First Post - 16 weeks post surgery

Posted by debalah64 @debalah64, Oct 3, 2019

Hi group! I had a LTKR on June 19 after being bone on bone for about 5 years. My recovery was "normal" but I still have some issues that are starting to worry me. I am still slightly numb on the outer part of my operated knee, as well as some discomfort (between 2-4 on the pain scale) pretty much all the time when I walk. I have good ROM (145/0) and use my stationary bike 4x a week, doing 2 miles. I briskly walk every day for about 20 minutes, and do my PT exercises daily at home. I also work full time, and do heel slides all day long under my desk.

If I push on my knee cap and down my shin and to the outer part of my knee, it is tender – almost like the bone is bruised (if that is even a thing) but with no to little swelling. I wake up stiff every morning but once I get moving the stiffness subsides. I also still get a nerve "zinger" every now and again.

I know I shouldn't compare my recovery to others, but I really thought that by 4 months, I'd be in less discomfort than I am now.

Have a great day!
Debbie

My TKR was 5 years ago and it sounds pretty much like my experience. I stil have a small spot of numbness on the outside of my knee and a small bit of pain or discomfort when I overuse it.

Liked by debalah64

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Hey @debalah64 – Welcome to Connect! Glad to see you here – where you will meet a lot of people who are going through the same thing. My ortho surgeon told me that there were three things people usually complained of – numbness, trouble kneeling and a clicking sound. My most recent TKR was January 2019 and I still have a little numbness. My first TKR was 2017 and the numbness is all gone in that knee. Happily, I didn't have the clicking sound. BUT – I definitely have trouble kneeling with either knee. I think your numbness will go away given time. Do you have other issues? Do you have the clicking? or the problem kneeling?

Liked by debalah64

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Hi, @debalah64 Welcome to Connect. As @debbraw said, there are a lot of us who are post-TKR here. I had my first TKR in 2012 I think, and my more recent one in October of 2017. I had some pain after the second one but it very suddenly dissipated at about 6 weeks and I've been pain-free since, but I think many others have pain for much longer than I did. I do get some minor pain after I do a lot of exercise, but I think that's to be expected.
I do pool exercises a lot and after being in the pool for about 90 minutes I take a shower. I notice in the shower that I have some slight numbness in that knee, on the inside, but that's the only time I have that. My orthopedic surgeon said some people have numbness for a very long time, or even forever since nerves are affected.
It sounds to me like you are doing great though, you are exercising a lot, and your flex is amazing! I am not sure I have heard of that good a number before. Four months really is not that long so I wouldn't worry at all. It's funny that you mention that when you run your hand down your shin you have some tenderness. I have that too and I just noticed recently there is a slight discoloration there.
Don't be discouraged, things will improve, I am sure. You may always have some minor pain or discomfort after a lot of exercise but if it's minor then to me it's really no big deal. I don't even think of it.
JK

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@debalah64 : I would not worry too much about the small numb area, nor the slight tenderness on the shin. Some moderate pain will linger for a while, and may always happen if the knee gets overused. I think I had low-grade pain, at least part of the day, for up to 8 months. At my 4 months mark I was on vacation in a ski resort (not skiing! Just keeping company with relatives who do), so I can pinpoint my progress at that stage. I was able to navigate getting in and out of trains with full size suitcase, walk for an hour or more on snowy trails, and somewhat slowly tour a historic old town section of a city with very steep, cobblestone roads. Only scary part (I hear ya, JK!) was handling the icy sidewalks in the ski resort. Sounds like you are equally far advanced. Glad you are one of the more/most successful TKR “survivors”.

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@debbraw

Hey @debalah64 – Welcome to Connect! Glad to see you here – where you will meet a lot of people who are going through the same thing. My ortho surgeon told me that there were three things people usually complained of – numbness, trouble kneeling and a clicking sound. My most recent TKR was January 2019 and I still have a little numbness. My first TKR was 2017 and the numbness is all gone in that knee. Happily, I didn't have the clicking sound. BUT – I definitely have trouble kneeling with either knee. I think your numbness will go away given time. Do you have other issues? Do you have the clicking? or the problem kneeling?

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Thank you for the welcome. I do have clicking and I am afraid to try to kneel. My surgeon told me to only kneel on a soft surface or a pillow – not on a hard floor.

