Best Positions to Sleep in After a Knee Replacement

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If you’ve just had knee surgery, following your doctor’s guidance for recovery is vital to healing properly. An important way to help your body’s healing process is getting plenty of sleep. While you rest, your body has time to work on tissue growth and restore your energy, so you’re ready for physical therapy.

Here are a few tips on how to sleep after knee replacement surgery so you have a smooth recovery.

Sleep on Your Back

The best way to sleep after knee surgery is on your back. This position makes it easy to keep your leg straight while sleeping, allowing proper blood flow to the surgery site.

You can also prop your leg up using pillows while sleeping on your back. To ensure your knee is getting the appropriate support it needs, make sure the pillow is underneath the length of your knee and calf to avoid bending.

If one pillow is too low, add another pillow or two. You can also check with your doctor to see if using a foam wedge might work. Either way, elevating your knee as you sleep can further help keep your knee straight and relieve pain.

Sleep on Your Side

Can you sleep on your side after knee replacement surgery? You can, but it’s wise not to do so until at least a few weeks after surgery, when you can start bending your knee.

Make sure you lay on your non-operative side. Sleeping this way makes sure no pressure falls on the knee you had surgery on. Put a couple of pillows between your knees to provide support and comfort.

Tips for Better Sleep After Knee Replacement Surgery

Along with sleeping on your back and non-operative side, keep these tips in mind as well so that you can get the best rest possible:

  • Take medication one hour before sleeping: The effects of your medication will kick in by the time you fall asleep.
  • Ice your knee: Before bed, numb your knee using ice to help relieve pain.
  • Use a wedge pillow: Elevating your leg can support the necessary blood flow to your knee.
  • Limit liquids after dinner: By limiting your beverage intake in the evening, you might be able to save a trip to the bathroom during the night — which can help you sleep better. 

Relieve Your Knee Pain at OrthoBethesda

At OrthoBethesda, our special technologies and team of orthopedists allow us to treat various orthopedic conditions, including knee pain. Our physicians are here to help you relieve your knee pain. To learn how we can help, contact us or schedule an appointment today.