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Range of Motion After Knee Replacement Surgery

After a total knee replacement operation, one of the most important goals is to achieve a functional range of motion in the knee joint.

So, what is considered functional ROM?

1) 90 degrees of flexion in the first week
2) Full extension in the first week

Why is it important?

After the operation, scar tissue forms as part of the healing process; however, that same scar tissue can develop in a way that causes the knee joint to get “stuck” in the most comfortable position for the knee, one that causes the least amount of strain on the tissue. The result may be that the scar tissue leads to stiffness in the knee, causing the knee to fixate and lose range of motion.

Is it OK to feel pain when working on improving our range of motion?

Unfortunately, yes, there’s no denying that the movements can and do hurt right after the operation. It does not mean you shouldn’t work on it. In fact, the longer you wait, the harder it will get to gain back those movements, so it’s essential to breathe and work through the pain.

How do I do it?

• In-person physical therapy
• Download our Onestep digital physical therapy app and get your personalized exercises from one of our rehabilitation PTs


It’s important to note, if you cannot or have not achieved functional ROM within two weeks post-surgery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor or surgeon and let them know.