How should I sleep after knee surgery?

sleep after knee surgery

What is knee surgery?

Knee replacement involves removing parts of the bones that make up the knee joint and replacing them with artificial implants. It is mainly used to treat osteoarthritis-related knee pain and stiffness.

Most patients who undergo this surgery have severe knee arthritis. The cartilage in the knee has worn away, and the surface has become pitted, degraded, and uneven.

Pain, soreness, instability, and a shift in body alignment are symptoms of this condition. Some patients who have a weaker knee joint because of an accident or another ailment may benefit from knee replacement surgery.

Let's now talk about the best sleeping postures after knee replacement surgery.

The best positions to sleep in after knee surgery

Here are some suggestions for sleeping after knee replacement surgery to help you recover quickly.

● Lie Down on Your Back

Sleeping on your back is the most incredible sleeping posture just after surgery. To minimize hypertension of the knee and maintain normal blood flow to the operation site, keep your operating leg as straight as possible.

Place the pillow beneath your leg and knee if you sleep on your back. It can relieve weight on the knee and help maintain your leg straight. Use another cushion if one is flat. Avoid putting the cushion beneath your foot, which can strain your knees and worsen your discomfort.

● Sleep on Your Side

If you are one of those persons who like to sleep on their sides, avoid sleeping on your operative side. In addition, place a cushion or pillow between your legs to support your knees. If you need extra support, place another pillow under your knee to ease it and make the portion more comfortable.

However, it might be unpleasant since the leg is not straight enough while sleeping on the side. As your knee recovers, you may gradually begin sleeping on your side. Sleeping on the operational side, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs since it tremendously pressures the surgical site.

Dos and Don'ts after a knee surgery

On the path to recovery, remember these do's and don'ts:

● Rehabilitation must be taken seriously

You must follow your doctor's post-surgery instructions meticulously when you return to your own home. Even though it hurts, go through every exercise your PT has instructed you to do.

Remember that the patient's desire to work diligently in physical therapy and rehabilitation is the key to a successful result. So, give it your all and don't give up! The work will pay off in the long run. Taking recommended drugs and getting enough sleep is also critical to a speedy knee recovery.

● Make use of ice and heaty

For three to six months after surgery, patients will probably have swelling in the knee area. The first few days following surgery are ideal for using an ice pack three to four times a day for around 10 to 20 minutes.

Ice and heat may be used to relax muscles and ease stiffness after the early swelling has subsided. If ice does not reduce swelling, or if you believe you would benefit from using cold or heat for extended durations, see your physician or physical therapist.

● Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Faster recovery after surgery is possible if you maintain a balanced diet and exercise routine. Smoking compresses your blood vessels, which slows down the healing process. If you smoke, try to reduce or quit. If you're on blood-thinning medicine or narcotic painkillers, don't consume alcohol.

Maintain a healthy weight to avoid putting additional strain on your knee and prolonging the time to recover. Last, if you've received the go-ahead from your physician, you may work on your leg muscles and blood flow by engaging in low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or pedaling a stationary bike.

● Avoid putting excessive stress on the knee

To prevent injury, avoid lifting important things, ensure you turn your entire body, and avoid twisting your knee while changing directions. It's a good idea to discuss these motions with your physiotherapist so that they can assist you in learning how to do them correctly.

● Do not plan any other surgeries during your recovery

Avoid dental treatment and other surgical procedures, particularly those on your bladder and intestines, since they might cause an infection in your knee while it is recovering.


Remember that no two people or procedures are the same. People develop and heal at various speeds. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your progress along the journey.

Knee replacement is a beneficial surgery for people who experience significant pain and discomfort.

If you have any queries, you can book an appointment with our experts.

About Author

Dr. Ajinkya Desale

Best Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon in Nashik