For appointments please call
02 9874 8410

Recovery Time After Knee Replacement Surgery


Have you been suffering from severe pain in your knee and significantly reduced mobility and functionality? Are you scheduled for knee replacement surgery? If yes, finding out what you can do before and after the operation is no doubt on the top of your to-do list.

The knee consists of the shin and thigh bones and the kneecap, otherwise known as the tibia, femur, and patella. There are important soft tissues within the area, such as the menisci and bursa, which act as shock absorbers and promote smooth movement. Because we put our knees through so much every day, there is a risk of damaging an aspect of this complex joint. If there is a problem with your knee, it can impact your life in multiple ways and create issues in other areas of your body.

Knee replacement surgery can be beneficial for many people. It can remove or improve the problematic factor and allow for a better functioning knee. What comes after surgery is just as important.

Knee replacement recovery time and outcomes are significantly affected by what happens after surgery. Rehabilitation is a crucial part of recovery and should start straight away. Find out what to expect after knee replacement surgery and how physical therapy can help.


What Is Knee Replacement Surgery? 

Knee replacement surgery allows an orthopaedic surgeon to replace parts of the knee that have been damaged. There are generally two options regarding knee replacement surgery, depending on the cause and extent of the knee issue.  

A partial knee replacement surgery involves replacing either the outside or the inside of the affected joint, also known as the lateral and medial compartments. A full knee replacement surgery involves replacing both.


Who Has Knee Replacement Surgery? 

There are a variety of reasons why a surgeon may have recommended knee replacement surgery to you. These may include: 

  • Reduced mobility and functionality.
  • Long term inflammation.
  • Severe pain.
  • Inadequate results from less invasive options such as rest, physiotherapy,  anti-inflammatory medications, or steroid injections. 


Some issues that may lead to this requirement include: 

  • Arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
  • Injury, such as after a car or sporting accident. 
  • Degeneration to the bone or soft tissues due to natural wear and tear.
  • Torn ligaments, such as the lateral collateral ligament or the anterior cruciate ligament.


How Long Is The Recovery Process After Knee Replacement Surgery? 

Depending on your age, lifestyle, overall health, and the extent of the initial knee issue, the recovery process after a knee replacement surgery is typically two to three months.  

Rehabilitation begins on the day of your surgery. With professional support from your surgeon and physical therapist, you will be guided to gently increase your movement over the coming months. You will probably be recommended to use an aid, such as crutches, for the first few weeks. Generally, people can begin to walk unassisted about two months after the operation. Physiotherapy is an ongoing part of knee replacement recovery and rehabilitation and helps to return better function to the knee in a controlled manner.


Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery 

Shortly after your knee replacement surgery, you will be shown how to use your assistive device, how to carry out small, basic actions such as getting in and out of a chair or bed, and how far to walk. Although you will have significant discomfort, it is important to do some walking throughout the recovery process to not only help the knee strengthen and heal, but to prevent issues in the rest of your body, such as blood clots and muscle weakness. 

With time and by carrying out your set exercises, your knee’s range of motion and inflammation and your level of pain should begin to improve. As your strength and mobility returns in your knee, you will slowly be able to reduce your reliance on an assistive device. 

Exercises that your physiotherapist may recommend at various stages of your recovery can include: 

  • Incremental, gentle walking.
  • Toe and heel raises.
  • Heel slides.
  • Squats.
  • Step ups.
  • Standing on one foot at a time.
  • Quad sets.
  • Hip abductions.
  • Swimming.
  • Stationary bike.


Positive Knee Replacement Recovery Involves Physiotherapy 

Knee replacement surgery can greatly improve your quality of life if you have been dealing with pain and reduced mobility in your knee. To see the best possible results, a required element is dedication to your rehabilitation. It may feel like it is a long and involved recovery process, however, putting in the work now can mean better outcomes for the future.  

Our experienced and highly qualified physiotherapists can support you during your recovery after knee replacement surgery and can work in conjunction with your surgeon when required.  

Please contact our friendly team to make an appointment regarding your rehabilitation.




new patient
special offer
New patient special offer Click Here
SRC Health Support Recovery Comfort
AOK Health Pty Ltd Australian Physiotherapy Association Corporate Work Health Australia The Orthotic Group Vasyli Medical

Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


Business Hours

We are now open Saturday’s….
Monday to Friday: 7am to 7pm
Saturday: 7am to 12noon

Contact Us

95 Ryedale Road
West Ryde NSW 2114

Ph 02 9874 8410
Fax 02 9874 6192

Facebook NDPE Google