Total Knee - FAQs Find a Location Find a Provider Total Joint Center Department Phone Numbers Total Knee Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Information for Caregivers Total Hip Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Information for Caregivers Patient Success Stories Total Shoulder Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Total Ankle Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers How long does the surgery take? The surgery usually takes one to one and a half hours, but can take longer for more complicated cases. How long will I be in the hospital? Most patients will remain in the hospital for three days; however, this can vary. Will I need crutches or a walker? Most patients will need a walker for a short time following surgery. A walker will be provided for you to use while you are in the hospital. If you do not already have a walker for use at home, we can assist you in getting one during your stay. Some patients will progress to crutches while in the hospital. If this occurs, we will provide you with crutches before you leave. Will I need someone with me at home following discharge from the hospital? Yes, if you return home following discharge from the hospital, you will need to have assistance for approximately 5 to 7 days. Will I be able to go up and down stairs? We prefer for patients to avoid stairs for a week or so; however, if you need to use stairs, our physical therapy department will work with you to make sure you can negotiate them safely. How long will I have physical therapy following surgery? All knee replacement patients will begin therapy while in the hospital and it will continue upon discharge from the hospital. How long therapy continues depends on how quickly you progress. Most patients will remain in therapy for four to six weeks. How soon after surgery will I begin walking? Most patients will be up sitting in a chair on the evening of surgery. Therapy will begin to work with you and get you out of bed and begin walking the morning after surgery. When will my pain go away? The arthritic pain you experience before surgery will be gone following surgery. The pain you experience following surgery will be surgical/muscle pain. You can expect to experience pain for several weeks following surgery; however, the pain will decrease as time passes. Is there anything I can do to damage my new knee? Your new knee will be very strong and secure following surgery. However, you should avoid quick, sharp movements; falls and large amounts of stress on the knee joint. How soon can I shower following surgery? You will leave the hospital with a waterproof dressing over your incision. You may shower with this dressing in place. After several days, you will remove the dressing and you may continue to shower normally (NO BATHS). Gently pat the incisional area dry.