Knee replacement surgery generally requires a hospital stay of three to five days, and most patients notice drastic improvement approximately one month after surgery, explains WebMD. Patients can move and stand on the new joint the day after surgery.
Patients can first begin walking with the assistance of parallel bars before moving on to a cane, crutches, walker or other walking device, according to WebMD. Most patients can walk with minimal assistance approximately six weeks following the procedure but should avoid pivoting or twisting the joint and keep the knee straight while lying in bed during this time period. While recovering, patients should avoid using the stairs and must consult a doctor before engaging in activities such as exercise and driving.
Patients may be sent home or to a rehabilitation facility following a knee replacement surgery, states WebMD. Those sent for rehabilitation stay for an average of seven to 10 days. Patients may also work with an in-home physical therapist or go to an outpatient facility for physical therapy. Risks of knee replacement surgery include those associated with anesthesia, blood clots due to immobility, infection and bleeding. Rarer complications include injured nerves in the knee area, replacement parts breaking and other bones being broken during surgery.