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Post-Op Tips: Knee

At home, you play a major role in your recovery. The better you care for your knee, the faster you may heal. And the faster you heal, the sooner you can resume your normal activities. Follow your doctor’s instructions about how to care for your knee after surgery.

Woman lying on couch with foot resting on several pillows. Bag of ice is on knee.
Elevating and icing your knee decrease pain and swelling.

Home Recovery

  • Apply a bag of ice to your knee and elevate your knee above heart level as directed.

  • For the first few days, your doctor may recommend that you not bear weight on your knee. Use a cane, crutches, or walker as advised by your doctor.

  • Your doctor may also prescribe pain medications or anti-inflammatories.

  • To prevent infection, keep your incisions dry by using a plastic bag when icing your knee or taking a shower.

Strengthening Your Knee

You may be instructed to do exercises, possibly using weights. To help strengthen your knee, follow these tips:

  • Start out slowly, then increase repetitions as recommended.

  • Take short, frequent walks each day. Ask your doctor how long your walks should be and how often you should take them.

  • Physical therapy may also be recommended to help you strengthen your knee and increase its range of motion.

Talk with your health care provider about what exercise program is best for you. Always tell your health care provider if an exercise causes new or lasting pain.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bechtold, C Dustin, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Mitchell, Bryan Sean, MD
Last Review Date: 11/2/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.