How long after knee surgery can I expect to recover from hematoma in my knee?

A fellow caregiver asked...

How long after full knee surgery and rehab can I expect to recover from a hematoma in my knee? I had the operation done June 18 and i still have considerable swelling and pain.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Hematomas, also known as bruises, are caused by blood collecting in an area of the body. During surgery, damage to surrounding blood vessels can cause hematomas to form in the surgical site. Other causes of surgical hematomas are blood thinning medications, which increase the likelihood of bleeding.

Usually, hematomas that develop from surgery will subside and disappear within a few weeks. If the hematoma is severe, it may take longer. Again, if you are on blood thinners (like lovenox, heparin, coumadin, or aspirin), this may be making your problem worse, so you can ask your surgeon about this.

To help your pain, I would recommend pain medications, as well as cold compresses/ice bags to reduce the swelling. Also, keep doing your rehab exercises, as they will help the knee get stronger and heal. Good luck!