Health & Wellness

Knee Replacement Surgery: Safely Moving to and from the Floor

In today’s medical landscape, knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, has become a common remedy for arthritis patients. This procedure entails replacing the natural knee joint with a hybrid of plastic and metal components. While the surgery itself is commonplace, the post-surgery phase can present unique challenges. This article focuses on life after the surgery, particularly the intricacies of everyday movements like getting up and down from the floor.

Table of Contents

Post-Surgery: The Initial 24 Hours

  • The aftermath of the surgery often involves a period of grogginess; waking up might span up to 24 hours, depending on individual reactions and the specifics of the procedure.

The Role of Physiotherapy:

  • Why It’s Essential: Once you’re awake and alert, your doctor will likely introduce physiotherapy into your recovery regimen. These sessions are vital as trained physiotherapists assist patients in regaining leg mobility.
  • Upon Discharge: Before leaving the hospital, it’s prudent to discuss post-operative precautions with your surgeon. This interaction can not only provide clarity but also impart a sense of reassurance. Furthermore, inquire with your physiotherapist about exercises suitable for at-home practice.

The Recovery Journey:

Understanding the recovery timeline is crucial to managing expectations:

  • It’s a gradual process, with the knee potentially taking up to three months for a full recovery.
  • Some swelling is expected. Remember, healing is a time-intensive process.
  • A pivotal aspect of recovery involves relearning movements, such as safely descending to and rising from the floor.

Practicing Safe Kneeling After Knee Replacement Surgery

knee replacement surgery

Training oneself to sit on the floor after a knee replacement is a commendable goal. However, diving right into it might be premature and potentially harmful. It’s advised to begin with kneeling exercises for an initial period of six months.

Precautions and Techniques:

Safety is paramount. Adopting the right technique ensures you avoid injury and build strength progressively. Here are some recommendations to practice kneeling:

  • Gentle Start: Initially, focus on partial weight-bearing exercises to get accustomed to the movement.
  • Always Have Support: Especially in the initial stages, ensure you’re near a stable object like a chair, table, or wall. This provides an added layer of safety and allows you to have something to grab onto if needed.
  • Seek Assistance: Practice these exercises when there’s someone nearby to assist, ensuring an added layer of safety.
  • Listen to Your Body: If at any point you feel discomfort beyond the usual stretching sensation, it’s imperative to stop. Over time, as your confidence and strength build, the process will become more natural.

How to Get Down on the Floor After Knee Replacement

How to Get Down on the Floor After Knee Replacement

1. Choose Your Support Wisely:

Identify a stable chair or table that can bear your weight without wobbling.

2. Hand Positioning:

Place your hands on the armrest of the chair or grip the edges of the table. This will be your primary support as you lower yourself.

3. Lead with the Non-Surgical Leg:

Begin by bending your non-operated leg, gently guiding your knee towards the floor.

4. Follow with the Surgical Leg:

Once your non-surgical leg is securely positioned, carefully bend your surgical leg, bringing its knee down next to the other.

5. Shift to a Four-Point Position:

With both knees on the floor, transfer your weight, allowing both of your hands to rest on the floor. This four-point position ensures stability.

6. Completing the Descent:

Shift your weight gently to one side, placing your hip on the floor. From this position, ease into a comfortable seated posture.

Remember, the key to mastering this movement is patience and practice. With time, it will become more intuitive and fluid. Always ensure that you are in a safe environment, free from obstructions, and have sturdy support at hand.

How to Get Up off the Floor With Bad Knees

How to Get Up off the Floor With Bad Knees

Navigating everyday movements with bad knees can be a daunting task. The simple act of getting up from the floor can turn challenging. Here’s a methodical approach to safely and effectively rise from the ground, minimizing stress on compromised knees.

1. Starting Position:

Begin in the same position as kneeling, with both hands and knees touching the floor. This four-point position serves as a stable base to initiate the movement.

