The aftermath of knee replacement

Pain, Physical Therapy & Patience: The Aftermath of Knee Replacement


Pain. After knee surgery your nurse(s) should be available for you to check in so that they are able to assess your pain level after knee replacement and how much medicine they will need to give you in helping you deal with the pain steaming from knee replacement.

The medicine your nurse(s) give you to control your pain may cause you to be very “out of it” as well as feeling sick. But, your nursing staff should work towards finding a pain regimen that will work for you. The pain will be there, it is just up to you and your nurses to find the best way to combat the pain that won’t leave you sick.

PT (Physical Therapy)

Before being discharged, you will be asked to demonstrate that you can get into a car, walk up the stairs and/or walk using a walker. This will be easiest to do when you have a support system such as a friend or family member nearby. After being released you will need to begin physical therapy.

One of the most important things Physical therapy does is get your knee moving so that scar tissue doesn’t form. If scar tissue is present, you’ll never be able to reach a full recovery which means you’ll always have pain and typically, you won’t ever be able to walk normally and there is a chance that you will face a second surgery on your knee to deal with the scar tissue.

The first Physical therapy session after your knee replacement will be difficult. You will have to be patient with yourself as you will not be able to perform tasks as you used to be able to. You will get frustrated. You will complain. You will be uncomfortable.  PT therapists and assistants are there to motivate and encourage you, so be sure and lean on them in times of need.


In the end, recovering from a knee replacement takes a ton of patience and a determination to persevere. Actually, great big doses of both are necessary.

If you have more questions about how to recover from a knee surgery, or if you are needing advice from the experts at Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine on how you can help assist someone who recently had knee replacement surgery, give Dr. Irvine a call at 314-567-5850 or contact us by visiting one of our locations.