The healing time for knee surgery can take six weeks to a year, but this time depends on the type of surgery and the patient's medical history, according to Healthline. Knee surgery patients can begin to walk without crutches after a few weeks, but they still need physical therapy.
After four to six weeks, knee surgery patients may still have to take narcotic medications to manage their pain, notes Healthline. Two months after the surgery, patients who exercise regularly generally experience reduced swelling and inflammation and are able to use a stationary bicycle. During physical therapy, the patient flexes the knee slowly to increase the range of movement.
The type of injury to the knee and the outcome of the surgery also determine how quickly a patient heals after knee surgery, states WebMD. A knee replacement surgery requires three to five days in the hospital, but the patient can start moving the knee joint right away. An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, surgery also requires short use of crutches, and patients are able to perform most normal activities two weeks after the surgery, explains Emory Healthcare. Physical therapy is crucial in helping patients regain mobility and flexibility within six months after knee surgery.