2. Seek Support:

Transition your hands from the floor, reaching out to grasp the sides of a chair or table nearby. Ensure the support is sturdy and won’t shift during the movement.

3. One Leg at a Time:

Lift one leg, positioning that foot close to your chair or table. This foot will bear your weight as you rise.

4. Bring Up the Second Leg:

Follow by bringing the second leg forward, placing it next to the first.

5. Use a Gentle Push:

If standing proves challenging, utilize your arms and hands to provide a gentle push or boost. Engage your core muscles for added stability.

6. Rise Slowly:

Engage in a controlled, steady motion as you stand up. Rushing may compromise your balance and exacerbate knee discomfort.

While this technique aids in rising from the floor with bad knees, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s condition is unique. Adapt the method as needed, ensuring safety and comfort throughout the process.

Rising from a Fall without Kneeling After Knee Surgery

Experiencing a fall after knee replacement surgery can be daunting, especially when the usual methods of getting up involve putting pressure on your knees. Staying calm and composed is pivotal. Here’s a strategy to help you rise without kneeling:

1. Stay Calm:

After a fall, it’s natural to feel a surge of panic. Start by taking a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. This will help you think more clearly and assess your situation.

2. Position Your Legs:

Instead of bending your knees, stretch your legs out in front of you. Alternatively, you can angle them outward, creating a “V” shape. This minimizes pressure on the knees.

3. Seek Nearby Support:

Look around for a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a chair, table, or couch. If possible, shuffle or drag yourself closer to this support using your hips and arms.

4. Use Your Upper Body Strength:

Once you’re close to a stable object, use your arms and upper body strength to help you get to a more upright position. Avoid putting strain on your freshly operated knee.

5. Alert Someone:

If standing up proves too challenging, or if you feel discomfort, try to move close to a phone or alarm system. It’s always a good idea to alert someone nearby or call for assistance after a fall, especially post-surgery.

Remember, every individual’s recovery and strength will vary, so always prioritize your safety and well-being over attempting to stand up quickly. If frequent falls or balance issues persist, consider discussing it with your healthcare provider or physiotherapist.

How to Get Up from Chairs After Knee Surgery

A person sitting in a chair  Description automatically generated
a women get up on the chair with the walker help

Post-knee surgery, even the mundane act of standing up from a chair can pose a challenge. Especially in the initial months, doctors often advise patients to avoid sitting on the floor and to opt for chairs instead. Here’s a structured method to safely and effectively rise from a seated position on a chair:

1. Choose the Right Chair:

Opt for a stable chair with armrests. The added support can assist greatly in the standing proces

2. Relearn the Basics:

Having lived with knee problems, patients often develop unique ways of standing to minimize pain. Post-surgery, it’s essential to relearn the basic, safe way of rising to avoid strain on the new knee joint.

3. Weight Distribution:

When preparing to stand, shift your weight forward and use the strength of your arms and hands by pressing down on the armrests. This reduces the pressure exerted on your knees.

4. Position Your Legs:

Being by sliding your uninjured leg slightly backward. This offers a more favorable angle to push off from.

5. Use Upper Body Strength:

Leverage the strength in your arms and upper body. Press down on the armrests as you begin to stand, ensuring the majority of the effort is through your arms, not your legs.

6. Employ Assistive Devices:

Having a walker or any other mobility aid nearby can provide additional support. As you rise, transition your hands from the chair’s armrests to the walker’s handles. This not only provides stability but also ensures you’re not placing undue stress on your operated knee.

It’s worth noting that as your recovery progresses and strength improves, the process of standing up will become more intuitive. Nonetheless, always prioritize safety and follow the recommended guidelines, especially in the initial months post-surgery.

How to Recover from Knee Replacement at Home

How to Recover from Knee Replacement at Home
Cropped image of handsome doctor bandaging woman’s injured knee while working in his office

It’s paramount to emphasize that any post-surgery action should align with the guidance of your orthopaedic surgeon or doctor. While friends, family, and social media may offer a plethora of advice, it’s always best to base your recovery strategy on professional medical counsel. By adhering strictly to the expert’s guidelines, you ensure your recovery is not only rapid but also safe and efficient.

