top of page
  • nishitaagarwal

How To Take Care After Knee Surgery - Precautions and Guidelines

Updated: Jun 4

A major medical event such as knee surgery necessitates cautious post-operative care, particularly concerning routine tasks like climbing stairs. It's important to take the appropriate measures, whether you're recovering from arthroscopic surgery, a knee replacement, or any other knee procedure.

These precautions can help prevent complications and promote a successful recovery. It is important to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider, engage in physical therapy exercises, and gradually increase your activity level to regain strength and mobility in your knee. Additionally, using assistive devices such as crutches or a cane may be necessary during the initial stages of recovery to minimize stress on the surgical site.

Let's talk about the precautions one needs to take during several daily life circumstances after getting knee surgery.

When using stairs

Climbing stairs might be challenging after knee surgery because it needs knees. By implementing the proper safety precautions, one can reduce the risk of falls, facilitate the healing process, and prevent pressure on the surgical site. Using handrails to give stability and support when climbing stairs is a vital safety precaution. In addition, pacing oneself and taking breaks during stair climbing might help reduce discomfort and avoid overexertion.

Care Needed When Using Steps Following Knee Surgery

  • Start Slowly: When you are first recovering, go one step at a time. Take your time and let your body get used to the exercise. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, as overexertion can lead to setbacks in your recovery. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercises as you regain strength and mobility.

  • Handrails are helpful. Make use of handrails. Important stability and support are offered by handrails. To avoid falls, always use these when going up or down stairs. Additionally, handrails can also be beneficial when walking on uneven surfaces or in slippery conditions. They provide an extra level of security and can help prevent accidents. Remember to always hold onto the handrail firmly and use it as a guide to maintain balance and stability.

  • Leading Leg Technique: Use the non-surgical leg to move upward and the surgical limb to lead when moving downward. This method lessens the strain on the knee that is operated on. By leading with the surgical limb when going downstairs, you can avoid putting excessive pressure on the knee that underwent surgery. This technique helps distribute the weight more evenly and reduces discomfort or potential damage to the operated knee. Remember to take it slow and steady, allowing your body to adjust to this new way of moving.

  • Think About Assistive Devices: If your doctor advises it, use a cane or crutches to provide you with more support. Assistive devices such as canes or crutches can help alleviate some of the weight-bearing pressure on the operated knee, allowing for smoother and more stable movement. These devices can also provide an added sense of security and confidence during the recovery process. However, it is important to consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine the appropriate type and duration of assistive device usage for your specific condition.

  • Go for Elevators or Ramps: To reduce knee strain, if feasible, take the elevator or use the ramp in place of the stairs. Using elevators or ramps instead of stairs can help reduce strain on the knee by minimizing the amount of weight-bearing pressure placed on the operated knee. This can contribute to a more comfortable and efficient recovery process. Additionally, it is important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed when using these alternative methods of navigation.

Advice for Climbing and Descending Stairs Following Knee Surgery

  • While going up:

  1. Keep your back straight, stand tall, and contract your core to maintain an erect posture. This position lessens knee discomfort and evenly distributes your weight.

  2. Make use of the handrail. Take one step at a time up the handrail for stability. Concentrate on using the non-surgical leg to support your body while you elevate it.

  3. Take your time. Do not go too quickly. If needed, take little breaks between steps to allow your muscles and joints to acclimate to the action.

  • While going down:

  1. Lean slightly forward. Maintain a straight back while bending slightly forward at the hips. This keeps the knee joints from being overly stressed while also assisting with balance.

  2. Use the handrail. Lead with the surgical leg and descend one step at a time while holding the handrail for stability.

  3. Take controlled motions. Steer clear of abrupt, jerky movements and concentrate on controlled ones. To guarantee a smooth descent, take your time.

When getting dressed

  • Select the Appropriate Clothes: The first step in making dressing after knee surgery easier is to choose the right clothes.

  1. Choose Loose-Fitting Apparel: It's simpler to put on and take off loose, comfy clothing without putting undue strain on your knees.

  2. Your Friend Is An Elastic Waistband: Elastic waistbanded skirts or pants offer ease of adjustment and flexibility without requiring complex motions.

  • Take a seat to get dressed: Sitting down to dress reduces knee strain and creates a more stable atmosphere.

  1. Use a Stable Chair: Select a supportive chair with strong arms. This aids in keeping equilibrium when clothing.

  2. Refrain from Standing for Extended Times: Take pauses between dressing stages if your knee surgery prevents you from standing comfortably to avoid becoming fatigued.

  • Apply Adhesive Devices: The dressing procedure can be made easier with the help of a few adapted technologies.

  1. Shoehorns with long handles: A long-handled shoehorn can help you put on shoes with less bending if you need to.

  2. Sticks for Dressing: These useful gadgets lessen the need for extensive bending or stretching by helping to reach and manipulate clothing components.

