How to manage shin, knee or hip pain after a knee replacement

It’s currently estimated that around 4 million adults in the U.S. currently have had a knee replacement. Immediately following a knee replacement procedure, people often report experiencing knee pain. Interestingly, they report feeling shin and hip pain too.

To learn more about why people undergo knee replacement, what causes pain after knee replacements, and how people can manage their pain after their procedure, keep reading.

Why do people undergo knee replacement surgeries?

  • They have osteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative joint disease that can affect any of the joints in the body. It most often affects the hands, hips, knees and back. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery.
  • They have rheumatoid arthritis — Another common reason for knee replacement surgery is rheumatoid arthritis. If rheumatoid arthritis has caused a person’s knee joint to become more painful than it can handle, surgical procedures often follow.
  • Their joint has worn down — Whether from arthritis, overuse or even from old age, worn down joints are often to blame for knee replacement surgery. 
  • Their joint has been damaged from an injury — Damage from an injury can cause pain years down the line. Some people may not have arthritis or any other chronic disease, but rather their knee replacement happens because of an old injury the knee joint never fully healed from.

People who get knee replacement surgery often report experiencing pain for some time after their procedure. It probably goes without saying that the pain they experience is usually felt in their knee. But did you know that knee replacements can also lead to pain in the shin and hip?

What might cause shin, knee or hip pain after a knee replacement? 

There are a few different causes of shin, knee and hip pain after a knee replacement. To determine which one might be the cause of your pain, you should consult with a medical professional who is qualified to give you a diagnosis.

  • Swelling and inflammation — Immediately following the operation, a patient may begin to experience swelling and inflammation. Excess swelling can be a cause of pain. It can also occur in the neighboring areas of the knee, like the shins and hips.  
  • Nerve damage — In some cases, the procedure may have resulted in nerve damage. Nerve damage is a possible complication of knee replacement. Even when a nerve located near the knee has been damaged, the effects can still be felt in areas like the shins and hips.
  • Scar tissue — This explanation might not occur immediately after the procedure but is more likely to occur long after the knee replacement surgery. Over time, scar tissue may build up and make it hard to fully extend the knee, causing pain in the shin and hips too.

What are the treatments available to those who have shin, knee or hip pain after a knee replacement?

  • Physical therapy — Physical therapy is highly recommended for people who have recently undergone knee replacement surgery. It is also recommended to those who have had one within the last several years. A physical therapist can help people work on regaining their mobility after their knee replacement surgeries, especially if they’re feeling shin, knee or hip pain. They’ll help you perform strength-building exercises and flexibility-improving movements so that you can feel comfortable performing your daily activities. If you’re experiencing shin, knee and/or hip pain several years after a knee replacement surgery, they can help you break up the scar tissue so that you can move easier. The best part is, they can do all of this within your pain threshold so you’re not experiencing any more pain than you have to.
  • Medication — Medication is another option for those with shin, hip or knee pain. If anti-inflammatory medication is used, it can help reduce inflammation that may be contributing to the pain and discomfort. If you’re unsure of what type of medication you should take to temporarily ease the pain, you should reach out to your doctor.

Armor Physical Therapy can help treat your shin, knee or hip pain from knee replacement surgery

At Armor Physical Therapy, our specialists are professionally trained in knowing how to identify and treat a variety of knee-related conditions, including shin, knee, and/or hip pain caused by knee replacement surgery. Let us help you promote the longevity of your good health or even improve your health. We know the importance of physical therapy to enhance your quality of life post-surgery.If you’re still wondering how physical therapy can help you, please feel free to reach out to our specialists. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

Quick Links


Schedule An Appointment

Get our Email Newsletter

No Fields Found.

Follow Armor PT