Knee Surgery Rehabilitation

Knee Surgery Rehabilitation

If you’re having knee surgery soon, you’re probably wondering what post-operative rehabilitation will look like. It’s important to be prepared for knee surgery rehabilitation because it plays a key role in helping you recover and resume an active lifestyle. The rehabilitation programme you receive depends on the type of knee surgery that you will have. Different surgeries have different rehabilitation programmes.

Good rehabilitation can help you heal faster and stay active longer. It’s vital to plan and push yourself to do as much as you can every day, even if it’s just a little bit.

Timeline of Knee Surgery Rehabilitation after a Knee Replacement

Day 1

Once you wake up from surgery, you’ll get started on rehabilitation. The first 24 hours will see you standing and walking using an assistive device with the help of a caring and patient physiotherapist. You need to start using your artificial knee ASAP.

Your physio will give you exercises to do every day and guide you through them. These exercises will help you strengthen your muscles and learn how to get in and out of bed using walkers, crutches, canes, etc. You’ll get set up with a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine in the hospital room and maybe at home. By keeping your knee in motion, you help to prevent scar tissue and stiffness.

Day 2

On the second day, you might be asked to walk for brief periods using an assistive device and to use a regular toilet rather than a bedpan. Generally, your activity level will increase.


As your knee gets stronger, you’ll be discharged. You’ll be shifted from prescription-strength painkillers to a lower dose medication. Your physio will ask you to go on longer walks outside your room, climb up and down a flight of stairs, move onto a chair or toilet without assistance and use your walker, crutches or cane less. You should be able to take care of general tasks on your own and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle without assistance. By this point, you should know how to perform the necessary exercises.

The Following Weeks

From weeks 3 to 12, you should progressively recover well as long as you stick to the plan laid out by your physio. You’ll start by moving around more freely and in less pain, relying less and less on your assisted devices. Between 4 to 6 weeks is when you’ll see significant improvement in your knee surgery rehabilitation. You can go on longer walks and nearly wean yourself off your assistive device.

Consult your physio before trying new activities, as you may not yet be ready. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Patience is important and following your physio’s plans and advice is crucial to recovery.

If you’ve been diligent with your recovery plan, by week 12 or 13, you could be doing higher intensity activities like:

  • long, fast walks
  • bike riding
  • return to sport like lawn bowls or a light exercise class

Rehabilitation Services from Power Physiotherapy in Perth

If you are looking for dedicated, patient, friendly and experienced physiotherapists in Perth, look no further than Power Physiotherapy. We offer a great rehabilitation service, with a number of different programmes tailored to suit your needs.

Our physiotherapists can help with your knee surgery rehabilitation by creating home exercise programmes, correcting your posture, advising you on specific strength training, and everything in between.

CTA: Contact Power Physiotherapy in Perth for knee surgery rehabilitation services.