Elevating the knee for an hour or two every afternoon, and icing the knee three or four times a day for 20 minutes each session, work together to manage swelling after a knee operation, states Healthline. Swelling is a typical part of the process of healing from the surgery.
For as long as three weeks after surgery, the knee continues to swell, according to Healthline. During those weeks, patients should perform the exercises that the physical therapist assigns and spend an hour or so every afternoon with the leg elevated on a pillow to combat the swelling.
Inflammation and swelling within the knee joint and the adjacent tissue respond to ice packs, reports Healthline. During the weeks of recovery, the patient's physician typically recommends using an ice pack on the knee at least three times a day for between 10 and 20 minutes to reduce the swelling. Some people benefit from additional icing periods each day, but it's important to discuss this option with the doctor before adding that extra time. After the swelling has subsided, if pain persists, some patients benefit from placing heat on the knee, using a hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel. Combining all of these strategies optimizes healing after knee surgery,