Ability to lift leg

Posted by llar @llar, Feb 28, 2019

I am 8 days post op from a total knee replacement. Some of the exercises recommended to me before leaving the hospital included lifting my foot while having a small pillow under my affected knee; another was to lift my leg from the hip. Repeat 10 times, 4 times a day. I have to use the gait belt to lift my leg at all. From standing, I am able to lift my leg slightly. I am 55 years old and had strong muscles in my legs going into this surgery. Is this normal? I feel they wouldn't recommend an exercise I will totally fail at. My first follow up is in another 5 days.

@glolane I really have ROM envy. I hope you don't mind me asking but how long did it take you to get to 128? I will be 7 weeks PO this Thursday (surgery 1-23-2019) and my ROM is 105 (without any assistance, natural bend) and around 113 when I pull it myself during my knee slides. My extension, luckily, is 0. I know that everyone is different but I thought I would be crushing it by now since I was in good shape prior to surgery. I did have a lot of fluid on my knee and more swelling than usual so it held me back but still………….

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@dkapustin

@glolane I really have ROM envy. I hope you don't mind me asking but how long did it take you to get to 128? I will be 7 weeks PO this Thursday (surgery 1-23-2019) and my ROM is 105 (without any assistance, natural bend) and around 113 when I pull it myself during my knee slides. My extension, luckily, is 0. I know that everyone is different but I thought I would be crushing it by now since I was in good shape prior to surgery. I did have a lot of fluid on my knee and more swelling than usual so it held me back but still………….

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Hi @dkapustin – I'm at 6 weeks now – my surgery was 1/29. I actually got to 0/128 at the end of my 2nd week- when my in-home physical therapist released me to start outpatient therapy. This is my second TKR. On the first one, I got to 120 by week 3 but I had a heck of a time getting flat out extension. It took almost a month for me to get to 0. But I really want to add that – as you know – everybody is different and every knee is different. I can't take a lot of credit for my ROM. I'm 68 years old and I did my best to "pre-hab" by doing strength exercises and stretching beforehand and of course, I've been conscientious about my post-op PT – but nothing out of the ordinary – nothing you and a lot of others haven't done. I just feel so lucky that my TKR is healing well and I'm getting the movement back. Hang in there. It will happen for you. Everybody's pace is different.

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I think what did me in at the beginning was watching YouTube videos of people bragging on walking unassisted after just a few days. I figured I was young and fit at surgery so I'd be one of those folks. Reality check: not gonna happen! It's a slow process on an impatient person. And it's been different every day, some for better, some for worse. It's hard for me to be dependent on assistive devices, medication and a helpful spouse. I am grateful now to have had all those advantages! It's just going to be awhile for recovery and I'm fine with that.

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llar- I can totally related to "slow process on an impatient person". I thought this would be quick and relatively pain free! (All those people who said- "best thing I ever did. Wish I hadn't waited so long" failed to mention how difficult the recovery actually is). Thank goodness for the pain meds and assistive devices. I don't have a helpful spouse but if I ever wanted one– it would be now. Am talking to the surgeon about knee #2 tomorrow. I must be nuts but want this over with!

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@llar

I think what did me in at the beginning was watching YouTube videos of people bragging on walking unassisted after just a few days. I figured I was young and fit at surgery so I'd be one of those folks. Reality check: not gonna happen! It's a slow process on an impatient person. And it's been different every day, some for better, some for worse. It's hard for me to be dependent on assistive devices, medication and a helpful spouse. I am grateful now to have had all those advantages! It's just going to be awhile for recovery and I'm fine with that.

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@llar You just wrote exactly what I did and how I felt prior to surgery. I was active, fit, and determined. I saw people on YouTube walking without devices and driving within a few weeks PO and thought,"that will be me!" Nope, nope, nope. I'll be 7 weeks PO tomorrow and just now getting on the cane. (I could have transferred a little earlier but because I have Osteoporosis, safety is a factor…) ROM is 0/106 no assist and bend is 112 with self assist. Are you kidding me? I thought I'd be at 120 by now! It's a slow process and I'm beyond frustrated. One therapist tells me to work and push harder, the other therapist tells me to only do my PT 2/day due to my swelling, while the other tells me no, 3/day. I overdo it to push through the pain only to be sore the next day. I don't know…..guess everyone heals differently but all that BS about preconditioning is truly BS because people like you and I show that sometimes, it just doesn't matter. Yes, I'm a little bit of a Debbie downer today but I am so frustrated.

