surgery, so you should make sure to follow it closely.
• There may be some swelling around the operation site as well as around your ankles and feet, but as you become more mobile this should subside. The application of ice may help in the meantime.
• Be careful walking up and downstairs and around slippery surfaces such as the kitchen and bathroom - you don't want to fall while you are still recovering.

In The First Few Months

As you become pain-free you will become more mobile and active. Exercise is essential to strengthening the muscles around your new knee joint as well as benefitting your overall physical and mental fitness. Your new knee could last 20 years or longer, so you really can look forward to your life after your knee replacement surgery.

Resuming Normal Activities

Once you get home, you should stay active. The key is to not do too much, too soon. While you can expect some good days and some bad days, you should notice a gradual improvement over time. Generally, the following guidelines will apply:


One of your biggest concerns will probably revolve around driving again. You might be able to get behind the wheel within a couple of weeks if your left knee was replaced and you drive an automatic transmission. You could be back on the road in about four weeks if your right knee was replaced, according to orthopedic research experts Trusted Source. It may be longer if you drive a manual transmission. In any case, you must be able to bend your knee enough to operate the pedals.

Sexual Activity

Most people find that they’re able to engage in sexual activity several weeks following surgery. However, it’s generally fine to proceed as soon as you don’t feel pain and you’re comfortable.

Back to work

Set realistic expectations about when you should go back to work. In most cases, it’ll be three to six weeks before you can return to work. You may be able to get back to work within 10 days if you work at home. However, you’ll likely require much longer if your work is labour intensive — possibly three months or more.

Household Activities

You can resume cooking, cleaning, and other household tasks after you feel comfortable on your feet and you’re able to move around freely. Expect to wait several weeks before you can fully shed the crutches or cane and get back to most daily activities. It may also take several months to kneel without pain. Consider using a pad to cushion your knees in the meantime.

Sports and Exercise

Continue to do the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist for at least 2 months after surgery. In some cases, your doctor may recommend riding a stationary bicycle to help maintain muscle tone and keep your knee flexible. When riding, try to achieve the maximum degree of bending and straightening possible.

Getting back to normal

You’ll return to a fairly normal routine over time. Talk with your doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist if you have questions about activities and your body. They can help guide you to better understand your life — and lifestyle — following a knee replacement.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neelam Venkatramana Reddy is one of the best orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad with extensive experience in the area of joint replacement for a span of fifteen years.

Dr. Reddy has not only trained within the country but also in the UK. He has kept himself abreast of all leading developments and advancements in the field. He has also worked closely with Wockhardt Hospitals and Kamineni Hospitals from its days of inception and more importantly has performed a pivotal role in its Centre for Joint Replacement. Dr.Reddy is now the Chief Joint Replacement Surgeon at Star Hospitals. He heads the Center for Joint replacement in the hospital premises at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

Dr. Reddy particularly excels in minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries, high flexion rotating knee replacement, and revision hip /knee replacement surgeries in the city of Hyderabad.