Addressing Post-Surgical Swelling:

Swelling is a common side effect after a knee replacement surgery. It can intensify after exercise, prolonged standing, or excessive leg movement. Here are some at-home remedies to alleviate swelling:

1. Ice Application:
Gently place an ice pack over your knee for short intervals. This provides relief by numbing the area and reducing inflammation.

2. Ankle Pumps:
Engage in ankle pump exercises, but ensure you intersperse them with rest periods. This helps in improving circulation, thus reducing swelling.

3. Leg Elevation:
Elevate your leg periodically, ensuring it’s roughly at heart level. Using a pillow can aid in maintaining this position comfortably. Elevation promotes the draining of excess fluid, further reducing swelling.

Remember, while these methods can be beneficial, always consult your healthcare professional before incorporating any new techniques or exercises into your recovery routine or you can also go through this specific guide to recover from knee replacement surgery at home.

Adapting Your Home for Post-Knee Replacement Recovery

Adapting Your Home for Post-Knee Replacement Recovery

Post-surgery, creating a safe and conducive environment at home is essential to facilitate smooth recovery. Here’s how you can make necessary changes, especially if you live alone or with limited assistance:

1. Declutter and Safety-Proof:

  • Remove Potential Hazards: Clear away any obstacles or items that might lead to trips or falls, including sharp-edged furniture or decor items.
  • Secure Loose Cords: Ensure that there are no trailing electrical wires or cords on the floor, as these can be potential tripping hazards.

2. Optimize Flooring:

  • Carpeting Over Hard Floors: A room with carpeting can be beneficial, offering a softer landing and reducing the risk of injury from potential falls.
  • Non-Slip Mats: Place non-slip mats in areas that are prone to moisture like bathrooms and kitchens.

3. Furniture Arrangement:

  • Strategic Placement: Place chairs and tables in strategic locations around your home. These can act as support points when walking or transitioning from sitting to standing.
  • Height Considerations: Opt for chairs that are not too low, making it easier for you to stand up.

4. Keep Mobility Aids Accessible:

  • Easy-to-Reach: Always keep mobility aids like crutches, walkers, or canes within arm’s reach, especially near your bed or favorite sitting areas. This ensures that support is readily available when needed.

By implementing these changes, you create a safer environment for your post-operative recovery, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring a smoother healing process.

Post Knee Replacement Surgery: Effective Exercises for Rehabilitation

Post Knee Replacement Surgery Effective Exercises for Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation following a knee replacement surgery involves a series of exercises designed to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles around the new knee joint. It’s crucial to adhere to the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist for a smoother recovery. Here are some commonly prescribed exercises:

1. Walking: Foundations of Mobility:

  • Initial Phase: You might find walking challenging during the first few weeks. Use crutches or walkers to assist.
  • Posture: Ensure you maintain a straight back. Begin with short sessions and gradually increase your walking duration, taking breaks as needed.

2. Muscle Pumping: Dual Benefits:

  • Can be done lying down initially. Simply move your toes back and forth.
  • Aids in reducing swelling and improving circulation.

3. Knee Stretches: Flexibility Boost:

  • Straightening Stretch: While seated, extend one leg forward, feeling the stretch behind your knee. Hold briefly.
  • Bending Stretch: Slide your foot backward, feeling a stretch, then move it forward until your heel is slightly off the ground.

4. Thigh Squeeze:

  • Ideal for bed-bound exercises. Activate your thigh muscles by pressing your knee backward. Hold for up to 10 seconds.

5. Heel and Leg Slides: Range of Motion:

  • Heel Slides: On a bed or floor, bend your leg by sliding the heel towards your hip.
  • Leg Slides: Move your surgical leg sideways on the floor, then return to the start position.

6. Lying Kicks: Build Strength:

  • With a rolled towel or blanket under the knee for support, raise your leg about 6 inches off the surface, then lower.

