dos and don’ts after total knee replacement

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normal knee joint

Normal Knee Joint

damaged knee joint due to osteoarthritis

Most patients can start exercising their knee the day after surgery. In some cases, patients begin moving their knee on the actual day of surgery. A physiotherapist will teach you specific exercises to strengthen your leg and regain knee movement to allow walking and other normal daily activities soon after surgery.

Damaged Knee Joint

total knee replacement rehabilitation

Physiotherapy is one of the most important components of home care program, especially during the first few weeks after surgery. You will be able to resume most of the normal activities of daily living in a period of 3 to 6 weeks following surgery.

The physiotherapy rehabilitation program includes the following:

  • A slow gradual walking program to increase your mobility. Initially, it will be performed inside your home for few days and later outside.
  • A specific exercise program to resume your other normal household activities, such as standing, sitting and climbing stairs.
  • To restore movement and strengthen your knee, your physiotherapist will guide you to perform specific exercises several times a day.
  • To maintain the strength and mobility of your new replaced joint, a physiotherapist will design a specific home exercise program which you can perform by yourself after few weeks of surgery.

When your knee gains sufficient strength you can resume driving. It takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

dos and don’ts after total knee surgery


  • You must position your knee comfortably as you go about for your daily activities.
  • You should walk and exercise daily.
  • Always use an ice pack for swelling and if pain persists.
  • You should elevate your leg one hour twice a day if there is swelling is present.
  • You must get trained by your physiotherapist for proper use of walker and cane while walking.
  • Always use Western toilets.


  • Do not twist your knee.
  • Avoid putting unwanted load or 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.
  • Avoid sitting in cross leg position.
  • Avoid driving for 6 to 8 weeks. Start driving only when you are fully recovered and pain free.

For more information related to Total Knee Replacement Surgery, Please visit

about author

Dr. Ajeet Kumar
Dr. Ajeet Kumar is a Masters in Physiotherapy with specialization in Ortho. He has about 4 years of clinical experience and is currently working with Portea as a physiotherapist.


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