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When You’re Having a Knee Replacement

Common Questions

​​How long before I can stop using my walker or crutches?

You must use your walking aids until your healthcare team says you can stop. Most people need to use walking aids for the first 6 weeks after surgery.

When can I drive?

Most people aren’t allowed to drive for 6 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when it’s safe to drive. To drive safely, your strength and reflexes need to be as good as before your knee surgery. If you’re in an accident, your insurance may not cover you if you’re not safe to drive.

Do I need to see my family doctor after surgery?

Your family doctor will be sent a report about your surgery and your recovery. You don’t need to follow-up with your family doctor unless your surgeon tells you to. If you have a concern or problem related to your knee surgery, call your Case Manager.

Do I need to tell healthcare providers about my new knee?

Be sure to tell your dentist or other healthcare providers that care for you that you had knee replacement surgery.

When can I travel?

You shouldn’t travel long distances in the first 3 months after surgery. This is because sitting for too long while travelling increases the risk of blood clots. Speak with your Case Manager or surgeon about planned or unexpected travel you do in the 3 months after surgery.

When can I go back to work?

When you can go back to work depends on how well and how quickly you heal after surgery and the kind of work you do. Your surgeon will tell you when you can go back to work.

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Current as of: May 6, 2019

Author: Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services