Total Knee Replacement Activity Guidelines

Weight-bearing status:____________________________

Continue to use the following guidelines until your doctor tells you otherwise.


  • Avoid placing pillows under your operative knee.
  • Elevate leg by placing pillows under your entire leg and foot to reduce swelling.


  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time (more than 30 to 60 minutes) in one position. Get up and move around.


  • Continue to use your walker, crutches, or cane until your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes with non-skid soles.
  • Take short, frequent walks.
  • Be careful on uneven ground or wet surfaces.
  • Maintain your weight-bearing status as instructed until your doctor or therapist tells you otherwise.
  • Avoid pivoting or twisting on the operated leg.


  • You may use a walk-in shower. Otherwise, take sponge baths or purchase a tub bench.


  • Continue to perform your exercises until your doctor or therapist tells you otherwise.


  • Sit down when passing clothing over your feet.  

Household chores

  • Avoid kneeling or squatting.
  • Use a rolling cart to transport items (see picture at right).  

Riding in a car

  • DO NOT drive until your doctor says
    you may.
  • Avoid long car rides (more than 30 to 60 minutes). Stop, get out, and walk around before continuing your car trip.

Sexual relations

  • Do not feel that you have to avoid sexual relations. Discuss this with your doctor or therapist.

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