Weight Management Tips After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

  • February 23, 2024
  • blog

A knee replacement surgery is vital in restoring the ability to walk comfortably and enjoy your life again. One of the challenges after the knee replacement surgery is maintaining weight to prevent mounting pressure on the knees. 

Studies have suggested that in 66% of the cases, patients gain more than up to 7 kilograms within two years of surgery. Patients with above-average weight before the surgery are at a higher risk of increasing weight. Hence, managing post-operative weight is important. 

Let’s discuss the weight loss after knee surgery strategy to ensure good health of your knees post treatment.  

Why Is It Important to Stay in Shape After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Managing weight is essential before and after the knee replacement surgery. Excess weight can cause undue pressure on the knee joints. Before the surgery, the knees were already weak, and after the surgery, gaining weight also caused undue pressure on the new knees. 

Reduce Stress on the New Joints

Excess weight on the new joints can lead to pain and inflammation, and reducing weight means less wear and tear. Moreover, successful weight management means knee movement is smooth, improving gait and range of motion. By minimising stress on the new joints, you can potentially increase the lifespan of the new joints. 

Improve Knee Joint Recovery and Rehabilitation

Weight loss after knee surgery is recommended for a better post-operative rehabilitation process. Doctors suggest patients perform knee-function enhancing exercises, and reduced weight makes these exercises more manageable. Less weight also means better mobility, which reduces the risk of blood clots and infections. 

Easier Recovery at Home

Obese patients undergoing knee replacement surgery will get all the assistance they need in a hospital. From anaesthesia to managing pain and nursing assistants to guide them in walking, getting up, sitting down, etc., they get help when needed. 

However, the same may not always be available at home, and doing the basic chores or walking with excessive weight while recovering at home is painful and uncomfortable. At the same time, a patient with optimal weight will find it easier to perform the recommended physical activity. 

How Do You Avoid Weight Gain Or Promote Weight Loss After Knee Surgery?

Losing weight is an important part of the recovery and rehabilitation process after total knee replacement. Here are a few things you can do to manage weight;

Include High-Fiber Foods in Your Diet

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Beans, broccoli, berries, avocados, popcorn, whole grains, apples, dried fruits, etc., keep the stomach full for longer, preventing the need to eat something every couple of hours. They are full of fibre, which means it will take longer to digest these foods. Snacking while recovering after the surgery with limited physical activity can promote weight gain. 

Go for Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting means not taking anything for a specific period of time in a day, followed by eating the remaining hours. The most common method is to take only water, coffee, or tea for 16 hours and then eat for the rest of the 8 hours. Pairing post-operative intermittent fasting with a low-carbohydrate diet can make it more tolerable and effective. 

Regular Exercising At Home

Regular exercise and physical activity can support weight loss after knee surgery. After consulting with the doctor, start exercising, but start low and slow. Gradually increase their physical activity to keep body weight in check. 

You can start with short walks, participate in water therapy, and do low-impact exercises. If possible, buy stationary bikes. However, the key is to be consistent. Even if you are exercising for 10 minutes a day, ensure that you do the same every day and gradually increase the time. 

Adopt Portion Control Instead of Deprivation

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For those who cannot fast intermittently, go for portion control. Instead of restricting diet, focus on mindful eating and use smaller plates to optimise the portion size. Stick to the habit of eating in small portions, which will prevent deprivation while ensuring satiety. 

Swap Regular Diet with Smart Diet

With high-fibre foods, go for nutrient-rich alternatives. For instance, swap fried chicken with grilled cheese or replace sugary drinks with water-based fruits and herbs. These might be small changes to the diet but can have a high impact on the diet and help lose weight. 

Go For Snacktivity

Mindful snacking can be healthy if you go for protein-rich snacks. These include Greek yoghurt with berries, veggie sticks with hummus, popcorn, etc. These foods will keep your stomach fuller while supporting muscle repair.

You can customise your diet plan, but be careful about creating the right balance of taste and the required nutrients. For instance, whole-wheat toast with avocado provides fibre, potassium, and good taste. 

Similarly, sugar snap peas combined with cherry tomatoes is a vitamin and antioxidant-rich diet. 

Stay Hydrated

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Drinking enough water (8 to 10 litres) has dual benefits. One, it keeps the body hydrated, which is required to lose weight. Another is that drinking enough water will help control hunger and reduce cravings. 


Weight management is essential after undergoing knee replacement surgery. Patients after the total knee replacement surgery will have limited mobility, which means they need an even better support system for weight loss. 

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and mindful eating can promote weight loss after knee surgery. At Santokh Hospital, we have completed hundreds of knee replacement surgeries delivering successful results. 

We facilitate a health-conscious routine development, recommend the right foods to eat, and exercise according to the weight. Consulting us prior to surgery planning comes with tips to reduce weight before we put you on the operation bed and help manage body weight. 

Get in touch with Santokh Hospital to avail advanced knee replacement surgery and postoperative rehabilitation routine.