HSS Logo

Using Cryotherapy During Rehabilitation


Cryotherapy, the use of cold to treat your Total Knee Replacement, is an important element of your post-operative rehabilitation. Cryotherapy can help decrease pain while reducing swelling and inflammation.

Swelling is common after knee surgery. It is important to minimize the harmful effects of swelling to enhance your recovery. If you advance your activity too quickly or “over do it”, your operated knee or leg may become more swollen. The more swelling you have in your leg/knee, the more pain you may have, the more difficult it may be to bend, straighten or even lift your leg and it may be more uncomfortable to weight bear. Monitor the swelling and elevate your leg if this occurs. Also, you should continue to pump and move your ankles up and down while lying in bed. Please discuss with your surgeon or physical therapist if you have any specific concerns regarding post operative swelling.

Ice may be in the form of ice wrapped in bags or towels, commercial cold packs or cold compression cuffs. You can apply ice while you are stretching your leg.