Will my knee hurt more after total knee replacement (TKR)?

David Hogarth
Physical Therapy

Normally one chooses to have a total knee replacement to relieve knee pain which has not responded to more conservative treatments. Appropriately performed knee replacements then are very effective to result in less pain than before surgery.

However, there is one significant caveat to recognize: a total knee replacement is a big surgery and subsequently in the few days and maybe weeks immediately following the surgery you have to be prepared for more pain.

This potential short term increase in pain ends up being a small price to pay for the long term pain decrease. With your hard work and appropriate follow-up rehab the vast majority of total knee replacements result in significantly less pain after the healing from the surgery occurs.

Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Medicine

Pain management is important after a knee replacement surgery and can be controlled with medications or a nerve block.  A doctor will inject medication or insert a catheter around a nerve to block the pain.   Within a couple of days, injections or pills may replace the IV medication or nerve block for pain. 

After the surgical phase, you should have less or no pain with a total knee replacement.



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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.