Updated at: 03-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When someone asks, “How to lay in bed after knee replacement,” the answer is almost always, “it depends.”

As you know, getting back to your daily routine after surgery is never simple.

If you had it as one of the most valuable portions of your body, it’s even more difficult to recover from it.

Strengthening your knees and keeping your feet stable while moving are two of the benefits of working out your knees.

However, this can make it difficult to move forward.

However, you don’t have to worry about anything because we’ve taken care of you.

We’ll help you figure out the best techniques to get to sleep.

You need to take this advise very seriously because knee replacements take time to heal.

What is the Best Way To Sleep After Total Knee Replacement

The first few days after knee replacement are going to be difficult to sleep. For the following reasons:

  • It is possible that your sleep will be disrupted as a result of your medicine.
  • You’ll be in some discomfort, and that will undoubtedly interfere with your ability to sleep.
  • Wounds can bleed or split open, so you’ll have to worry about that.
  • As a result, you’ll have fewer options for sleeping postures.

Sleeping on your back is the most ideal position. With sutures in your knee and a swollen leg, this is the most comfortable position to sleep in.

How To Lay In Bed After Knee Replacement? 5 Best Options! - Krostrade

It’s possible that the wound can leak or the bed will rub against the wound if you sleep on your stomach. When you sleep on your stomach, you put pressure on the top of your knee, which is particularly delicate.

It’s possible to sleep on your side, but the surgically repaired knee should be looking up (closest to ceiling).

Great if you’re able to sleep on your back. You’ll want to elevate your leg a little bit by using a leg prop.

As your recovery progresses, the need for elevation while you sleep will diminish. In the opinion of certain medical professionals, it is not necessary to elevate your head while you sleep at night.

I utilized a wedge pillow after a knee replacement and found it to be quite effective. It was ideal for both sleeping and raising the leg.

Make sure it’s flat under the entire leg, not just the knee as it causes the leg to bend. The leg should be supported from the hip to the toes when it is lifted.

Pillows and/or a leg wedge pillow should be placed such that the entire leg is supported, not just a portion of it.

If lying on your back in bed is too uncomfortable for you, consider sleeping in a recliner instead. Even though sleeping in a chair is more of a seated position, it may be rather cozy.

You can still use a wedge pillow to elevate your leg in a recliner.

Taking a nap during the day is quite acceptable. The best time to take a nap is when you are icing and elevating your body. To replenish your energy, you’ll need to sleep a lot between sessions of therapy while you’re recovering.

If you’re icing, don’t fall asleep for too long! Set a timer for a specific amount of time.

Ways To Lay In Bed After Knee Replacement

It’s a difficult but intriguing issue to delve into.

After a knee replacement, how do you go to sleep?

However, it is essential to be aware of this.

What is a knee replacement procedure? Before we answer this question, we’d want to explain it to you in detail.

It’s all about a knee arthroplasty, which is commonly known as a knee replacement.

It’s a treatment for arthritis-damaged knees. When the knees are replaced, this is the area.

Metals and polymers are common materials for cap components.

A significant knee injury can also be treated this way.

Arthritis is to blame for this, as we already stated.

After undergoing knee replacement surgery, there are a variety of positions you can take while in bed.

Some of them, as well as brief descriptions of what they are, will be made available to you soon.

After that, you can pick and choose what appeals to you.

Option #1. Sleeping on your back

The ideal alternative is to sleep on your back, which is an option you may want to try.

Here’s why keeping your leg as straight as possible following surgery is so important.

As a result, the risk of unexpected consequences such knee hypertension will be minimized.

There are pillows that can be used to prop up your knee and calf.

You won’t slouch, and your knees will be protected.

Do not place the pillow near your feet or legs; otherwise, it will put all of the pressure on your knee. Please observe.

That could cause you to have knee pain that you don’t want.

Option #2. Take medicines an hour before you sleep

Choosing to complete this second choice before going to bed is an option you may want to consider.

That way, the pain will subside a little, and it can lead to a host of other positive outcomes, as we’ll explain.

Painkiller drugs were prescribed by your doctor from time to time to alleviate your discomfort.

Take your final dose about an hour before going to bed to help you sleep better.

It will take longer to absorb and take action this way.

That will help you get a good night’s sleep.

Option #3. Sleep on your stomach

After knee replacement, an alternative that is similar to the first but has a different fact about it is not recommended.

By doing so, you may find yourself in a difficult position.

It has the potential to cause excruciating discomfort.

When it comes to your knees, this is one of the worst things to happen.

Option #4. Placing ice on your knee

Another thing you may do before going to bed to help your knees relax is this.

If you want to make sure it’s completely numb, leave it on for 15–20 minutes.

