What is the recovery time after a total knee replacement?

Recovery time after a total knee replacement can be best described in four phases:

  • The first phase is recovery from surgery. One night is spent in the hospital or surgery center. Many people having partial knee replacement may go home the same day.
  • The second phase is the first six weeks after surgery. People are able to walk using a walker for one to two weeks, then transition to a cane for another two to four weeks. During this phase people work diligently, focusing on range of motion, swelling control and strengthening. By six weeks they are starting to feel much better with regards to pain and mobility.
  • The third phase is the next 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.  The knee gradually increases with regards to strength, mobility, endurance and agility. Fatigue after surgery rapidly improves during this phase.
  • The fourth phase is approximately six months to one year after surgery. The knee continues to improve up to a year following surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.