Post-Operative Exercises and Rehab for Knee

Believe it or not, more than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain. If you undergo knee replacement surgery, you will be provided with specific recovery instructions by your surgeon. These recovery instructions, which may include movement and exercise for rehabilitation, are a vital part of your recovery and outcome.

Since you will likely experience some pain after surgery, you may be prescribed a form of pain medication. In the event you are prescribed opioids, take them exactly as they are prescribed as they can be addictive and should only be taken for a minimal period of time.

Your surgeon and care team will work together to expedite your healing process and ensure you recover more quickly. They may also design a of post-operative plan for you, which may include:

  • A walking program to slowly but surely build up your mobility.
  • Practice climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, and other typical household routines.
  • A number of prescribed exercises for you to repeat several times each day so you can build strength and regain range of movement in your knee.
  • An aquatic therapy program to allow you to slowly rebuild your strength through prescribed exercises and relieve pressure on sensitive joints as you recover.
  • Stationary cycling to gradually improve your range of motion.

You may be assigned a physical therapist as early as a day after your procedure. The physical therapist will educate you on special exercises that can strengthen your legs and potentially restore full range of motion in your knee. The purpose of these exercises is to help you resume walking and other everyday activities as soon as possible.

Although recovery time varies from patient to patient, the majority of patients can return to their normal activities within 3 to 6 weeks after the procedure.

  1. OrthoInfo. "Total Knee Replacement." orthoinfo.aaos.org. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/total-knee-replacement (Accessed 01/11/2019).
  2. OrthoInfo. "Activities After Knee Replacement." orthoinfo.aaos.org. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/activities-after-knee-replacement/ (Accessed 01/11/2019).

The information in this article is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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