What to Do and What Not to Do After Your Knee Replacement Surgery: Tips from an Expert Orthopedic Surgeon

Undergoing knee replacement surgery is a significant step towards regaining mobility and reducing pain for those suffering from severe knee arthritis or injury. However, the success of the surgery doesn't solely depend on the operation itself; the post-operative care and rehabilitation play a crucial role. To guide you through the recovery process, we've gathered insights from an expert orthopedic surgeon on what to do and what to avoid after knee replacement surgery.

The Dos for a Successful Recovery

Do: Follow Your Rehabilitation Plan

One of the most critical aspects of a successful recovery is adhering to your rehabilitation plan. Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist will provide you with a customized plan to help you regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion in your new knee. It typically includes exercises, stretches, and activities tailored to your specific condition. Consistency is key, so make sure to diligently follow your plan, attending all recommended physical therapy sessions.

Do: Gradually Increase Activity Levels

Recovery after knee replacement surgery involves a gradual increase in activity levels. Start with gentle movements and light exercises as advised by your healthcare team. Walking and stationary cycling are often recommended in the initial stages. As your strength improves, you can progress to more challenging exercises. Avoid overexertion and listen to your body's signals – pushing too hard too soon can lead to setbacks in your recovery.

Do: Focus on Joint Protection

Protecting your new knee joint is vital for a successful recovery. Pay attention to your body mechanics during daily activities. Use assistive devices such as crutches or walkers as recommended by your healthcare team. Avoid high-impact activities and be cautious when navigating uneven surfaces. By prioritizing joint protection, you can reduce the risk of complications and promote the longevity of your new knee.

Do: Be Patient with Your Recovery

Recovering from a knee replacement surgery takes time, and it's important to be patient with yourself. It may take several weeks or even months for you to fully regain strength and function in your new knee joint. Remember that everyone heals at their own pace, so don't compare yourself to others. Trust in the process and follow your rehabilitation plan for the best possible outcome.

The Don'ts to Navigate with Care

Don't: Ignore Pain or Discomfort

While some discomfort is expected after knee replacement surgery, it's crucial not to ignore persistent or worsening pain. Pain can be an indicator of potential issues, such as infection or improper healing. If you experience severe pain, swelling, or redness, contact your orthopedic surgeon immediately. Timely intervention can prevent complications and ensure a smoother recovery.

Don't: Neglect Your Medication Schedule

Pain management is a crucial aspect of the post-operative period. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help you manage discomfort. It's essential to take these medications as prescribed and on schedule. Don't wait until the pain becomes unbearable before taking your medication. Consistent pain control will enable you to engage more effectively in your rehabilitation, promoting a faster and smoother recovery.

Don't: Skip Follow-Up Appointments

Regular follow-up appointments with your orthopedic surgeon are essential for monitoring your progress and addressing any concerns. These appointments allow your surgeon to assess the healing process, adjust your rehabilitation plan if necessary, and address any potential complications promptly. Skipping follow-up appointments can hinder your recovery and increase the risk of complications going unnoticed.

Don't: Ignore Warning Signs

It's essential to pay attention to your body and recognize any warning signs that may indicate a problem with your new knee. These can include excessive pain, swelling, redness, warmth, or drainage from the incision site. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare team immediately for further evaluation and treatment. Ignoring warning signs can lead to further complications and delay your recovery.

Don't: Overdo It

While it's crucial to be consistent with your physical therapy and exercise, it's equally important not to overdo it. Pushing yourself too hard or too soon can lead to additional strain on your new knee joint, causing more harm than good. Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Your physical therapist will help you gradually increase the intensity of your exercises as your knee heals.


In conclusion, the success of knee replacement surgery extends beyond the operating room. Following your rehabilitation plan, addressing pain promptly, gradually increasing activity levels, adhering to medication schedules, focusing on joint protection, and attending follow-up appointments are crucial components of a successful recovery.

Remember, each individual's journey is unique, and recovery timelines may vary. Patience and dedication to your rehabilitation plan are key elements in achieving the best possible outcome.


+91-9840079008 reachus@orthoindehospital.in 360 degree experience