n Why Is My Foot Swollen After Knee Surgery? - AOA Orthopedic Specialists

Knee replacement surgery is one of the most effective operations in all medicine and a common procedure in orthopedics. Although complications following knee replacement surgery are uncommon, patients’ two most common symptoms after the procedure are ongoing pain and swelling.

Even up to six months after surgery, a certain amount of swelling is considered normal. However, swelling may also occur due to significant problems such as deep vein thrombosis or infection of a prosthetic joint.

Most patients who undergo knee replacement surgery have arthritis in their knee joints. During knee replacement surgery, an incision is made in front of the knee, and the tissues around the knee are cut and separated for the surgeon to access the diseased knee joint. The patient will remain under the influence of either general or spinal anesthetic for the surgical procedure.

After that, the surgeon will cut and remove the diseased ends of both the thigh and shin bones. Parts made of metal alloy and plastic are used to replace the removed ends. The function of the artificial joint is to mimic, as closely as possible, the motion and alignment of the natural joint.

Most patients with knee replacements report experiencing pain and swelling after the procedure. The swelling is normal and typically ranges from moderate to severe during the first week, but it will gradually decrease over the following weeks and months. After surgery, it is usual for patients to experience mild swelling for up to six months.

A body that has swollen might be described as having a protuberance. In the knee following joint replacement surgery, swelling results from accumulated extra fluid in the tissue surrounding the knee joint. This is what causes the swelling. To complete the procedure, incisions are made in the patient’s skin and surrounding soft tissues and bones. Due to the time it takes them to recover, excess fluid in the tissue may accumulate as a part of the inflammatory chain that leads to the healing process.

Because it takes the tissues in the body a considerable amount of time to return to their state before surgery, the swelling continues even after the incision in the skin has healed. Patients may report experiencing swelling around their knees, either below or above their knees, or both. If you have been active throughout the day, the swelling can increase in the evening.

Patients with knee replacements are recommended to use regular ice to control edema. It is recommended to the patients that they use an ice pack because the application of a cold temperature aids in the reduction of both pain and swelling. Applying ice to a location causes the blood vessels in that area to constrict, reducing the flow of fluid and the amount of swelling in that area.

Similarly, patients are instructed to elevate their legs above their heart level gently. The elevation aids fluid circulation from the legs to the rest of the body. Patients with knee replacement surgery are instructed to perform ankle pumps and other exercises at home.

Ankle pumps require the performer to move their ankles up and down repeatedly. Not only does the movement of the ankle caused by the contraction of the calf muscles help to reduce edema, but it also contributes to the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression stockings are another option for people looking to reduce their swelling. Deep vein thrombosis is another condition that can be prevented partly by wearing compression stockings.

In most cases, the swelling following knee replacement surgery will resolve on its own over time, but in certain cases, the swelling may indicate a dangerous underlying condition, such as infection or deep vein thrombosis. An infection can develop in the prosthetic joint during the early postoperative period, a few weeks, months, or even years after surgery.

Pain and redness in the knee joint are possible symptoms of knee joint swelling that is caused by an infection. Additionally, the infection may bring on a fever, and a discharge may be present in more severe cases of the condition. The inflammation and fluid creation resulting from the action of bacteria are the root causes of the swelling characteristic of infection. In addition to revision surgery, investigations of the blood and radiology are required for the prosthetic joint that has become infected.

Deep vein thrombosis is another possible reason for the edema that you are experiencing. The growth of a blood clot deep within the veins of the legs can lead to a condition known as deep thrombosis. One of the most significant risk factors for deep vein thrombosis is major surgery, such as replacing your knee.

The blood clot formed in the leg could produce swelling in the leg, particularly in the calf region. The swelling may go up above the knee. A pulmonary embolism is a medical term for the ailment that occurs when a blood clot travels through the veins to the lungs. If treatment is not received, pulmonary embolism can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and even be fatal.

To reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), patients recently undergoing knee surgery are strongly encouraged to perform ankle pumps and exercise as soon as possible. Patients can typically stand independently the same day or the following day after surgery.

In addition to encouraging activity, patients are given prescriptions for blood-thinning drugs like aspirin or enoxaparin to reduce the likelihood that they will develop blood clots. After knee replacement surgery, wearing compression stockings known as TED stockings may also help reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

It is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling in the knee after knee replacement surgery; nevertheless, you must bring this issue to the notice of your surgeon if the swelling worsens or is accompanied by additional symptoms.


Knee surgeons in Dallas treat many problems, such as arthritis, sports injuries, broken bones, complications from diabetes, congenital disabilities, bunions, heel pain, high-arched and flat feet, complicated foot construction, and ankle replacement.

AOA Orthopedic Specialists has a team of foot/ankle surgeons and a variety of treatments to help you get back to a relaxed and stable version of yourself.



What causes foot swelling after knee surgery?

Foot swelling after knee surgery can be attributed to various factors. The most common reason is the accumulation of excess fluid, known as edema, which can occur due to the trauma and manipulation of the knee joint during surgery. This can sometimes lead to fluid draining into the surrounding tissues, including the foot, causing swelling.

How long does foot swelling typically last after knee surgery?

The duration of foot swelling after knee surgery varies from person to person and depends on the type of surgery and individual healing rates. In most cases, mild to moderate swelling may persist for several weeks post-surgery, but it should gradually subside with proper rest, elevation, and prescribed medications.

What can I do to reduce foot swelling after knee surgery?

To alleviate foot swelling after knee surgery, follow your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions carefully. Common methods include elevating your leg and foot above heart level, applying ice packs (as recommended), wearing compression stockings, and taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive salt in your diet can also help.

Responsive Menu