What is a Total Knee Replacement (TKR)?

Reviewed by Dr Mayank VijayvargiyaNovember 9,2023 | 10:27 AM
Dr Mayank Vijayvargiya - Total Knee Replacement at Hinduja Hospital

What is a Total Knee Replacement (TKR)?

One of the most effective orthopaedic procedures done nowadays is knee replacement. A total knee replacement or TKR is a surgical treatment which involves removing damaged/arthritic part of the knee and replacing them with artificial implants. The primary objective of knee replacement surgery is to alleviate persistent knee pain, give them mobility and ultimately improve the quality of life.

Who needs a knee replacement?

Individuals suffering from severe arthritis or a significant knee pain which is hampering the daily activities and/or affecting their quality of life may consider this surgery as a potential treatment option.
Recovery after Total Knee Replacement
Most of the patients are expected to start walking on the same day of the surgery with the use of a walker or some walking aids. Patients are able to be independent to go the restrooms from the same day of the surgery.

When do you expect a discharge?

A patient typically stays in the hospital for three to five days. After being discharged, outpatient physical therapy is often recommended and typically begins one week after surgery.

Is Physiotherapy required?

Yes, Physiotherapy is required for a period of two to four weeks, post-surgery. This can opted at a Physiotherapy facility or at home.

The patient will learn the following from a physical therapist:

  • Exercises to strengthen the knees.
  • Knee stretches to improve range of motion and reduce scar tissue.
  • How to use a walker and a cane as supportive walking aids.

How long a walker/walking aid required?

It takes two to four weeks for the patient to be comfortable and confidence to walk independently.

Activities after Total Knee Replacement

While the patient will be able to continue with the majority of their previous activities, they should avoid engaging in activities that exert excessive stress on their "new" knee, such as running or jumping.

Before Hospital Discharge
Prior to being discharged from the hospital, the patient must accomplish several objectives, including:

  • Getting in and out of bed independently
  • Being able to eat, drink, and use the restroom
  • Being capable of walking on level surfaces with a walker, cane, or crutches, as well as climbing two or three steps
  • Having adequate pain management

Upon discharge, the medical staff will provide the patient with information to support their recovery at home. The healthcare professionals will discuss potential issues and symptoms of infection or blood clotting.

Recovery at Home

The patient should continue to be active after returning home. Avoiding doing too much too soon is key. A healthy weight can be maintained, and the knee muscles can be strengthened through exercise. The physical therapist may advise the following activities each day:

  • 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, 2-3 times
  • Walking 2-3 times for 30 minutes

Based on the patient's needs and general health, the doctor will suggest activities and exercises. In general, they will advise low-impact workouts that the patient should be able to perform following surgery.

  • Walking - One of the finest workouts for strengthening the knees is walking. Additionally, it's a healthy approach to losing weight and is beneficial for the heart. As you gradually increase the distance you walk, start with smaller steps and shorter walks. To monitor the progress, record the length of each walk you take.
  • Swimming - Swimming is an excellent method to exercise without placing strain on the prosthetic knee because it is not a weight-bearing activity. Aqua aerobics and other water workouts are also wonderful options. Many patients with knee replacements can start swimming again 3–6 weeks following surgery. However, it is advised to speak with a doctor or physical therapist before jumping into the pool.
  • Yoga - After knee joint replacement, many individuals believe yoga is inappropriate. However, for those adjusting to life with a new joint, it can be a fantastic alternative. Gentle stretching is an excellent technique to reduce stiffness, increase flexibility, and enhance knee health in general. Avoiding twisting motions is crucial, as is protecting the knees by keeping them in line with the hips and ankles.
  • Running - According to the majority of knee doctors, it is only safe to begin jogging or running after a few months. The reason for this is that the body heals slowly, and it will take time for the bone where the new knee surfaces were joined to consolidate and settle. After a knee replacement, it is usually advised to wait at least 4-6 months before beginning to run.
  • Cycling - Cycling is a fantastic approach to restore strength in the operated knee. Whether using a real bicycle or an exercise machine, stay on a flat surface and gradually increase the distance.
  • Driving - Following knee replacement surgery, patients can resume driving four to six weeks after the knee replacement procedure. It is important to give the joints some rest before starting to drive again, as they need to be able to bend the knees enough to operate the car.
  • Travelling - Once you've spoken with the orthopaedic surgeon, you can resume travelling. To prevent overworking the knee joints, avoid lengthy flights and physically demanding road trips. To prevent blood clots while travelling a long distance, make a few adjustments to your routine and dress appropriately.

What to avoid in recovery after TKR?

Knee replacement surgery recovery heavily depends on adhering to the doctor's recommended treatment schedule. The following actions may delay healing:

  • Not doing physiotherapy
  • Failing to perform physical therapy exercises.
  • Remaining in bed without taking breaks at least once per hour.
  • Smoking.

Another crucial step in the Knee replacement recovery process is preventing falls. A person may experience a fall if they refuse assistance with specific tasks or fail to use an assistive device, which could further delay their recovery.

Total Knee Replacement at Hinduja Hospital

Hinduja Hospital is the leading hospital for total knee replacement surgery, with highly skilled and experienced knee replacement surgeons and a successful track record in performing knee replacement surgeries. Our surgical team comprises an exceptional group of medical professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in performing complex total knee replacement surgeries.

The entire procedure will be made comfortable and safe with the assistance and guidance of our professionals. We support a patient-centred approach to address the unique requirements of each patient. For more details on the cost of knee replacement surgery, call us on 022 6766 8181/022 4510 8181.


Q1: How long does it take to recover from a knee replacement?

Ans: After six weeks, the doctor would advise you to get back to your normal routine, but it may take up to four months for your pain to go away and three to six months to fully heal.

Q2: Is it possible to climb stairs after a knee replacement?

Ans: On the first day itself, following TKR, you will walk up and down stairs one foot at a time (non-reciprocally). Holding on to the bannister will aid you as you try to ascend stairs by alternating one foot every step as you gain strength.

Q3: Can you resume normal activities after a knee replacement?

Ans: Even though you will be able to continue with the majority of your previous activities, you may want to avoid engaging in activities that put an undue amount of stress on your "new" knee, such as leaping, running, or skiing.

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