6 Things to Expect After a Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Total knee replacement surgery is a transformative procedure for individuals suffering from chronic knee pain and mobility limitations. This surgical intervention aims to restore function, alleviate discomfort, and improve overall quality of life. If you are considering or have recently undergone total knee replacement surgery in Singapore, it is crucial to understand what to expect during the recovery process. In this article, we will discuss six important aspects you should anticipate after a total knee replacement surgery, providing you with insights and guidance to navigate your post-operative journey.

Hospital Stay and Immediate Recovery

Following the surgery, you will spend a few days in the hospital for post-operative care and monitoring. During this time, your healthcare team will closely observe your vital signs, manage pain through prescribed medications, and ensure that your knee is healing appropriately. Physical therapy may also commence during your hospital stay, focusing on gentle exercises to promote mobility and prevent complications.

Pain Management

Pain management is a critical aspect of the recovery process after knee replacement surgery. Your healthcare team will prescribe pain medications to help alleviate discomfort, especially in the initial stages of recovery. It is important to follow the prescribed medication regimen and communicate any changes or concerns regarding pain levels to your healthcare provider. Gradually, as your healing progresses, you may require less medication to manage pain. 

Additionally, along with medication, you can also use ice packs to reduce swelling and discomfort, elevate your leg to improve blood circulation and minimise pain, and practise relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation to manage pain.

Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Rehabilitation and physical therapy are integral components of your recovery journey after total knee replacement surgery. A skilled physiotherapist will work closely with you to design a personalised rehabilitation program. This program will focus on restoring the range of motion, strengthening the knee and surrounding muscles, and improving overall functional abilities. Physical therapy sessions may include various exercises, stretches, manual therapy techniques, and gait training to optimise your recovery.

Gradual Return to Activities

As your knee continues to heal and regain strength, you will gradually transition back to your daily activities. Your healthcare team and physiotherapist will provide guidance on when and how to reintroduce specific activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and performing household tasks. Following their advice is crucial to prevent undue stress on the knee joint and ensure a successful recovery.

Managing Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are common after knee replacement surgery. Your knee may remain swollen and bruised for several weeks or even months following the procedure. To manage swelling, it is essential to elevate your leg, apply ice packs intermittently, and use compression stockings as recommended by your healthcare provider. These measures can help minimise swelling, reduce discomfort, and promote healing.

Long-Term Recovery and Rehabilitation

Total knee replacement surgery involves a comprehensive recovery process that extends beyond the immediate postoperative period. While many individuals experience significant improvement in pain and mobility within a few months, complete recovery can take up to a year or more. Long-term rehabilitation and commitment to follow-up appointments with your healthcare team are crucial for optimising your results and ensuring the long-term success of your knee replacement. 


Total knee replacement surgery offers a transformative solution for individuals with chronic knee pain and limited mobility. Understanding what to expect after the surgery and actively participating in your recovery journey are key to achieving optimal outcomes. Remember to maintain open communication with your healthcare team, diligently follow their guidance, and remain patient throughout the recovery process. By doing so, you can experience the benefits of total knee replacement surgery and regain an active, pain-free lifestyle.

If you are looking for knee surgery or other related orthopaedic treatments, visit Specialist Orthopaedic Centre for more info.