How can I Deal with Knee Replacement Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Knee replacement surgery can be a very invasive surgery with a prolonged and often painful recovery period, and it is not uncommon for a patient to experience knee replacement pain for several weeks or months after the surgery. Dealing with the knee replacement pain can be frustrating and tiring, so it is important to be prepared for this pain and take steps toward alleviating it. Rest is perhaps the most important way to avoid knee replacement pain, and taking all appropriate medications prescribed by a doctor in the correct dosages and at the correct times will help manage the pain as well.

Believe it or not, exercising the knee after the surgery can help alleviate knee replacement pain. Exercise should not, of course, be done without the approval of a doctor and the guidance of a physical therapist, but helping the knee repair and strengthen itself can shorten the recovery time, thereby reducing the amount of pain associated with the surgery. This may not be the best course of action for all people, and if pain worsens during exercise, it may be necessary to consult the doctor to make sure the healing process is going as it should.


Keeping swelling down and infections at bay are perhaps two of the most important aspects of the healing process, and both will help reduce knee replacement pain. Keep the wounds from the surgery dry and clean, and change dressings as advised by a doctor. Some doctors recommend coming into the office for a dressing change rather than doing it on your own to prevent infections and improper application of dressings. Swelling can be controlled by icing as dictated by the doctor, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and elevating the leg during rest. It is vital that you spend a significant amount of time resting, especially immediately following the surgery.

One more important step for dealing with knee replacement pain is to continue with all recovery practices, even if you feel you have made sufficient progress. Anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers, for example, should be taken as directed, even after swelling has gone down, to prevent more swelling from occurring. Note that it is important to consult your doctor for specific instructions. Physical therapy should be continued even after you are able to resume normal activities; the physical therapist will help ensure the knee is functioning properly and is not causing other problems in the knee that can lead to pain.



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