7. Leg Raises: Muscle Activation:

  • Bend your non-operated leg. Raise your surgical leg, keeping it straight. Hold briefly before lowering.

8. Seated Leg Movements:

  • Kicks: Sit upright on a chair. Extend your surgical leg out and then retract. For added resistance over time, consider adding a light weight.

Remember, while these exercises are beneficial, they should be performed under the guidance of a medical professional, ensuring they align with your specific recovery stage and needs. Always prioritize safety, and don’t push yourself too hard too soon.

Post Knee Replacement: What to Avoid

Post Knee Replacement What to Avoid

After undergoing knee replacement surgery, there are certain precautions and behaviors you must adopt to ensure a smooth and complication-free recovery. Here are some critical points to consider:

1. Pain Management:

  • Limit Pain Killers: It’s advisable to use pain medications judiciously. Relying too heavily on them can lead to dependency or side effects.

2. Dietary Precautions:

  • Mind Your Meals: As your activity levels might be reduced post-surgery, opt for lighter, nutritious meals. Overeating can lead to discomfort or nausea.

3. Weight Maintenance:

  • Monitor Weight Gain: Gaining significant weight post-surgery can exert undue pressure on the new knee joint, risking potential damage.

4. Activity Restrictions:

  • Avoid High-Impact Exercises: For some time post-surgery, it’s essential to avoid activities like running, fast walking, hiking, and swimming.
  • Weight Lifting: Refrain from lifting heavy objects as it can strain the operated knee.

5. Knee Movements:

  • No Twisting: Avoid any abrupt twisting movements to prevent injury to your healing knee.
  • Sitting Posture: For the initial recovery months, avoid sitting with legs crossed to ensure the new joint isn’t strained.

It’s crucial to always follow your surgeon’s advice and recommendations. These general guidelines are meant to complement the specific instructions you receive from your medical professionals.


The path to recovery following a knee replacement can vary significantly from one individual to another. While the healing process might seem lengthy, adhering to your physician’s guidelines and prescribed treatments will expedite your journey back to normalcy. Patience is paramount—hastening through recovery might be tempting, but it’s essential to let your body dictate the pace.

Incorporating the exercises we’ve outlined, coupled with those recommended by your therapist, can be immensely beneficial. Regular consultations with your surgeon are vital to ensure everything is progressing as expected. By monitoring your health and weight and committing to a holistic recovery approach, you’ll be on your feet and embracing life’s activities in no time.

Medical Disclaimer: This guide is meant for informational purposes. Always consult with a physiotherapist or medical professional to ensure exercises are suitable for your specific condition and recovery stage.


Q. In how much time will you recover from knee replacement surgery?

Ans. Recovery from knee replacement surgery can take up to 6 months, or more depends on your health and care.

Q. Can you perform all activities that you were performing before surgery?

Ans. If you went through a full knee replacement surgery, then it’s hard to say yes. As it is not possible, some of the tasks that you performed earlier will become hard for you. But this surgery is better than the pain with which you were dealing before.

Q. For how much time can you stand up after surgery?

Ans. Start slowly with less timing. Stand for some seconds in the star and then for minutes.

Q. What if you fall after surgery and want to get up without kneeling?

Ans. Accidents can happen anytime, and any mishap can happen, so don’t panic at that time try to stand up with the help of your hands in the same manner that we have discussed above; if you can’t get up, still try to move with the help of your hips towards phone or any bell to call for help.

Q. Is it OK to sit on the floor after knee replacement?

Ans. Yes, it is, but follow the tricks mentioned above or just sit on a chair or sofa.

Emma Aaron

I have a Bachelor's degree in medicine and am presently working at a renowned hospital in California. I used my leisure time to share my expertise with others through my blog. In addition to my work in healthcare, I like reading fiction and enjoy writing posts a lot. I want to use my writing to help the health sector on my blog site. You'll get exclusive informational content about health & Fitness.

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