Bathing after Knee Surgery: Follow These Tips

If you're considering knee surgery or just had one, then you may be wondering how you could take a bath after the operation. This article provides some tips for bathing after knee surgery to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly.

Knee surgery is a common procedure that many people undergo at some point in their lives. It can be from various conditions, such as arthritis, trauma, or infection. If you have had knee surgery, you will probably wonder what it's like to bathe after surgery. This article provides some tips on how to bathe after knee surgery so that you can recover well and avoid complications.

What to Expect During the Rehabilitation Process

Bathing or showering after having knee surgery can be challenging as you may not be able to get up or move around quickly during the first two weeks. Fortunately, there are many ways to bathe after your knee surgery which we'll talk about in a minute.

It's important to have someone accompany you to the bathroom, at least during the first week. A slip or injury to your operated knee could further delay healing. Also, it's important to have someone nearby so you can quickly ask for help in case you lose your balance or have trouble getting up.

bathing after knee surgery

Key takeaways: Your mobility will be greatly affected immediately after the surgery. Always have someone close by to assist you.

Keep the weight off your operated knee 

After knee surgery, your physician will advise you to rest and keep your leg elevated to prevent swelling and other complications. In addition, you should be careful not to put any weight on the injured knee for at least a week. Your physician will recommend you use walkers or crutches for the first week. If you can't keep your balance or are not strong enough, you can use a wheelchair instead.

Key takeaways: Be very careful not to put too much stress or cause injury on your operated knee during your first week.

Learn how to bathe after knee surgery

Recovery from knee surgery can take a while, so you have to get used to taking a bath seated or on one leg. Your nurse or physician will demonstrate the proper way to get up and enter the bathroom while keeping the weight off your operated knee, as well as holding on to something like a handrail while taking your shower to keep your balance.

However, if you can't stand very long on one leg or have trouble steadying, you can do the seated version, where you put a seat on the bathtub and take a shower from a sitting position. Just be careful not to bend your operated knee too much.

Key takeaways: Taking a bath in a seated position is recommended if you have problems steadying while standing on one leg.

Practice doing it by yourself

If you missed some of the post-operative instructions for showering or taking a bath, you could always find one on Google or YouTube. Practice getting up and entering the bathroom while supporting your upper body and holding on to something to steady yourself while taking a shower.

practice doing it by yourself

The same goes for the seated position. Practice getting off from your walker or crutches and onto the chair and then getting up after taking your shower and back to your walker or crutches.

Key takeaways: You'll be much more comfortable taking a shower or bath as you develop muscle memory. Practice makes perfect.

Keep the operated knee dry

Check with your physician if your dressing is waterproof. Some dressings are waterproof, but they may not withstand getting soaked for long. For this, you can use a waterproof barrier on top of your dressing.

keep the operated knee dry

After a week, your dressing will come off on its own. By then, your incision would have completely healed. Still, you may not be able to soak your operated knee underwater, but you can take showers as long as you please. By week 3, you can resume some of your everyday activities, including baths and hot tubs.

Key takeaways: Keep your operated knee away from water as much as possible until your incisions are completely healed. This is to keep your incision line from softening or re-opening.


Learning to shower or bath after your knee surgery is not as complicated as it seems. However, you do have to get used to it for a week or two if you want to hasten your recovery while staying fresh and clean all day. Follow these tips, and you'll be back to your normal activities much sooner.