Exercise following knee replacement

Posted by emb123 @emb123, Apr 11, 2019

I am 11 weeks out of knee replacement. I was wondering just how long you continue to do physical therapy and/or exercises. My doctor told me if I walked 2 miles or more a day I did not have to do any exercises……interested in how many of you are still doing exercises.

Hi @emb123 – I'm 10 weeks out and my physical therapist released me at 8 weeks. However, on my first TKR, I did 12 weeks, and I have a good friend going through it now who is doing 12 weeks. My therapist was more interested in balance and functional ability – like climbing stairs vs. how far I could walk. Also, help me understand. Did you literally mean that if you could walk 2 miles you didn't have to do ANY exercises? If so, I think that is just plain bad advice. I think it is hugely important that we exercise – joint replacement or not. And for me, with 2 TKR's, I do exercise my legs in addition to my morning walks. I try to do water therapy (because it is easier), stationery bike, and some of the plain old PT exercises like leg lifts w/ weights. What kind of exercises are you doing at this point? Wishing you the best!

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Thanks for your reply. I will be 12 weeks out on Monday. Graduated from PT after week 9 with 122 ROM and absolutely flat extension. I am a walker, and when I saw my doc, he said if I walked my 2-2.5 miles a day I didn't have do to any other exercises. I have been following that direction and seem to be doing just fine. However, on days that I do not walk, I do many of my exercises from PT, ie., leg lifts, squats, banded walking, leg raises, slides, and a few others. Hope that helps. BTW, I am off all meds and have been since probably week 4 with the exception of some Aleve if I know I'm going to have a really busy, hectic day with lots of walking, etc. Hope that helps.

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I had right TKR 7 months ago. Took me forever to get full extension, bend has always been outstanding. Currently I STILL do some knee exercises (also back exercises for Sciatica) most days. Squats, banded clams, bi-lateral and unilateral bridges, my own variation of heel slides, etc. That is in addition to either a 2 mile brisk walk, or a 1/2 mile swim 5 to 6 days a week. Not sure if the knee exercises are necessary at this point, but the whole set takes about 15 minutes, and certainly can’t hurt. Boring, but pretty much part of my daily routine now. Re. pain: knee still acts up with excess activity, or when the weather changes, and I take an Aleve as needed – about once every 2 to 3 weeks.

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@emb123 – OK… now I understand – your exercise regime is a lot like mine. Congratulations on your ROM, flat extension and maybe most, pain management! You may be a poster child for TKR's. Sounds as if you are doing great in all ways!

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@emb123 With your ROM, it sounds as if you do not need to do specific knee therapy exercises, and what you do for exercise will suffice I think. I do a lot of exercises both in the water, in a gym, and on my recumbent bike. When I do water jogging I very consciously bend my knee as well as I can. The gym exercises are not really knee-oriented but I do use the elliptical which I think is a good knee exercise.
I've had flat extension forever, but I sure wish I had your flex!
JK

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@contentandwell

@emb123 With your ROM, it sounds as if you do not need to do specific knee therapy exercises, and what you do for exercise will suffice I think. I do a lot of exercises both in the water, in a gym, and on my recumbent bike. When I do water jogging I very consciously bend my knee as well as I can. The gym exercises are not really knee-oriented but I do use the elliptical which I think is a good knee exercise.
I've had flat extension forever, but I sure wish I had your flex!
JK

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You wish for more flex, and I was truly frustrated that I could not get my knee flat for months! Would be nice if everybody got both, and soon, especially if one puts in all the work. Out of curiosity I went back and checked my Oxycodone pill bottle. Had a prescritption for 42 pills, have 20 left. So taking only 22 means perhaps 5 to 7 days after hospital discharge. In hindsiight I should have been more generous using them, but oh my! The freedom of finally getting out of the house and behind the wheel, all by myself!

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@contentandwell

@emb123 With your ROM, it sounds as if you do not need to do specific knee therapy exercises, and what you do for exercise will suffice I think. I do a lot of exercises both in the water, in a gym, and on my recumbent bike. When I do water jogging I very consciously bend my knee as well as I can. The gym exercises are not really knee-oriented but I do use the elliptical which I think is a good knee exercise.
I've had flat extension forever, but I sure wish I had your flex!
JK

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Thank you. I have to tell you, yesterday I went to my volunteer position at our local hospital emergency room. The hospital has been undergoing major renovation and we have an entire new wing and main entrance. Went over to check it out with another volunteer and saw the huge amount of stairs going up to the second floor……Did they have an elevator, yes, but I decided to try the stairs. We did GREAT. All the way up, walked around the new med/surg unit, and all the way back down. Before knee replacement, I definitely would not have tackled that, it would have been the elevator. I do think our "dog walk" is the best medicine, both for our body and soul.