  • Prepare Your Attire in Advance: Preparing your clothes in advance can help you dress more quickly.

  1. Arrange Clothing in Easy Reach: To cut down on pointless moves, arrange your clothes so they are easily accessible.

  2. Examine Slip-On Sneakers: If you don't want to have to bend down or do complicated lacing, use slip-on shoes.

  • Take Your Time: It's important to take your time applying the dressing to avoid mishaps or straining your knee.

  1. Stop if required: Throughout the dressing procedure, take breaks if you feel tired or uncomfortable.

  2. Ask for Help When You Need It: Never be afraid to seek assistance if a particular movement is difficult for you. A family member or caregiver can offer invaluable support.

  • After dressing, elevate and chill. Follow up with post-dressing care to address any swelling or soreness that may remain after dressing effectively.

  1. Lift Your Leg Elevate your leg for a few minutes to help with swelling.

  2. Use ice as suggested: As part of your post-dressing regimen, apply ice to the surgical region if your healthcare practitioner instructs you to.

When sitting down

  • Reducing Strain: Sitting in the right position helps reduce strain on the knee, which makes the healing environment more comfortable and favorable.

  • Preventing Stiffness: One typical side effect of surgery is knee stiffness, which can be avoided by maintaining proper sitting posture. It also helps to increase adaptability.

  • Increasing Circulation: Sitting with your knee in the correct position promotes maximum blood circulation, which is essential for the healing process.

Precautions and Guidelines for Sitting After Knee Surgery

  1. Use a Firm, Elevated Surface: Choose sturdy chairs or other seating areas that offer sufficient support. Take into consideration elevating the knee slightly with a cushion or pillow.

  2. Maintain a 90-degree Angle: Whether your foot is flat on the floor or resting on a footrest, as you sit, maintain a 90-degree angle in your knee. As a result, the surgical site experiences less strain.

  3. Avoid Low Seating: Stay away from low couches or chairs that force you to bend your knee excessively to sit or stand up. Select seats that are at the right height.

  4. Use Assistive Equipment: To make getting into and out of chairs more comfortable, use assistive equipment like crutches or a walker as directed by your healthcare professional.

  5. Alternate Positions Frequently: Steer clear of sitting in one spot for extended periods. To avoid stiffness, make a conscious effort to shift your weight, extend your legs, and engage in mild knee exercises.

Particular Seating Positions for Various Situations

  1. Taking a Desk Seat: To keep your knees at a 90-degree angle, make sure your desk and chair are at the appropriate height. If you need more support, use a cushion.

  2. In a vehicle: Set the car seat so that your knees are properly aligned. When traveling, support the knee and keep your posture pleasant using a tiny cushion or folded towel.

  3. Television watching: Select a sofa or chair that offers adequate support. As needed, use cushions or pillows to keep your knees at the proper angle.

  4. Around the dinner table: Choose a chair that provides adequate back support, and make sure the height of the table permits a comfortable kneeling position.

When showering

  • Preparing for a Safe Shower Experience

  1. Surgeon Consultation: See your surgeon for particular instructions suited to your recuperation before beginning any post-surgery shower regimen.

  2. Ensure a Non-Slip Surface: If you are using crutches or have limited mobility, use a non-slip mat in the shower to lessen the chance of slipping.

  3. Use a Shower Chair: To reduce knee strain and offer a sturdy sitting surface, think about utilizing a shower chair.

  • Getting In and Out of the Shower

  1. Take your time: Showering ought to be done methodically and gradually. Give yourself enough time to get in and out of the shower safely. As part of this, make sure the bathroom floor is dry and free of any materials that could slip and cause an accident. For additional support and stability when entering and exiting the shower, think about adding grab bars or non-slip mats.

  2. Take help when needed: Having a caregiver or family member nearby may be helpful if assistance is required, especially in the early stages of recovery. They can help with things like turning down the water's temperature, giving you the things you need, or supporting you if you start to feel shaky. It's critical that you let them know about your wants and restrictions so they can offer the proper support.

  3. Dry Feet: To avoid slipping and falling, it's critical to ensure that your feet are sufficiently dry before going outside the shower. Additional stability and support for a safe escape can also be installed in the bathroom by installing grab bars or using a non-slip bath mat.

  • Proper Techniques for Showering

  1. Keep Incisions Dry: Make sure your incisions stay dry when you're taking a shower. If your healthcare professional advises it, cover it with plastic wrap or waterproof dressings.

  2. Use gentle, scent-free Soap: To prevent skin sensitivity, use a gentle, hypoallergenic soap without any scent. Rinse and lather gently, being careful not to exert too much pressure.

  3. Steer clear of hot water: Hot water might make swelling worse. To avoid escalating the irritation surrounding the surgery site, use lukewarm water.

