Expect some swelling after a knee replacement because it is part of the body's healing process, says Healthline. The swelling and inflammation typically last two to three weeks, but in some cases may continue for several months. Expect bruising that may cause additional tenderness as well. Consult a doctor if the swelling doesn't gradually fade or any sudden changes in pain and swelling occur.
Use ice packs to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with knee replacement, advises Healthline. Apply the ice three or four times a day for approximately 20 minutes. A few weeks after surgery, use a heating pad to aid the healing. Elevate the knee for one or two hours every day, and perform the exercises recommended by a doctor or physical therapist. Wear a compression stocking to reduce the risk of a blood clot and alleviate aching.
Apply ointments or patches containing ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin and salicylates before going to bed to ease any pain, says Healthline. See a physical therapist for massages, and learn how to stimulate the tissue and muscles surrounding the knee. Increase blood flow and range of motion around the knee and strengthen the muscles by following a therapist's exercise regimen. Avoid certain movements such as jumping, squatting, kneeling or twisting.