Total Knee Replacement Recovery Pain

Updated February 21, 2017

Total knee replacement is a complicated procedure that will take some time to recover from. Before you undergo surgery, it is always advisable to know what to expect in recovery


According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, pain following knee replacement surgery is not predictable and varies from person to person. Most people are kept on intravenous pain medication for the first few days after the procedure to cut down on any throbbing and sharp pain.


Urination can be difficult or painful following total knee replacement surgery, especially immediately after the surgery.

Time Frame

Total recovery from knee surgery is a long process. Though you will likely be discharged from the hospital within a week, you may experience swelling for three to six months following the procedure. However, if you experience calf or chest pain, you should immediately contact your doctor in case you have a blood clot.


People with health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or liver disease may have a longer recovery and experience pain for longer period than people who are healthy.


You will be required to wear an immobiliser on your knee while you walk and sleep. Without the immobiliser it would be very painful each time you move your knee. If the pain is too much to bear, your doctor may prescribe some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage your level of discomfort.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.