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After TKR: Getting In And Out Of Bed

What Are The Best Ways To Get In & Out Of Bed After Knee Replacement Surgery?

This article goes over the best ways to get in and out of bed after total knee replacement so that you can get the best rest after your surgery to help you get active, stay mobile, and age stronger.

If you would prefer to watch a video explaining the best ways to get in and out of bed during recovery you can watch it here:

The Importance Of Rest

Having a good night’s rest is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure faster recovery after surgery. The problem most patients have after knee replacement surgery is that they have a hard time getting in and out of bed. Especially when the knee is swollen, painful, and inflamed.

You might have a low or high bed so we’re also going to talk about some modifications that you can make to improve your bed transfers.

Getting Into Bed After Knee Surgery

The Triple ‘S’ Method

The first way is the triple ‘S’ method, also known as the stool, scoot, and strap method. For this technique you want to put your stool next to your bed and sit with your butt against the edge. Then have both arms on the bed and put the non-surgical leg onto the stool. You’re going to use both arms to lift and scoot your butt deeper into the bed. Use the foot on the stool to get you over the edge.

Once you’re sitting on the edge of the bed we suggest you turn into the bed with the surgical knee close to the side. One tool that we find very beneficial when your knee is stiff and painful is the leg lifter strap.

What you want to do is turn the good leg on the bed first and then scoot into the bed to give the surgical leg some space. Put the loop of the leg lifter strap under the foot of the surgical knee and then lift your leg onto the bed.

No Leg Lifter Strap?

For those of you who don’t have a leg strap after the total knee replacement surgery, there’s a technique called the stop, drop, and roll.

You want to get as close to the bed as possible with the surgical knee. You’re going to stop and lean forward to drop your torso and arms onto the bed. At the same time that you’re doing this, you’re putting weight on your non-surgical knee and the surgical knee is tilting backward until it’s on the bed.

You’re going to use your arms and non-surgical leg to push off of the floor and roll onto the bed. Once you’re in the bed you can adjust to the position that you’ll be sleeping in.

Getting Out Of Bed After Knee Surgery

Using The Leg Lifter

In order to get out of bed from a lying down position the first thing you want to do is use both arms to prop you up into a long sitting position. You then want to use a leg lifter strap to hold the surgical knee as you rotate the body towards the side that you’ll be standing up from.

Make sure you control the knee to limit quick, jerky motions.

Once you’re in this position you’ll grab your cane and walker and put it next to you. Scoot towards the edge of the bed and use both hands to push you into a standing position.

Without A Strap

In order to get out of bed after knee surgery you will start by laying flat on your back. Use your arms to lift yourself up into a long sitting position.

Hook your non-surgical leg under the surgical knee to control it as you lift and rotate towards the side of the bed. From there, use your arms to push off of the bed and into a standing position with your non-surgical knee bearing most of the weight.

Bed Height Modifications

For those of your low beds it will be easier to get in. However, it will be harder to stand up from a lower surface.

One way you can make it easier to get up from a low bed is to put something firm under both hands to push off of. There are some foam pads.

that you can place on both sides of your body to have a higher surface to push off of.

If you don’t have these pads, you can use firm pillows or books as your push off objects.

Let’s Review

The two techniques to get into a high bed are:
– Stool, Scoot, and Strap Method
– Stop, Drop, and Roll Method

You can use these methods to get out of a low bed:
– Leg Strap
– Non-Surgical Knee Support

You also might want to consider getting something firm to put under your arm to stand up easier.

Get Help With Your Recovery Before And After The Surgery

At Next Level Physical Therapy we offer both prehab and rehab services so that you can go through total knee replacement surgery with less likelihood of complications, a faster recovery time, and more mobility and less pain over the course of the rehabilitation process.

If you have any questions, please call 281-721-4023 and our team will give you the information you need to get clarity on your specific needs and situation so that you can make the best decision for your health going forward.


Dr. Jack Wong

Next Level Physical Therapy

"We Help People Age 40+ Stay Active, Healthy & Mobile Without Relying On Pain Meds, Injections Or Surgery"