How to Reduce Swelling

Swelling, also called “edema,” is common after knee or hip replacement surgery. It usually affects the foot, ankle, knee and sometimes the thigh. You may notice some swelling while you’re in the hospital, or it may not develop until later, as you become more active. Some people never experience swelling after surgery.

You can prevent or reduce swelling by keeping your feet higher than your heart while you are lying down. A good way to remember this is: “Keep the toes higher than the nose.” You should put your feet up this way at least twice a day for between 45 minutes and an hour.

If the swelling in your leg and/or foot doesn’t go down after you’ve slept all night and have rested with your legs up at least twice each day, call your surgeon or family doctor.