TKR Knee color


new member
May 28, 2023
United States United States
I’m 5 weeks post op. ROM- 90 degrees. I’m concerned about the color of my knee- it’s swollen, tight, aches and is slightly red all around turning to purple in the back. The rest of my leg is definitely a different color from my good leg. I also am seeing spider veins that weren’t there before. Thoughts???
Last edited:
Hi HoneyK. I am 15 weeks out and also had a bunch of spider veins pop out in the front of my calf that were not there before. I just saw my surgeon today who said this was normal and that the veins should go away with time. Hope so as if our legs don’t look bad enough with that beautiful scar!
Thank you for your reply. I hope the spider veins go away- seems I’m seeing new ones daily! Recovery is challenging and so much more than I anticipated!
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us.
Please provide your exact surgery date and which knee was replaced so we’re able to advise you best.
Your knee is swollen, tight and achy due to inflammation and hopefully you’re icing and elevating. If not, please consider doing so as it will help with both swelling and pain.

As for the redness, it is likely due to the increased blood flow to the area as part of the healing process which may also cause warmth. I am not sure about the purple in the back of your knee, it could be bruising that showed up late and has yet to completely resolve. I had some bruising that didn’t show up until I was two and a half weeks post op. As for the color of your entire leg, mine appeared a bit more pinkish than my non op leg and many times I’ve read here of others experiencing the same. If it continues to bother you, check in with your surgeons office for reassurance.

I will leave you the BoneSmart Recovery Guidelines which will still benefit you at this point. Check out the articles on ICE and ELEVATE.
Best Wishes as you continue on your healing journey!

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

2. Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
Welcome @HoneyK. Is your knee warm to the touch? If it is, please see your surgeon immediately. It could be the start of an infection. If not, icing and elevating will be your best practice. Keep us posted!
Hi, I have a lot of broken veins around my ankle that I didn't have before. My knee/thigh/calf was black n blue early on. As long as your knee isn't hot it is normal to be red. You could always send a picture to your OS to ease your mind. My OS said it would stay warm for a while. Below my knee to my foot was a different color than my other leg. This has resolved with time. It is going to hurt for a while until the swelling goes down. Hang in there!
Is your knee warm to the touch? If it is, please see your surgeon immediately.
It is actually normal to have a warm knee in the first 6 months or so after this surgery. The first month my knee was so warm that the ice pacts heated up quickly. I went to an ice water circulating cooler where I put frozen water bottles which lasted longer. Warmth in your knee is just a sign that it is healing. What would be concerning is if it is hot and red. Then you should call your doctor.
Thank you everyone, for your advice and encouragement. I do ice my knee often, and have purchased a memory foam lift to aid in elevating my leg. TKR is definitely not for sissies!
I agree 100%! Will be 2 years on June 19, and I’m still feeling pressure around the knee.
Hi @HoneyK :wave:

Please give us your exact surgery date -- and which knee was replaced. That way we can create a signature for you so other members can quickly see the information when they reply to your posts.


BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Layla
    Staff member since November 20, 2017

Forum statistics

Latest member
Night Owl
Recent bookmarks
Top Bottom