Orthopaedic Surgeon Questions Knee Replacement

How long does a knee replacement surgery take to heal?

How long after a knee replacement surgery can I return to my normal life, and start exercising again?

10 Answers

It’s usually 6 to 12 weeks before patients return to “normal" daily activities.
In general, you start exercising the same day; drive in 2-4 weeks and complete formal PT in 3 months. Your return to full activity the based on your individual functional recovery.
Good luck.

Dr. Louden
I guess that all depends on what you mean by your normal life and exercise. Most patients feel very good between 3 and 6 months, but a whole calendar year is needed for recovery. Patients should never return to impact exercise.
3-6 months
There is no rigid time frame that we can refer to. Recovery after knee replacement depends on the individual and how the presurgery deformity level and functional status was.
We start our patients walking the day of surgery. We then arrange for them to have physical therapy, which is exercise, for approximately one month. By the end of two weeks most people are walking without any supportive devices and are able to drive a car so long as they are not taking pain medications. Most of the pain, soreness, stiffness and swelling are markedly improved by six weeks postop. Most of our patients can return to their normal exercise regimen, excluding running, about 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.
"Normal" is usually about 10-12 weeks. I would allow return to most exercise then. I advise against running and jumping activities after knee replacement.
3 months.

David S. Bailie, MD
In general, after six weeks, you should be able to do what you could before surgery, but each day you get better. It takes about 6 months to get 85% recovery and a year to fully recover.
It typically takes 6-12 months to reach a plateau after a total knee replacement, although significant improvement can be seen in the shorter term. Return to exercise depends on what you normally do - not everyone can or should return to impact activities, although some are able to return to vigorous activities such as skiing or tennis. It is generally best to wait until you've regained near full motion as well as strength and balance before returning to higher demand exercise.