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Knee Replacement Patient Information

Knee replacement patient information is a very important part of preparing a patient for the major operation which is knee replacement. The knee replacement recovery time and rehabilitation period after knee replacement is much longer than after hip replacement and there may be an extended period of physiotherapy in some cases.

Knee replacement is a complex operation which causes significant levels of pain, swelling and temporary disability in many cases. It will help if you understand the details of the operation, what will happen in the post-operative period, mobilising with the physiotherapist, taking painkillers and using cold on the knee, the exercises you need to do under physio supervision and the work you need to do after you are discharged.

Your orthopaedic unit should give you a comprehensive knee replacement information leaflet or booklet, explaining the procedure with what you have to do and the risks and complications which might occur during knee replacement recovery.

NHS knee replacement units perform around 67% of the 70,000 knee replacements which are performed annually in England and Wales and usually have standardised information available for patients in written form which is given out at outpatient pre-operative consultation.

An assessment by a physiotherapist before the operation is a valuable asset to your preparation for knee surgery as the physio can help you in several ways. The physio can assess your knee for range of motion, strength and muscle bulk and advise you on knee exercises to increase the movement of your knee and strengthen the supporting muscles. This can help speed up your knee replacement recovery.

Your gait will also be assessed and corrected as appropriate, with walking aids given as necessary to ensure you walk well and keep a normal gait pattern which you will need to relearn once you are up and about after the operation.

Further information is available at and NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries.

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