After then, it won’t be a problem anymore.

However, you will not place the ice pack directly on the knee replacement area.

Place an ice pack on the area where you want to cool down with a towel.

Afterwards, you may remove it and go to sleep.

Option #5. Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side is an additional option.

A lot of individuals find it to be one of the most pleasant positions to sleep in.

If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable sleeping posture, that’s perfectly acceptable.

We’ll give you some pointers on how to keep your knee from hurting too much.

Your knee replacement knee should be on the side of your body from which you sleep.

So your knees won’t rub against each other, place a pillow between them.

To avoid knee pain, reduce the amount of time your knee is in touch with hard surfaces.

Also, while sleeping on your side might be uncomfortable, you should make sure your knees are straight and comfy.

How Soon After Knee Replacement Can I Sleep On My Side

For the first five days, you won’t be able to sleep on your side. It’s crucial to preserve the wound and allow it time to heal in the early stages, as your leg will be swollen and bruised.

You should be able to sleep and rest on your side for small periods of time towards the end of the first week.

Sleeping on your side will be easier and more comfortable on your knee during the third week when your staples come out and the wound has healed.

I found that sleeping on my side with my new knee on the bottom was much more comfortable than sleeping with it on top of me. In the following paragraphs, I’ll go into greater detail on the benefits of sleeping on my side.

6 Steps To Sleep After Knee Replacement Surgery

No. 1 Prepare the Bed

Make sure the bed you choose is near a bathroom and that you sleep on the side closest to the restroom.

Even if your incision is covered for the first few days, it is still healing and should be kept clean. My physical therapist replaced the bandage with Steri Strips on the sixth day after I returned home (they gave the wound lateral support).

Make sure you have plenty of pillows on hand so you can sit up in bed comfortably. You can also use the extra pillows to raise your leg if necessary.

Sleeping on your back, you’ll be feeling the weight of the blankets, so use light ones. Pajamas scraped against the incision and made it impossible to sleep, so instead of wearing them, I slept in my underwear and a T-shirt.

Important Tips and Tricks Regarding your Total Knee Replacement Surgery - BetterPT Blog

I woke up sweating terribly for the first ten days (this may have been due to the medication). So, I always had a spare T-shirt on hand in case I needed to change.

After 12 days of sweating and without being able to take a shower, we had to change the linens almost every day.

No. 2 Keep Items Nearby

Make sure your walker is within reach of the bed throughout the first week. Make sure you can get to a lamp from your sleeping position, as well!

Alternatively, you can check out my piece on “A Walker, Cane, or Walking Poles After Knee Replacement” here.

Keep a few things close to your bed to ensure a good night’s sleep

  • I was usually thirsty, as I’ve indicated in previous posts. I drank from the 64-ounce bottle with a built-in straw that I took home from the ER. My thirst was satisfied by drinking cold water, so I made sure to add some ice to my glass before I went to bed. To help me swallow the tablet, I was also taking my pain medication every four hours or so.
  • I kept my painkillers on my nightstand so that I could access them quickly. In addition, I began removing two or three pills out of the container so that they were easier to locate and take during the night (also read asprin and the finest drugs after knee replacement).
  • Following an unsuccessful attempt to utilize the walker and go up to the restroom on my first night, I decided to rely on the hospital-provided pee bottle on my nightstand and urinate while standing. I quickly discovered that I needed a second bottle because I was constantly filling the first one in the middle of the night when I should have been sleeping.
  • If you wear glasses, it’s a good idea to keep a spare set on hand in your bedroom.
  • I ensured that I had a supply of tissues and lip balm within easy reach.

The need for additional pillows cannot be overstated. I could easily go to two or three. Throughout the night, I used them to elevate my leg and to prop myself up in a seated position.

I was confined to sleeping on my back for the first few days. Sitting up and sleeping for an hour or two was a common occurrence for me.

No. 3 Get Comfortable (After Knee Replacement Can I Sleep On My Side? Best Sleeping Position)

You need to be able to get in and out of bed, and the height of your mattress can make a difference.

My bed is taller than normal, so getting into it was sometimes difficult, but getting out of it was much easy. To make getting in and out of bed easier, I would tuck my healthy leg beneath the surgically repaired one.

Once my legs were on the floor, I depended on the walker to help me get up.

My leg was swelled for the first five nights, and the only sleeping positions I could tolerate were flat on my back or propped up in a chair with pillows. The drug provided pain relief and a good night’s sleep.

I needed to urinate and drink a lot while I was sleeping. Before waking up, I’d sleep for around two hours at a time.

In this period, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, but I slept frequently in my recliner during the day.

