Knee Stiffness After Knee Replacement Surgery: Causes and Treatment Options

Knee replacement surgery involves the replacement of the worn-out cartilage in the knee joint.  For patients with severe knee arthritis, knee replacement surgery is a great option. Knee replacement is a very effective way to relieve knee pain and get joint function back. Although knee replacement is a very effective treatment for reducing knee pain and regaining joint function, some patients have stiffness in their knees after the procedure. The knee’s range of motion is restricted by this stiffness, which may also be painful. This is usually common and only lasts momentarily.

This blog discusses knee stiffness, what it is, what causes it, when it heals, and possible treatment options. To make this post knowledgeable, the expert Orthopedic Doctor in Delhi at Simpain Ortho, renowned for providing the best results, has shared their insights. Let’s start with understanding exactly what knee stiffness is.

What is Knee Stiffness? How Does It Affect One’s Everyday Life?

Knee stiffness is defined as an abnormally tight knee joint. It usually happens when there is a muscular imbalance in the legs or poor flexibility. One’s daily life will be negatively impacted by increased knee stiffness. It restricts one’s regular daily activities, which makes them inactive.  Some of the negative effects of knee stiffness include weight gain, knee weakness, an increased risk of osteoporosis (a condition in which bones weaken and break easily), and arthritis (an inflammation of the joint).

Causes of Knee Stiffness Following Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee stiffness can be described as something other than tension and pressure; it is the inability to bend or straighten the knee. This is usually common in the early phases of recovery because the swelling in the knee results in a brief stiffness. Within the first month or so following the procedure, this should start to go away; if it does not, or if the stiffness gets worse, get in touch with the surgeon.

Following a knee replacement, scar tissue and collagen may connect to the knee implant, causing pain and stiffness in the knee. This condition is called arthrofibrosis, which is the body’s reaction to the new “invader” in the knee.

When Does the Stiffness Start to Get Better?

Following knee replacement surgery, knee stiffness is the second most prevalent complication, after pain issues. It usually lasts for two weeks to three months after the procedure. As our knee adjusts to the implants, this stiffness gradually decreases. One will notice that their mobility improves and the stiffness goes away as soon as they begin their daily routine activities, which include walking, climbing stairs, and getting out of a chair. However, one needs to bring it to their surgeon’s attention if their knee stiffness persists after several months or a year.

How Can Extended Knee Stiffness Be Treated?

The length of time since surgery and the underlying cause determine how stiffness after knee replacement is treated. The following are the standard therapies for stiffness:

  1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for stiff knees during the first three months following a knee replacement.

  1. Anaesthesia Therapy

After surgery, this procedure is beneficial for the first six to twelve weeks. There are no cuts made in this procedure. An IV is used to administer anaesthesia to the patient. After administering anaesthesia, the surgeon would move the knee forcibly to break up the scar tissue.

  1. Surgical Therapy

It is only used in certain situations. Surgery is used to remove the scar tissue that is causing the tissue to tighten and shrink.

  1. Revision Knee Replacement

When none of the aforementioned methods work to reduce stiffness, this is the suggested course of action. To provide a greater range of motion, the size of the new replacement and the bone cuts can be adjusted.


A knee replacement is a surgical procedure that helps people with severe arthritis of the knees live better and with less pain. However, the majority of people may experience knee stiffness after the procedure, which limits their range of motion. This might be temporary until the knee heals after the surgery. However, if the stiffness persists longer, then one should immediately consult with the surgeon. Speaking with orthopedic surgeons, adhering to post-operative instructions, and taking an active role in physical therapy help patients recover well and resume an active, pain-free lifestyle. 

If one is looking for Knee Replacement Surgery in Delhi, one may visit Simpain Ortho Clinic and consult with highly regarded orthopedic experts. It is a modern facility with highly skilled doctors committed to delivering optimal outcomes. To start your pain-free journey, consult now!

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