Q: How long does pain last after a total knee replacement?

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Initial pain after a total knee replacement typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks. You’ll continue to have milder pain in the soft tissues around your knees as you heal. You may experience inflammation for 2 to 3 months and stiffness and soreness for up to 6 months. Expect to be fully recovered in 12 to18 months.

Factors that affect post-surgery pain:

  • Medication history: If you’ve been taking pain medicine before your knee replacement, your body may have built up a tolerance to pain medication.

  • Weight: Being overweight puts extra pressure on your joints and could slow recovery and pain reduction.

  • Disease severity: If you had severe arthritis in your knee before surgery, you’ll feel significantly better than someone who had mild arthritis.

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  1. Do you need to see an orthopedic physician or a rheumatologist? UMass Memorial Medical Center. 
  2. Knee Problems. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.