For a little moment after the fifth day, I could finally drift off to sleep on my right side (my right knee was my surgical knee). There were times when I could move my good knee in front of and/or behind my surgical knee, but not on top of it;

Even if it was only for a few minutes, it felt good to be upright again.

Short stretches of lying on my stomach became possible after day 12. (10 minutes). I first tried it in the middle of the day and then moved on to the evening.

In order to straighten my knee, I made sure that my toes dangled over the edge of the bed.

I had stopped using the walker by this point. Instead, I walked with my height-adjustable walking poles.

In some cases, I employed both poles, but in other cases, I relied just on one. After a knee replacement, walking poles are a practical and long-term investment. (For more information, see my article on the best post-knee replacement walking poles.)

By the second week, I was spending 30 to 60 minutes a night lying on my stomach. By the end of the third week following surgery, I was able to sleep on my left side for brief periods of time with a cushion supporting the surgical knee.

I had a difficult time keeping the sheet and blanket in place on the knee that had been surgically repaired. Because I had my surgery in May, there was not a lot of bedding I could use.

Keeping heavy bedding on your knee as you sleep on your back may be uncomfortable if you live in a cold region and undergo surgery in the winter.

Wearing shorts while undergoing surgery in the summertime is also a perk of the procedure. Therapy will be easier because you won’t have to worry about your wound rubbing on your jeans.

No. 4 Use Pillows

When I first started sleeping, I didn’t use pillows beneath my knees. Due to the fact that I was extremely medicated, I believe that I could accomplish this task.

When I started taking Tylenol, I started using one or two pillows to prop up my leg while I slept. In addition to the wedge pillow, I also used one or two normal pillows to prop up my lower legs.

A folded bed pillow and a throw pillow were both placed under my thigh when I slept in my recliner, and the wedge pillow was placed under my ankle while I did so.

No. 5 Consider Sleeping In A Recliner

The chair was an option for me when I couldn’t sleep in my bed. The recliner never saw the light of night for me.

Although I slept in the chair frequently during the day, I was pleased to be able to switch to the bed at night and get some shuteye. It looks a lot like the Homall recliner I have in my living room (shown on the right).

You can get it at a reasonable price and I prefer leather because it’s easy to clean.

Check out the price and reviews on Homall on Amazon.com

For the first few nights, my wife slept in the guest bedroom. On the third night, she returned to our bed, and I never felt disturbed by her presence on my side of the mattress.

In fact, I woke her up several times a night with my tossing and turning and frequent urination.

My knees were constantly elevated with pillows when I slept in the recliner during the day. Using a walker or walking poles, the recliner makes it easy to rise to a standing posture.

No. 6 Keep Your Mind Busy During The Day

Strive to keep your thoughts engaged throughout the day. It helps to do the therapeutic exercises, but you’ll also have to keep your mind occupied.

In the beginning, I read for brief amounts of time.

Crossword puzzles and Sudoku were among the short-term hobbies I engaged in. Before retiring to bed, I made it a point to get up and walk around the house a few times.

I was exhausted at the end of the day when the therapist started bringing me for walks outside. Make an effort not to skip or cheat on your workouts.

My three workouts were spaced three hours apart, and I made sure I had time to eat lunch. Physically and psychologically taxing as they were, my early workouts, which included long walks, included a lot of both.

As far as I could, I tried to be punctual and methodical.

I was exhausted and relieved at the end of the third workout every day. If you’re more active during the day, you’ll have a better night’s rest.

Unable To Sleep After Knee Replacement Surgery

You shouldn’t be surprised if you run into problems at first. You’re not the only one who feels this way. Even though you’ll be fatigued, it’s difficult for everyone to sleep in the first week.

After returning home from the hospital, I was exhausted from the stress of surgery and the procedure itself. As soon as I laid down, I was fast asleep, but I couldn’t stay asleep for long due to the pain medicine I was taking and the inability to remain comfortable.

Consequently, my slumber was disrupted.

Consider taking melatonin in addition to the suggestions listed above to help you sleep better (talk to your doctor about potential side effects or chemical reactions with other medicine).

After my knee replacement, the easiest method for me to sleep was to work hard in physical therapy until I was fatigued.

Because I was so exhausted at night, I tried to limit my naps during the day.

In my experience, getting through the first week is the hardest part. If you find it difficult to sleep following TKR surgery, don’t worry.

What is the best sleeping position after a total knee replacement?

After a complete knee replacement, the ideal position to sleep in is the one that is most conducive to your comfort. However, there is no one best position.

If you’ve had a knee replacement, you may want to try sleeping on your side to alleviate lower back pain. If you have spinal stenosis or other degenerative abnormalities in your spine, resting on your left or right side may be your best bet for relief.

