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After Knee Replacement: Controlling Swelling

Swelling is common after total knee replacement. It may be worse after exercise. To help control swelling, follow the steps below.

Ice your knee

Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a thin cloth, then place it on your knee. Don’t use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. If you have an ice machine, use it as directed.

Elevate your leg

Elevate your leg above your heart. Ask your healthcare provider about safe positions to do this.

Do ankle pumps

Leg from knee down showing ankle pumps. Bandage on knee.

Continue doing ankle pumps. They help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and prevent blood clots. Point, then flex both feet slowly. Repeat this 10 to 30 times each hour.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021
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