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Do’s and Don’ts After Your Total Knee Replacement

Your New Joint Is Different

Recovery from surgery takes time. You will likely feel tired and fatigued for several weeks and this is a normal response. It is important to plan periods of rest throughout the day. You may experience skin numbness around your incision and joint stiffness. This is normal. At times, you may notice clicking. This is common and is due to the plastic and metal implant surfaces rubbing together. These symptoms will gradually improve over several weeks and months. The benefits of joint replacement usually become fully evident 6 to 8 months after surgery.

Below are some do's and don'ts to follow during your recovery.


  • Position your knee comfortably as you go about your daily activities.
  • Walk and perform range of motion exercises every day.
  • Use an ice pack if your knee begins to swell.
  • Elevate your leg one hour twice a day if your knee, calf, ankle or foot begins to swell.
  • At home, you can use a grab bar or shower chair for added safety, comfort, support, and stability.


  • Twist your knee. Turn your entire body instead.
  • Jump or otherwise put sudden, jarring stress on your knee.
  • Never put a pillow or a roll directly under your knee. Always keep the knee out straight while lying down in bed.