Total Knee Replacement

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, please call your caregiver. Regaining a near full range of motion of your knee within the first 3 to 6 weeks after surgery is critical.


  • You may resume a normal diet and activities as directed. Perform exercises as directed.

  • You will receive physical therapy as directed by your caregiver.

  • Take showers instead of baths until informed otherwise.

  • Change bandages (dressings) if necessary or as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.

  • Avoid lifting or driving until you are instructed otherwise.

  • Make an appointment to see your caregiver for stitches (suture) or staple removal as directed.

  • If you have been sent home with a continuous passive motion machine (CPM machine), use as directed.


  • You have swelling of your calf or leg.

  • You develop shortness of breath or chest pain.

  • You have redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound.

  • There is pus or any unusual drainage coming from the surgical site.

  • You notice a bad smell coming from the surgical site or dressing.

  • The surgical site breaks open after sutures or staples have been removed.

  • There is persistent bleeding from the suture or staple line.

  • You are getting worse or are not improving.

  • You have any other questions or concerns.


  • You have a fever.

  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You develop any reaction or side effects to medicines given.

  • Your knee motion is decreasing rather than improving.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.