After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

In this section, we will discuss a few things you need to know in regard to surgery and recovery. We will cover some common hospital protocols as well as precautions your doctor and staff will be taking to avoid complications which can result from surgery.

  • Surgery and recovery
  • Post-operative care and precautions
  • Rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery
  • Hospital discharge and home instructions
  • Life after total knee replacement surgery


Once your surgery is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room for a period of close observation. Your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and temperature will be closely monitored with special attention given to the circulation and sensation in your feet and legs. Once you awaken and your condition is stabilized, you will be transferred to your room.


While protocols differ from hospital to hospital, here is a list of things you may see when you wake up:

  • A large dressing applied to the surgical area
  • A drain tube leading into the surgical area
  • An IV will continue to be used to provide adequate fluids and administer antibiotics and other medication
  • A catheter may have been inserted into your bladder as the side effects of medication often make it difficult to urinate
  • A continuous passive motion (CPM) unit may be placed on your leg to slowly and gently bend and straighten your knee, to help more quickly regain your knee range of motion
  • A patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device connected to your IV for pain relief


Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.  The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.