Total Knee Surgery FAQs

Total knee surgery is a common treatment for arthritis and involves removing the damaged parts of the bone and replacing them with a new prosthetic knee joint. 

Here you will find answers to the most common questions about recovering from the operation.

Is pain after surgery common? Yes, it is normal to experience pain after knee surgery for a few weeks as the skin, muscles and bone have been cut and take time to heal. This normally settles down within a few weeks.  You can find out more in the TKR problems section

When can I return to work? Usually 6-8 weeks after your total knee surgery, depending on what the job entails

What activities can I do? Activities that don’t put too much force through the knee such as walking, swimming and gently cycling. Start off slowly and gradually increase how much you can do being guided by your knee

What activities must I avoid? Anything that put stress on the knee e.g. tennis, badminton, contact sports (such as football, rugby, baseball), squash or racquetball, jumping, squats, skiing, or jogging. Do not do any heavy lifting (more than 40 lb) or weight lifting

Total knee surgery involves replacing the worn part of the knee with a new joint

Can I play golf? Yes, but do not wear spiked shoes as they cause the knee to twist too much

When can I have sex? 4-6 weeks after your total knee surgery

When can I do housework? For the first three months, stick to light chores such as washing up and dusting. Avoid standing for long periods e.g. ironing as it can cause your knee and ankles to swell. After three months you can return to other housework such as hoovering

Will I set off Airport Metal detectors? Knee replacements do not normally set them off, but if they do security may want to see your scar as proof of your operation

How long do I need to continue my exercises for? Until you have regained full range of movement of your knee (can fully straighten it and bend it at least 120°), and good strength in the muscles. Even when you have achieved this, it is worth continuing with your exercises 2-3 times weekly to keep your new knee in its best condition. See the knee replacement exercise section for more information

Our new Knee Arthritis Book is out in paperback or for instant download on your Kindle.  Knee Arthritis: Take Back Control: From Exercises To Knee Replacements & Everything In Between

All the info you need, top tips, exercises & loads more. Available in paperback or on Kindle.
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Our new Knee Arthritis Book is out in paperback or for instant download on your Kindle.  Knee Arthritis: Take Back Control: From Exercises To Knee Replacements & Everything In Between

Top tips, exercises and loads more. Paperback or Kindle.

Find Out More

Read Reviews/ Buy Now

Am I’m overdoing it? A bit of discomfort when doing something doesn’t mean you need to stop. It should however settle within thirty minutes. If pain continues for more than two hours after stopping the activity, that is a sign you overdid it. Next time reduce the intensity or time you do the activity for. If an activity causes immediate severe pain, stop

How long will the knee replacement last? 85% of knee replacements last at least twenty years

Will the doctor keep seeing me? Yes, you will usually have follow up out-patient appointments after 6-12 weeks after total knee surgery. You will be seen again after one year and then every five years where they will x-ray the knee to ensure there are no problems

What happens if my knee replacement fails? You would undergo a revision knee replacement, which means they repeat the procedure

Learn More About Total Knee Surgery

If you want to know more about total knee surgery, visit the sections below:

Knee Replacement Book:
Everything you need to know in a handy book
TKR Overview:
Including how to tell if you would benefit from surgery
What actually happens during the operation
Including what you can do to get the best results
Including a guide to when you can return to activities
Common Problems: A guide to the most common problems associated with knee replacement surgery
Knee Replacement Video: Watch an animated guide or real footage from a TKR
Partial Knee Replacements:
Less invasive surgery where only one side of the knee is replaced

Go to Knee Surgery Section or Homepage

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