How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Knee Replacement?

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Knee ReplacementIf you’ve been told that you need a knee replacement, you may be wondering how long you should expect the recovery process to take. Knee replacement recovery times can vary depending on a number of different factors—including the patient’s overall health, the condition of the patient’s knee, and the type of knee replacement being performed—so your best bet is to speak with your doctor, who will be able to provide you with an estimate that’s tailored to your specific circumstances.

With that being said, if you undergo a traditional knee replacement, you can probably expect to remain in the hospital for three to five days following your procedure. Hospital personnel will likely help you stand and walk within 12 to 24 hours after your surgery, and you’ll probably be able to walk on your own (but with the help of an assistive device like crutches, a cane, or a walker) after approximately one week. You’ll likely need to continue using one of these devices for about six weeks following surgery, after which time you’ll be able to resume your normal activities (although you should still avoid activities that involve extreme movements or put you at risk of falling). It’s not uncommon for pain to continue for about three months after a knee replacement, and for swelling to persist for about a year. In the two years following your procedure, scar tissue will continue healing, and your muscles will gradually be restored to their previous condition.

Recovery From a Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement

In some instances, orthopedic specialists may be able to perform knee replacements using minimally invasive techniques. When compared to a traditional knee replacement, a minimally invasive knee replacement requires smaller incisions and less cutting of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue (for example, while a traditional knee replacement often requires an 8- to 12-inch incision, a minimally invasive knee replacement generally requires a 3- to 6-inch incision). As a result, many patients who undergo a minimally invasive procedure experience shorter recovery times (although it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case). Minimally invasive knee replacements aren’t appropriate for everyone, and your doctor will be able to let you know whether you’re a candidate for this type of procedure.

Tips for How to Shorten Your Recovery

Your doctor will provide you with instructions to follow while you’re recovering from your knee replacement. You should always rely on your doctor’s instructions, but with his or her approval, there are certain steps you can take to minimize your recovery time and achieve the best possible results:

  • Continue taking pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed.
  • Keep up with any exercises or stretches that were recommended by your doctor or your physical therapist.
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Walk around every couple of hours during the day.
  • Raise your leg while sitting (but don’t prop up your knee while sleeping, since doing so could cause a permanent bend in your knee).
  • Apply an ice pack for approximately 20 minutes every three to four hours.
  • Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet that’s high in Vitamins A and C.
  • Avoid kneeling, sitting with your legs crossed, and twisting your knee.

Knee Replacements in Reno, Carson City & Nearby Areas

If you need a knee replacement and you’re in Reno, Carson City, or any of the surrounding areas, you can turn to the orthopedic specialists at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic. We’re a full-service orthopedic clinic that’s been serving this community since 1966, during which time we’ve treated tens of thousands of patients. Our team is highly experienced in performing knee replacements and other joint replacement procedures.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists on our team. You can also request an appointment online.

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10539 Professional Circle, Suite 201
Reno, NV 89521

(775) 392-3680

973 Mica Drive, Suite 201
Carson City, NV 89705

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2874 N. Carson Street, Suite 105
Carson City, NV 89703

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1749 North Stewart Street, Suite 50
Carson City, NV 89706


2874 N. Carson St. Suite 210
Carson City, NV 89703

(775) 392-3680

1520 Virginia Ranch Rd, Suite 101B
Gardnerville, NV 89410

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105 C Street
Hawthorne, NV 89415

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306 Surprise Street
Yerington, NV 89447

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2170 B South Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

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At Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic, we take the time to get to know each patient so that we can develop a customized treatment plan that’s tailored to his or her specific needs, lifestyle, and goals.

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"I couldn’t have asked for better care for my son than from the staff at Tahoe Fracture and Orthopedic. From the receptionist all the way up to the surgeon, we were treated with the utmost respect, kindness, patience, and care. They were not only quick to get him in for an examination, but were amazingly quick to fit him into the schedule to have his injury treated asap!! Thanks to them, my son is now on the road to recovery. I truly wish I could give them more than just five stars!"

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"Dr. Mike Fry is a wonderful doctor and caring person. When I saw him for the first time, he held my hand and said, “I’m going to make you well”, and he did! I had back surgery 2.5 years ago and still doing great. Thanks Doc!"

We were deeply impressed with the entire experience.

"We were deeply impressed with the entire experience. Candace should be commended for her work ethic. Also my experience with the x-ray tech was outstanding. I would not change anything."

Dr. Fry and the entire staff were excellent.

"My entire experience was just as good as I had planned…a great day! Dr. Fry and the entire staff were excellent. Thanks a lot!"

I cannot express how much of a difference this has made in my life.

"Dr. Jones and his staff through the surgical procedures and other methods they have performed over the years have enhanced my daily living experience dramatically. I am leading a more productive life without the daily pain I dealt with in the past. I cannot express how much of a difference this has made in my life."