After Knee Replacement: Hospital Recovery - Fairview Health Services
 
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After Knee Replacement: Hospital Recovery

Your health care team will help you get up soon after surgery. They will show you how to sit up, stand, and use the bathroom safely. You’ll also spend time in bed. Use this time to do exercises as directed by your health care team. When lying down, place a rolled-up towel under your ankle to help straighten your knee. Don't put a rolled-up towel or pillow under the knee itself.

A health care team member helping a woman sit up after knee replacement.

Sitting Up

The first few times you sit up, a health care provider will help you move your leg. Soon, you’ll be able to sit by yourself at the edge of the bed with your feet touching the floor.

A health care team member helping a woman stand with support after knee replacement.

Standing with Support

A health care provider will help you stand. A safety belt may be placed around your waist to prevent a fall. A knee immobilizer may be put on your leg to protect the knee as you stand and use a walker.

Going to the Bathroom

At first you’ll be assisted to the bathroom. Later, you’ll go on your own with a walker. A commode chair over the toilet helps make sitting easier. To use it, follow these steps:

  • Back up until you feel the back of your legs touch the commode.

  • With your weight on your unoperated leg, place the operated leg in front of you. Reach back for the armrest. Lower yourself onto the commode.

  • To stand up, push up using the armrest, keeping your weight on your unoperated leg.

 

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