Sleeping After Knee Replacement Surgery (Tips and Positions) - YouTube

Keeping the knee flexed for lengthy periods of time and putting lateral stress on the sides of the knee is an issue with side sleeping.

After a knee replacement, the most frequent position for sleeping is supine, or lying on your back. Swelling can be reduced while the knee remains in full extension during the night by placing the knee on a wedge or slope.

Sleeping on one’s back might be particularly challenging for those who have trouble breathing or who have significant pain in their lower backs. It is possible that placing a wedge under one’s leg and/or under one’s chest will alleviate some of these symptoms

After a total knee replacement, the most typical sleep posture is prone, or belly sleeping. Even though increasing knee extension is a great thing, it can be painful on the incision.

Stomach Sleep — After a complete knee replacement, sleeping on your stomach can exacerbate discomfort and stiffness in your leg, low back, and neck. Contact your doctor if you plan on sleeping in this posture.

Why is it hard to sleep after knee replacement?

After a total knee replacement, it may seem impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Pain, swelling, and nerve-related symptoms are the most typical causes. If your pain medicine does not seem to be doing the trick, make an appointment with your doctor right away. You can help your doctor choose the right medication if you can describe your discomfort clearly. Medications for nerve pain may differ from those for pain caused by an incision.

Anxiety, Sleeplessness, Pain

Anxiety is a big factor in disrupting sleep. Anxiety and sleep disturbances are discussed in this article. Interrupted sleep has been linked to an increased sensitivity to pain, according to other studies.

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your quality of sleep, reduce pain, and speed up your recovery, you may want to look into sleep improvement tactics.

How do you sleep after a knee replacement?

In the clinic, the most typical response I get is, “Not well.” It is possible that some clients sleep for only a few hours while others sleep for several hours at a time. A good rule of thumb is to find a comfortable position and stay in it for as long as you can. The first few nights or weeks may be spent sleeping in a recliner or on a couch if you have trouble sleeping in a bed. Because they don’t have to worry about waking up their spouses, some patients choose to sleep in a reclining chair or couch.

How soon after knee replacement can I sleep on my side?

There is no definitive research on the optimal time of day or night for you to begin sleeping on your side; nevertheless, a practical approach is to evaluate your range of motion. Sleeping on your side or back isn’t as critical if you’re getting more flexion and extension range of motion throughout the day. Positioning yourself on your back with your knee in full extension throughout the night may be advantageous if you are unable to gain range of motion into extension.

Should I sleep with my leg elevated after knee surgery?

The primary goal of elevating the leg is to alleviate swelling. There are some people who don’t have a lot of swelling following surgery, therefore elevating the leg isn’t as critical for them. This article explains why 45-degrees or more of hip flexion is so critical to reducing swelling if you are having difficulty.

Is it bad to bend your knees while sleeping?

It all depends on the situation. Keeping your knee flexed throughout the night may impede your progress if you notice that your knee won’t straighten to full extension during the day or while you are walking. However, if you need to bend your knee while you sleep, this may be a good way to increase knee flexion.

Why is pain worse at night after knee replacement?

Pain tends to get worse at night because of a decrease in physical activity. Recovering from a total knee replacement can be an extremely challenging time for you and your knee. There is a role for the immune system in tissue healing and growth. This is the result of a chemical process. Too much effort can be as painful as too little, as you’ve likely come to learn. In the evening, you’ll be confined to your bed for an extended period of time, and as a result your knees will stiffen and you’ll feel pain as a result.

How do you get out of bed after knee replacement surgery?

Getting into bed might be just as difficult as getting out of bed some days. Getting the surgical leg into bed is difficult because of hip and thigh weakness. A log roll position is recommended regardless of whether you’re getting in or out of bed. It’s time to switch sides and get ready to sleep on your back. As much as possible, the non-surgical limb should be placed on top of the operative leg during recovery. You’ll be sitting in the middle of the bed when you slide your feet and lower legs down the side of the bed.

What helps knee pain while sleeping?

A moderate massage with a rolling pin or other massage device might help alleviate discomfort at night, as well as monitoring your medicine and taking it as directed. You can also do some light stretches and a short stroll or bike ride before going to sleep. For those who appreciate calming music or medicine rituals, a warm shower can help relax the body and prepare the body for sleep, as several customers have reported.

Why do people put a pillow between their knees?

Patients who suffer from low back pain often use a pillow between the knees to alleviate their discomfort. Using a pillow between the knees after a total knee replacement might assist support the new knee and balance out any stress it may be under while laying on your side. Large pillows between the knees are recommended to keep the surgical knee in line with or slightly higher than the surgical hip.


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