  4. Pat Dry, Don't Rub: Use a gentle towel to pat dry your knee after taking a shower instead of rubbing it. This lessens the chance of any needless rubbing or irritation.

When walking

  • Walking After Knee Surgery Precautions

  1. Comply with the advice of your physical therapist. Depending on your particular operation and needs, your PT will create a customized walking plan for you. Pay attentive attention to their advice.

  2. Start Slow and Gradual: As your strength and mobility increase, start with short, leisurely walks and progressively increase the distance. Do not overexert yourself in the beginning.

  3. Use walking aids as directed: If a walker or crutches are prescribed, follow the directions on them. Stability and support are offered by these aids, particularly in the early stages of walking.

  4. Pay Attention to Your Posture: Assume a tall stance, keep your shoulders back, and distribute your weight equally over both legs. Maintaining proper posture helps with balance and lessens knee discomfort.

  5. Pay Attention to Your Stride: To avoid putting undue strain on the surgery site, take slow, deliberate strides. Refrain from taking abrupt steps or striding too far.

  • Walking Guidelines After Knee Surgery

  1. Stretch and warm up. Warm-up and stretch your muscles and joints gently before you go for a walk to improve blood flow. This lessens the stiffness.

  2. Put on appropriate footwear. Put on cozy, low-heeled shoes that are supportive. This lowers the possibility of slipping or stumbling and offers stability.

  3. Pick even, level surfaces. When you stroll, choose even, level terrain. Steer clear of gravel, uneven ground, and anything that could be a trip hazard.

  4. Take pauses when required. Pay attention to your body. Take breaks to rest if you're feeling tired or uncomfortable, and try not to exert yourself too much.

  5. Continue to drink water. Sufficient hydration is essential for full recuperation. Before and after strolling, be sure to consume enough water to assist your body's healing process.

Exercises to Enhance Walking After Knee Surgery

  1. Straight Leg raises: Lie on your back and lift one leg straight up while keeping the knee extended. Hold for a few seconds and lower it down. Repeat this exercise for 10–15 repetitions on each leg. This exercise helps to strengthen the quadriceps muscles, which are important for walking stability and support.

  2. Heel Slides: While lying on your back, slide your heel along the floor toward your buttocks, bending your knee. Slowly return to the starting position. This exercise helps improve knee flexion and strengthens the muscles around the knee joint. Make sure to keep your heel in contact with the floor throughout the movement.

  3. Stationary Bike: Incorporate stationary biking into your routine as recommended by your physical therapist. Stationary biking is a low-impact exercise that helps improve cardiovascular endurance and strengthens the muscles used for walking. It also provides a safe and controlled environment for rehabilitation, allowing you to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.

  4. Wall squats: Stand with your back against a wall and slide down into a squat position, keeping your knees aligned with your ankles. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly stand back up. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles around your knees. 5. Step-ups: Find a step or sturdy platform and step one foot onto it, followed by the other foot. Step back down in reverse order. This exercise helps improve balance and strengthens the muscles in your legs, including those around your knees.

  5. Calf Raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly lift your heels off the ground, rising onto your toes. Lower back down with control. Calf raises are a great exercise for strengthening the muscles in your calves, which can help support your knees. Be sure to keep your core engaged and maintain proper form throughout the movement. Additionally, you can progress with this exercise by holding onto a wall or using weights for added resistance.

In summary, make your recovery a top priority:

Taking care of oneself in the shower is essential to a good recovery from knee surgery. By adhering to these recommendations and implementing good hygiene habits, you can reduce the chance of infection and encourage recovery. Any questions you may have about your post-surgery treatment should be directed to your healthcare practitioner. Your dedication to self-care will play a major role in facilitating a quick and easy recovery.

To read more about surgery you can read following more articles related to these issues on further blogs

88 views10 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Dec 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Healthy Jeena Sikho's blog on knee surgery care is a lifesaver. The guidelines are practical, easy to follow, and played a crucial role in my successful recovery. Highly appreciate the valuable advice!


Avdhesh Chopra
Avdhesh Chopra
Dec 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I followed Healthy Jeena Sikho's knee surgery precautions, and it made a world of difference. The blog's concise tips provided a roadmap for my recovery, and I'm back on my feet sooner than expected.


social job Tecnology
social job Tecnology
Dec 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I found Healthy Jeena Sikho's knee surgery care guidelines incredibly useful. The blog offers practical advice, making the recovery process more manageable. A valuable resource!


Pratham verma
Pratham verma
Dec 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Knee surgery recovery was less daunting with Healthy Jeena Sikho's guidelines. The blog's clear instructions and helpful tips ensured a smoother and faster recuperation. Grateful for the guidance!


vansh mehndiratta
vansh mehndiratta
Dec 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks to Healthy Jeena Sikho, I sailed through my knee surgery recovery. The care tips provided in the blog were practical and immensely helpful. Highly recommended!

bottom of page