Help - Feeling very low after knee replacement surgery

Hi all. I’m reaching out for help. Any personal stories of advice or help would be so appreciated. 

I had a total knee replacement Friday 5th May. I came out of hospital on Tuesday and I’m very focused on the exercises and icing. My knee has immense swelling though and I’m unable to do the exercises properly. I know how important getting a bend of 90 degrees is by day 7 and I am nowhere near this. 

I suffer from anxiety and have been getting really panicky about everything so please anything you can share would be helpful I’m sure.


  • Hi @wattwrbev

    Thank you for posting on the Online Community. It is good to hear that you have now had your knee replacement surgery, as it can be a long wait.

    I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with the exercises since returning home. It can take time to regain your range of movement and swelling often occurs post operatively. Taking sufficient pain medication is important during the early stages of recovery to enable you to do the exercises and move more easily. It is understandable that you feel anxious about your progress, especially as you were prone to anxiety and worry before your surgery.

    It may help to contact your GP or physiotherapist for advice and reassurance. Do re-visit the leaflets and instructions you have been given by the hospital. This usually includes a number to phone if you need advice. Hopefully, you have a follow-up appointment booked with your orthopaedic specialist.

    If you would like to have more replies to your post, you are welcome to repost on our Living with Arthritis forum which is another source of support to share experiences and personal stories with others facing similar challenges.

    I hope the information given below will be of some help. 

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor 

  • skyfall1
    skyfall1 Member Posts: 2

    Hi I'm newly diagnosed with oesarthritis in both knees 2022 but it has got worse and im working and it hurts to walk. Starting to freak out because I don't know what to do if I'm not able to work i feel pain in my knees and both my wrist. I dont want to take drugs or get cortisone shots all my life . Looking at people who has went through surgery and no change. Didn't know getting old is like this.

  • Hi @skyfall1

    Thank you for posting on the Online Community. I am sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing due to osteoarthritis (OA) which is limiting daily activities and making it difficult to walk. It is understandable that you are worried about your work and whether you will be able to continue in your current role if your arthritis gets worse.

    Anyone living with a long term condition that is substantially affecting your daily activities and work for more than one year, is covered by the Equality Act. This means that as long as you have disclosed your condition, your employer is legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to make your job more manageable. This could include more flexible working hours, going part time, adapting your role, provision of special equipment and sometimes redeployment to a different role within the organisation. Access to Work is a government scheme providing a free workplace assessment, recommendations and help with funding. GOV.UK gives more information about this. ACAS and your local Citizens Advice can provide further advice and support. If you are in a Union, it may help to speak to your Union Rep.

    It sounds as if it may help to talk things through further with your GP to review your pain medication and explore treatment options. Referral to a physiotherapist, the musculoskeletal service (MSK) or an orthopaedic specialist may be worth considering. NSAID gels, such as Ibuprofen or Voltarol, can reduce the number of tablets you are taking. Eating a healthy balanced diet and keeping a healthy weight can make a difference to how you feel as well as the right kind of exercises to reduce joint stiffness, maintain range of movement and increase muscle strength and joint stability.

    Posting on our Living with Arthritis forum may generate more responses. You are also welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am - 6pm if you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence.

    I hope you find the information given below of some help.

    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure that others will connect with you to share their support and experience as well.

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor