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Going Home after your Total Knee Replacement

The following instructions contain general information and advice regarding your condition and are designed to provide you with a guide on how best to safeguard your health. However, they are not intended to be exhaustive instructions. In specific cases you may receive different/additional instructions from your doctor. You are advised to follow any specific written or oral instructions given to you by your doctor or healthcare worker. Please seek clarification in case of doubt.


  • Increase your activities gradually as tolerated.
  • Continue with the exercise programme which involves specific exercises repeatedly performed
    several times a day.
  • Knee stretching exercises - increase flexibility and range of motion at the knee and reduce
  • Strengthening exercises – involve muscle tightening.
  • Continue with walking exercises as taught by the multi-disciplinary healthcare team. Please
    refer to the education handbook/ pamphlet given.
  • Use your walking aids until further instructions from the doctor or physiotherapist.


  • There are no restrictions on your diet. If you have underlying medical problems, follow
    recommended nutritional advice from your healthcare provider.
  • Take a well-balanced diet with adequate protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals to promote wound
    healing and bowel movement.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily unless otherwise instructed.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess weight places stress on the knee joint.

Safe and effective use of medication

  • Take prescribed medications as instructed by pharmacist.
  • Stop medication if allergy reactions appear e.g. rashes on body, swollen eyes or lips and seek medical treatment from a doctor immediately.

Wound Care

  • Always keep your dressing clean and dry. If dressing is soaked, immediately visit any General
  • Practitioner or polyclinic for change of dressing.
  • Your wound may be exposed according to your surgeon’s instruction.
  • Once wound is exposed, ensure incision site is kept clean and dry.
  • Do not apply any powder, lotion or ointment over the incision site.
  • Check your wound daily for:
    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Discharges (blood, pus or fluids)
    • Odour
    • Increasing pain.
  • Absorbable sutures that do not need removal are usually used to close your surgical wound. Your nurse will advise if you need removal of sutures or staples.

A referral form for wound care will be given to you upon discharge. Please refer to the form for the date of dressing change and date of removal of sutures/ staples (if necessary).

Special Instructions

  • Apply ice therapy to operated knee after exercise for about 30mins, at least three times a day to reduce swelling and pain. Avoid direct ice or cold packs application; always wrap ice cold pack with a thin towel before applying to your operated knee.
  • Elevate your leg with pillow to reduce swelling especially after exercise. Place pillow at your ankle, do not place pillow directly underneath your knees.
  • Sit on a firm high chair with armrest. Use armrest to assist you when standing up to decrease pressure on your knees.
  • Do not carry heavy loads of more than 5kg.
  • Avoid using bathtubs and squatting toilets.
  • Sit on a chair when showering. Arrange toiletries within easy reach.
  • Be seated when you are getting dressed.
  • Avoid strenuous movements such as twisting; and high impact activities such as jumping and running, as they may damage your prosthesis.
  • Before any dental work or invasive medical procedures, inform your dentist or doctor that you have prosthesis and you need antibiotics to prevent infection.

When and how to seek further treatment

Seek urgent medical consultation with your doctor at the Specialist Outpatient Clinic during office hours or at the Department of Emergency Medicine of Singapore General Hospital after office hours, if any one of the following conditions occur:

  • Swelling or redness at the operated site.
  • Discharges from the wound.
  • Fever of 38 degree celsius and above.
  • Body chills and/or sweating.
  • Increasing pain over the surgical site.
  • Discomfort that is not relieved by medicine, rest or ice packs.
  • Your legs are cool to touch, dusky in color, numb, tingling or if you develop calf pain.
  • You sustain a fall or injury to your knee.
  • Any other abnormal and/or prolonged symptoms which cause concern.

Contact Us

If you need to clarify on any of the above conditions, you can contact your orthopaedic/ward nurse

Ward Nurse Clinician: (65) 6321 4750 / 6321 4760

Follow - Up Appointment

  • Keep your appointment(s) as scheduled.
  • Report to Orthopaedic Diagnostic Centre prior to the Doctor on the appointment date and time.

For any change of appointment(s), please visit our Make or Change appointment eServices >