TIP: Elevating Knee After Surgery

Cindy is demonstrating the correct positioning of the surgical leg for elevation to help reduce swelling after knee replacement surgery.

This positioning technique can be used while in a recliner, on the bed or on the couch.  Make sure that you can safely get up from the surface you are using. For rocker recliners, add  a thick book, piece of wood, hand held weight under the front edge of the recliner to prevent the downward rocking motion as you attempt to get up.

For elevation

  • Get the foot height above hip height
  • Do not sit with a rolled pillow behind your knee allowing you knee to remain in a bent position
  • Take caution not to confuse stretching exercise for elevation technique
  • Start pillow back at mid thigh
  • Place second pillow under calf/lower leg
  • Add additional towel roll under heel to assist in getting the leg as straight as possible
  • Should be in a position of comfort
  • Should not have to work to keep leg on pillows
  • Should be able to relax for at least 15-20 minutes or more if possible
  • Use ice while elevating