The drugs most commonly recommended by surgeons after total knee replacement surgery include prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken orally, explains Healthline. These medications reduce soreness and swelling with relatively few side effects.
Doctors first prescribe medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce inflammation after knee replacement surgery, states Healthline. If the patient experiences excessive pain, the doctor may prescribe oral opioid pain relievers. He may also prescribe antibiotics to minimize risk of infection and subsequent swelling caused by infection after the operation. For several years after surgery, total knee replacement recipients must take antibiotics before any dental or surgical procedures while tissues in the knee have time to bond with the implant.
Using ice packs on the affected area is another way to treat swelling after knee replacement surgery, according to Healthline. Placing an ice pack on the swollen area and surrounding tissue three or four times a day for 10 to 20 minutes each time is highly effective in reducing swelling in the knee joint. Applying heat to the knee several weeks after surgery may also prove effective. Moving the leg and stimulating blood flow helps aid the healing process and lessen swelling around the knee. Applying topical analgesics to the knee may also alleviate discomfort.