Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery and Rehab: Faces of Total Knee Replacement

Most people resume and enjoy a more active life within twelve weeks after surgery. Committing to a rehab program will help you to speed your recovery and reap the benefits of your new knee. The process, however, is not without challenges. Watch this video to learn about the experiences of four knee replacement recipients and how they managed the challenges of rehab and regained the ability to engage in the activities they enjoy.  View Transcript

Faces of Total Knee Replacement

Mary Comeaux, Homemaker, 65 years old | Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Recipient:

"I can't sit and cook.  I have to stand.  Cooking is not fun when you're sitting.  My mom was a cook and I learned how to cook at an early age.  I was cooking a full meal at twelve years old."

Debbie Studendorff, Grandmother, 58 years old | Total Knee Replacement Recipient:

"It's really important to keep up with my grandson.  Keeps me young, keeps us young."

Diane Livingston, Business Owner, 70 years old | Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Recipient:

"We're an active family and all my boys like to play golf.  I think they were disappointed that I wasn't playing golf and certainly I was."

Sing Tan, Retired Surgeon, 80 years old | Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Recipient:

"I had a bad knee from osteoarthritis.  It came to a point that I could hardly walk."

Mary Comeaux:

"Before I had my total knee replacements I was in crucial pain.  I'd go to bed in pain.  Wake up in pain.  Walk around all day long in pain.  It was not a happy sight."

Debbie Studendorff:

"You know, in the back of my head I probably thought, 'Yeah, this pain is going to be forever.'"

Sing Tan:

"The pain was so unbearable and I said, 'This is no way to live.'"

Mary Comeaux:

"I went through an anger period, you know, because so many things you can't do.  I used to cry to my husband and that bothered him.  That bothered him to see me cry.  You have to have some support system.  It kind of takes the edge off all the pain that you're having."

Debbie Studendorff:

"Right after the surgery, well it was really painful and it was swollen and bruised and, you know, I mean I knew it would be like that.  I've had surgeries before and I knew it would be, you know, bad before it got better."

Diane Livingston:

"I think getting up the first time; it's more of a fear factor than it is a pain factor."

Mary Comeaux:

"The first time I stood up was scary because I didn't know that I could stand and stay on my feet.  You want to be okay but you know that you can't walk.  You know you can't walk."

Diane Livingston:

"I think that everybody would like you to say, 'Oh, I don't feel any different at all.  I feel exactly like I did,' but that's not true.  That really isn't true.  You know that your knees have been replaced because there's a tightness there, there is scar tissue, but there's no pain."

Mary Comeaux:

"It probably was about six to eight months before I got to bake again and then I had to be really careful."

Debbie Studendorff:

"I can play with my grandson.  I can squat down to pick him up or carry him up and down the stairs, which I know I couldn't have done before."

Sing Tan:

"I think in a month, after the second surgery, I could straighten my leg like an arrow."

Diane Livingston:

"I can do the things that I love to do now.  I was back playing golf in six weeks."

Mary Comeaux:

"It doesn't bother me now.  It really doesn't bother me.  I guess because I've adjusted to, 'Okay, this is the way I have to live,' and you don't sit around and worry about something that you can't change."

"I'm Diane Livingston and I've had both by knees replaced."

"I'm Debbie Studendorff and I have had a total knee replacement."

"I'm Dr. Tan.  I decided to have knee surgery with total replacement."

"My name is Mary Comeaux.  I've had total knee replacement in both my knees and I'm sixty-five years old."

Mary's Story

Mary Schaefer is a nurse who came to terms with her need for a total knee replacement.

Barbara's Story

Barbara Perry’s knees started causing her pain 30 years before she received her first total knee replacement.

Dale's Story

At the time of surgery, Dale Freund was having trouble just walking and using stairs.

Recovering and Rehabbing After Knee Replacement Surgery

Manage Postoperative Pain

Pain, swelling, and bruising after surgery is a part of the recovery process. But there are recommended steps that can help.

Rehab Timeline

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the rehab process, it might help to understand what progress you can expect week-by-week.

Exercises After Knee Replacement

Exercises you perform after surgery strengthen your knee and improve flexibility so that you can get back on your feet faster.

Follow-up Appointments

Regularly following up with your orthopedic surgeon is necessary to ensure your knee continues to perform at its best.

Dos and Don'ts

Making your knee replacement a success is (almost) as simple as following these dos and don'ts.

Revision Surgery

Although uncommon, revision surgery is sometimes required to resolve serious complications after a knee replacement.

Tips for Caregivers

Recovery and rehab can also be a challenging time for caregivers too. If your loved one has had a knee replacement, you will want to know what to expect.