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I really feel for you, and I empathize, because I did the total fitness thing (as much as I could, because my knees were killing me) and I got ROM back quickly and was off the cane really quickly, but at 8.5 weeks out, I feel like I'm 100. I'm only 67. I have no stamina and pain all the time. The surface of the scar is excruciatingly hypersensitive. One thing I realize — I'm the only one that can determine how much is too much on any given day. I'm learning to listen to my body. Hope you're doing better soon.

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I'm going to have TKR in 2 months, I am doing the leg raises and stationary bike everyday, hopefully building up my strength before surgery. What did any of you do pre-op and do you feel that it helped post-op?

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@kawi33

I'm going to have TKR in 2 months, I am doing the leg raises and stationary bike everyday, hopefully building up my strength before surgery. What did any of you do pre-op and do you feel that it helped post-op?

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@kawi33 I rode my recumbent bike and did water jogging. Prior to my surgery, I mentioned to my surgeon that I heard of people having PT prior to help strengthen the supporting muscles in preparation. He asked me what I did for exercise and when I told him those two things he said they were the best! I definitely feel it helped a lot. I had a long time to prepare because my original TKR was scheduled in February 2015 but because my platelet count was low, on the day of surgery it was canceled. It had been better but it plummeted again on that day.
So I ended up having my surgery in October 2017 which left me many months to prepare.
JK

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@kawi33

I'm going to have TKR in 2 months, I am doing the leg raises and stationary bike everyday, hopefully building up my strength before surgery. What did any of you do pre-op and do you feel that it helped post-op?

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I walked! Walk, walk, walk. It strengthens all your tendons and muscles and my ortho said I was in great shape and would recover quickly. I'm 8 weeks out and back to walking. Now up to 2 miles a day, but I do do my PT exercises on days I don't walk.
Hope you have a great surgery and recovery.

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@emb123

I walked! Walk, walk, walk. It strengthens all your tendons and muscles and my ortho said I was in great shape and would recover quickly. I'm 8 weeks out and back to walking. Now up to 2 miles a day, but I do do my PT exercises on days I don't walk.
Hope you have a great surgery and recovery.

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@emb123 walking is always a great exercise, but many of us have to avoid the impact from regular walking. My PT advised me that even the treadmill is better if impact is a problem.
JK

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@contentandwell

@emb123 walking is always a great exercise, but many of us have to avoid the impact from regular walking. My PT advised me that even the treadmill is better if impact is a problem.
JK

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@emb123 It's funny how we are all so different. I'm 8 weeks PO and I JUST got on a cane from a walker and have little stamina although I was fit and healthy prior to surgery. I'll be happy to first just get through Publix. Can't wait to get back to walking at least a few miles a day. The healing, for me, is going to drag out despite my therapy diligence. Glad you had a speedy recovery! Sounds like you're doing wonderful.

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@llar

I think what did me in at the beginning was watching YouTube videos of people bragging on walking unassisted after just a few days. I figured I was young and fit at surgery so I'd be one of those folks. Reality check: not gonna happen! It's a slow process on an impatient person. And it's been different every day, some for better, some for worse. It's hard for me to be dependent on assistive devices, medication and a helpful spouse. I am grateful now to have had all those advantages! It's just going to be awhile for recovery and I'm fine with that.

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Adding my 2 cent’s worth: definitely everybody is sooooo different! I was also very fit (though not young), and it took me 4 months (!!!) to get full extension. On the other hand, roughly 125 degrees ROM after about 6 weeks, now about 132 at 6 months. Off walker in 4 days, off cane in another 4 days,, off oxycodone within 8 days. I was so frustrated as well when I saw posts from people who got their knee straight right away – my PT basically told me not to walk for exercise until it had full extension since it would probably lead to hip or back pain. That was really annoying, since I used to walk every morning. Started water exercises and swimming instead. Continued good luck with your recovery!

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