How Long After TKR Should I Ice (And Why)?

How Long After TKR Should I Ice (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 20 minutes

The recovery after the total knee replacement would be very difficult and needs proper care. The person would take a few months to get back to complete knee motion after the total knee replacement. The person has to get in touch with a physical therapist for a speedy recovery.

It would take complete three months to get back the knee function and motion completely. Walking is a good exercise recommended for patients after the TKR. The patient is allowed to apply ice for around 20 minutes two to three times a day after the total knee replacement surgery.

The ice application would help in reducing the swelling caused to the muscles. The doctor would recommend applying ice even after physical therapy.

How Long After TKR Should I Ice

How Long After TKR Should I Ice?

Total Knee Replacement How Long After TKR Should I Ice
Minimum time15 minutes
Maximum time20 minutes

The person with total knee replacement surgery would take around 6 months to recover completely. The patient would be allowed to walk in 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery. The doctor would recommend purchasing the ice machine after the total knee replacement surgery.

Some experts suggest applying ice constantly after surgery for around 48 hours. If a person is not willing to purchase the ice machine, then using ice packs would do the job. With time, the icing time would decrease. Initially, the patient has to apply ice for around 24 to 48 hours.

After 2 weeks of the total knee replacement surgery, the patient will have to apply ice in intervals. The doctor would explain how many times the person has to apply ice and for how long the ice application is required.

The main purpose of applying ice after total replacement surgery is to reduce and prevent swelling of muscles. The ice application would also help in reducing the stiffness of muscles.

Returning to work after total replacement surgery would take around 6 months. Some patients may get back to their normal work routine if the doctor allows it. The operative site would experience pain and redness after the surgery.

The body temperature of the patient would be above 100 degrees Fahrenheit after the total knee replacement surgery. The increased body temperature would stay for around one day or more in some people. The patient would face difficulties in bending or movement of the knee.

Why Should I Ice This Long After TKR?

The ice application is done to manage the pain caused by the surgery. Ice application helps in narrowing the blood vessels. Ice application would reduce the blood circulation to the swollen site. Therefore, it would be very effective in providing relaxation to the operative site of the person.

The patient after the surgery is not allowed to drive a car or any other vehicle for a few months. Improper bowel movement is very common after total knee replacement surgery. As the pain medications or anesthesia would cause the symptoms of constipation.

Some patients will not have bowel movements for around 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, the doctor would suggest the patient have a good amount of fluids in their diet. Eating fruits and fresh vegetables would help in proper bowel movement.

Sometimes, the patients are required to take laxatives or any stool softener. During the first stages of recovery, the patient is required to do exercises that will support the recovery.

The patients with total knee replacement surgery should not sit for more than 30 minutes continuously. Everyone with TKR can sleep but don’t spend the whole day in bed. As sleeping for a long time would cause discomfort to the person.

Therefore, the patients would have to get up and do some movement by moving around to reduce discomfort.


The ice application is very important for fast recovery. Total knee replacement would cause low to high-intensity swelling and pain in patients. Ice application would help in helping the patient to get independent knee movement by reducing the pain and swelling.

The length of ice application would be suggested by the doctor depending on the pain and swelling intensity. The patient would have to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle for a speedy recovery.


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