A subset of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for knee osteoarthritis develop debilitating knee stiffness (reduced range of motion) for poorly understood reasons. Dysregulated inflammatory and immune responses to surgery correlate with reduced surgical outcomes, but the dysregulated gene signatures in patients with stiffness after TKA are poorly defined. As a consequence, we are limited in our ability to identify patients at risk of developing poor surgical outcomes and develop preventative approaches. In this pilot study we aimed to identify perioperative blood gene signatures in patients undergoing TKA for knee osteoarthritis and its association with early surgical outcomes, specifically knee range of motion. To do this, we integrated clinical outcomes collected at 6 weeks after surgery with transcriptomics analyses in blood samples collected immediately before surgery and at 24 h after surgery. We found that patients with stiffness at 6 weeks after surgery have a more variable and attenuated circulating gene expression response immediately after surgery. Our results suggest that patients with stiffness following TKA may have distinct gene expression signatures detectable in peripheral blood in the immediate postoperative period.