Sixty patients undergoing total knee replacement were randomized to receive either a cold compression dressing (Cryo/Cuff, Aircast, UK) or a modified Robert Jones bandage immediately after surgery. The cold compression dressing was used for a minimum of 6 h per day throughout the hospital stay, and the modified Robert Jones bandage remained in place for 48 h from the time of operation. The 2 groups of patients were compared during their hospital stay for blood loss, range of movement, pain scores and need for analgesia. No difference was found between the 2 groups except for less blood loss in the surgical drains in the cold compression group (P < 0.05). Postoperative complications were seen in both groups, but no complication was associated with either the cold compression dressing or the modified Robert Jones bandage.