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6 Best Positions to Sleep after a Knee Replacement

March 17, 2020

Shalby Team

Knee Replacement


Pain After Knee Replacement

Like any other surgery, a knee joint replacement surgery is also painful and good care needs to be taken during the recovery period. Thus, sleeping correctly with the right amount of support is necessary.

Positions to Sleep after a Knee Replacement

A knee replacement surgery can cause you pain for some days. As you are recovering, the discomfort and pain may make it difficult to sleep. Managing the pain after the surgery includes finding the right sleep position so you can not only sleep comfortably but also speed up your recovery process. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, the tricks mentioned below may help.

Sleeping on Your Back

The best sleeping position just after your surgery is sleeping on your back. You should make sure that your operative leg stays as straight as possible to avoid hypertension of the knee and keep proper blood flow to the surgery site.If you are sleeping on your back, put the pillow under your calf and knee. This will not only cushion the knee from pressure but also keep your leg straight. If your pillow is flat, use a second pillow. You must, however, avoid placing the pillow under your foot, as it will put stress on your knees and increase your pain.

Sleeping on Your Side

Some people find sleeping on their sides more comfortable, and if you are one of them, do not lie on your operative side. Also, put a cushion or pillow between your legs to provide cushion to the knee. In case you need more support, add another pillow to pad your knee to make the leg comfortable. Sleeping on the side can be painful because the leg is not straight enough. However, gradually, you can start sleeping on your side as the knee heals. But avoid sleeping on the operative side at all costs, as it puts a lot of pressure on the surgery site.

Positions to Sleep after a Knee Replacement

Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you sleep on your stomach, after a knee joint replacement surgery, you should refrain from doing so. Lying on your abdomen puts direct pressure on your surgery site and can be very painful.You will heal between 3-6 weeks and after you have recovered, you can begin sleeping normally again. However, if the position you are used to sleeping in causes pain, avoid it for a few more days until you are completely healed.

Taking Medicines 1 Hour Before Sleeping

You will be prescribed to take painkillers several times a day after the surgery. You should make sure that your last dose falls one hour before you sleep so that the medicines show the effect just when you sleep.

Icing Your Knee to Dull the Pain Before Sleeping

One more thing that can be helpful is icing your knee for 15-20 minutes so that the area becomes numb and does not hurt. Put a towel on the area and then place the ice pack. Remove the ice pack and then sleep.

Using a Wedge Pillow

The wedge pillow provides optimum support to your knee while elevating your leg just rightly. However, you will be required to sleep on your back while using a wedge pillow


After knee replacement surgery, several things need to be taken care of. The position you sleep in can affect the recovery time as well as pain caused by the surgery. This is why sleeping in the right position is necessary.


Shalby Team

Shalby Hospitals (Shalby Limited) is recognised as a multispecialty hospital chain in the Indian healthcare industry. Dr Vikram I. Shah established the first hospital in 1994 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Dr. Shah has been felicitated by Ethicon India for the development…


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