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I am 4 1/2 weeks post TKR. I had a tight band feeling across my entire knee just as you describe. It has eased quite a bit yet I still have tightness on both sides of the knee. My surgeon and PT people both reminded there is a lot of trauma involved in this surgery and if you are like me a lot of swelling. Not only is there the usual visual scar up and over your knee cap there is typically another hidden incision the surgeon makes in an arc around the knee cap. Not to mention the necessary retraction of skin, ligaments, etc necessary to expose the knee for the implant itself. In other words, a lot of healing to do.

This band of tightness is your body’s response to pain and an attempt to tell you not to go too far and hurt yourself. However, it IS very important to push your knee every day to an uncomfortable yet just manageable level of discomfort but not so far as to be in severe pain. While my range of motion is only up to 95 degrees it has improved each week by 5-7 degrees with consistent and yes somewhat painful therapy.

This level of discomfort is stretching the scar tissue from taking hold. Gently massaging the tight skin around your knee and the incision itself (only once it is well healed) will also soften the tight band feeling and aid in your mobility. Your persistence will gradually both improve your range of motion and ease the “band across the knee” feeling nearly everyone experiences. Do your exercises at PT and more importantly every day at home…along with rest, healthy food and leg elevation. While I have good and bad days, swelling after therapy, frustration at the slow but steady progress it does seem like I’m headed in the right direction. Best wishes.

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Replies to "I am 4 1/2 weeks post TKR. I had a tight band feeling across my entire..."

Great advice! The only thing that might be added is ice, ice, ice – especially after PT and when it swells. It is my go to for up to 6 months after any joints surgery.
Keep it up!