Elevating Knee After Surgery

By Drew Heideman, PT/ATC

What are the Best Practices for Elevating Knee After Surgery?

By: Drew Heideman, PT/ATC

Shot of process x-ray, knee close-up.

Best Practices for Elevating Knee After Surgery

Can I Place a Pillow Under my Knee to Keep it Bent and Make it More Comfortable After Surgery?

The quick answer, following surgery many patients may be asked to elevate their involved leg to help to control swelling in the extremity. The natural thing for many patients to do is to place a rolled or folded up pillow behind the knee. Initially this can make your knee feel comfortable or have “less pressure”.

However, this can cause contractures or problems with how far you are able to extend your knee in the future. This can slow the rehabilitation process following knee surgery and lead to increased pain. Instead, when elevating the leg use pillows or a stool. Place the pillow or stool under the ankle and calf to allow the knee to remain straight. Doing this will help to prevent a loss of knee extension range of motion and help to keep the knee straight, while still allowing for management of pain and swelling.

JOI Rehab

Whether you are suffering from knee issues, joint pain, or injuries resulting from any type of activity, JOI has 12 physical therapy clinics conveniently located in Jacksonville and Northeast FL who specialize in orthopedic rehab.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!


All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home. If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

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