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@debbraw

@emb123 – OK… now I understand – your exercise regime is a lot like mine. Congratulations on your ROM, flat extension and maybe most, pain management! You may be a poster child for TKR's. Sounds as if you are doing great in all ways!

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Thank you, Debbra. I knew going into this that I was going to kill myself, so to speak, doing my exercises, pt, and anything else I had to do to get "back to normal" as quickly as possible. Some stumbles along the way, but I did keep that goal in mind. Would I say "poster child for TKR" NOOOOOO, but my doc did say he knew I was going to get through it quickly. Just keep on keeping on, and one thing I definitely have learned is PATIENCE.

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@emb123

Thank you. I have to tell you, yesterday I went to my volunteer position at our local hospital emergency room. The hospital has been undergoing major renovation and we have an entire new wing and main entrance. Went over to check it out with another volunteer and saw the huge amount of stairs going up to the second floor……Did they have an elevator, yes, but I decided to try the stairs. We did GREAT. All the way up, walked around the new med/surg unit, and all the way back down. Before knee replacement, I definitely would not have tackled that, it would have been the elevator. I do think our "dog walk" is the best medicine, both for our body and soul.

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Emb123. Glad you found the stairs manageable. I know that’s one of my goals.

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@gobigorgohome

Emb123. Glad you found the stairs manageable. I know that’s one of my goals.

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I just have set my mind to getting everything accomplished that I wanted. Not discounting the pain, but I guess attitude is very important and working really hard, especially at PT.

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@emb123

I just have set my mind to getting everything accomplished that I wanted. Not discounting the pain, but I guess attitude is very important and working really hard, especially at PT.

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Impressed by your progress, I share your determination, and even though my mind was absolutely set on no matter what, I WILL kneel on my knee for yard work – not really happening. That was my “everything”. To me a huge disappointment. Guess we are both stubborn. Trying out the 3rd set of knee pads. Your progress at this time after TKR is remarkable. Congratulations!

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@ellerbracke

Impressed by your progress, I share your determination, and even though my mind was absolutely set on no matter what, I WILL kneel on my knee for yard work – not really happening. That was my “everything”. To me a huge disappointment. Guess we are both stubborn. Trying out the 3rd set of knee pads. Your progress at this time after TKR is remarkable. Congratulations!

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Kneeling for yard work is NOT in my cards, for sure. But I actually did a "fast" command in obedience with my dog the other day and lasted for more than 10 steps. I was pretty proud of that even if I was the only one who noticed it. My gut would say that kneeling on the knee for any extended amount of time might tend to "wear" it abnormally. Not quite sure why I think that, but I certainly would never want to "break" it…….ever. Of course, rainy days really do get to me. My PT said I will be a "walking barometer" for years to come…….ugh.

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@emb123

Kneeling for yard work is NOT in my cards, for sure. But I actually did a "fast" command in obedience with my dog the other day and lasted for more than 10 steps. I was pretty proud of that even if I was the only one who noticed it. My gut would say that kneeling on the knee for any extended amount of time might tend to "wear" it abnormally. Not quite sure why I think that, but I certainly would never want to "break" it…….ever. Of course, rainy days really do get to me. My PT said I will be a "walking barometer" for years to come…….ugh.

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Well,, one of my PT’s said that she had worked with professionals who needed to kneel in their job – roofers, firefighteres, etc. – and they eventually got used to it. She gave me advice how to perhaps get there, but nope. Knee pads it is. If I can find good ones. I am able to kneel as long as I don’t go past 90 degrees, so weight stays on tibia. I’m just ornery. Do not accept limitations easily. And, major storm front – potentilal of severe storms heading my way – knee tells me so.

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@emb123

I just have set my mind to getting everything accomplished that I wanted. Not discounting the pain, but I guess attitude is very important and working really hard, especially at PT.

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@emb123 I agree, attitude is hugely important. My PCP has commented on my attitude helping me to be so successful in handling various problems I’ve had.
I have never noticed any weather indication in either knee!

@ellerbracke I was the same way, I wanted my freedom to drive. That was a very big incentive for me.
I am the same with limitations but I have no real need to kneel so it’s not a problem for me. I can do it, but I don’t think I would want to be in that position for long.
JK

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