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@debalah64

Thank you for the welcome. I do have clicking and I am afraid to try to kneel. My surgeon told me to only kneel on a soft surface or a pillow – not on a hard floor.

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@debalah64 I always grab a pillow when I need to kneel. On a pillow, it's not bad at all.
JK

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@debalah64

Thank you for the welcome. I do have clicking and I am afraid to try to kneel. My surgeon told me to only kneel on a soft surface or a pillow – not on a hard floor.

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@debalah64 : YEAH! Actually, so sorry. Finally a person who also has the clicking. It felt lonely out there. Also, flex of 145 is unheard of, but I’m willing to sort of measure mine to come close. Strangely enough, once I got to official 135 degree at PT, I was cautioned not to push it any further. Supposedly there are limits to the design that an artificial knee is meant for. Never mind, if you can do it, do it. Kneeling feels like kneeling on a ball bearing – which it basically is, so it’s self limiting. I thought I could trick my way around it by de-sensitizing the knee, finding alternate positions regarding lateral angle…………….. Nope. Can kneel with soft underlay, but not to the point where it would be helpful for long periods to do some job.

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I wouldn't worry. I'm also 4 months post op. You're ahead of me! Internal healing takes many months. I was told many people are only Starting to feel better, at 4 months. Be patient.

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@cmael

My TKR was 5 years ago and it sounds pretty much like my experience. I stil have a small spot of numbness on the outside of my knee and a small bit of pain or discomfort when I overuse it.

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I am 8 weeks post op TKR. my Dr told me I will always have a small spot of numbness on outside kneecap. There is a nerve that has to b cut in order to place replacement. I too have suffered from burning and a feeling of a band around my knee. I tell PT it feels like I have a softball in there! Dr put me on Gabapentin last Tues n hoping to get some relief from the burning. Also use lidocaine 4% patches or roll on. I'm so happy I found Mayo Connect. Not sure how I did but it's a God send. Glad to know my symptoms are not just me.

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@debalah64: short note regarding the clicking (both the audible noise, and the crackly sensation): my PT told me I would eventually get used to it. No way, I thought. Not happening. To my surprise very recently I actually have come to notice it less, and resent it less. It’s still there, but 13 months after the surgery I am not as acutely aware of it any more. Of course I still don’t like it!

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@sophiecat

I am 8 weeks post op TKR. my Dr told me I will always have a small spot of numbness on outside kneecap. There is a nerve that has to b cut in order to place replacement. I too have suffered from burning and a feeling of a band around my knee. I tell PT it feels like I have a softball in there! Dr put me on Gabapentin last Tues n hoping to get some relief from the burning. Also use lidocaine 4% patches or roll on. I'm so happy I found Mayo Connect. Not sure how I did but it's a God send. Glad to know my symptoms are not just me.

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@cmael I have a small spot that gets numb, but the only time I notice it is after I’ve done pool aerobics for an hour or more. Any other time I do not have numbness!
JK

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@sophiecat

I am 8 weeks post op TKR. my Dr told me I will always have a small spot of numbness on outside kneecap. There is a nerve that has to b cut in order to place replacement. I too have suffered from burning and a feeling of a band around my knee. I tell PT it feels like I have a softball in there! Dr put me on Gabapentin last Tues n hoping to get some relief from the burning. Also use lidocaine 4% patches or roll on. I'm so happy I found Mayo Connect. Not sure how I did but it's a God send. Glad to know my symptoms are not just me.

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Hi @sophiecat – Welcome to Connect! Glad you found this group. I can promise you that you are early in the recovery process. You will keep getting better and better. Please check out the other threads. There are threads that talk about the burning sensation and the feeling of the band around your knee. But you mention numbness. I've had two TKRs. One in 2017 and one in January of this year (2019). My orthopedic surgeon told me in the beginning that he had three common complaints: a clicking noise, numbness and having discomfort when kneeling on the knee. I definitely avoid kneeling! I'm happy to say I don't have clicking. And as far as numbness, I had it with both TKR's. At this point, it is totally gone with my right knee which was done in 2017. I still have a little on my right knee, but it's just been 9 months. I feel like it will go away before I get to my 1-year milestone. All in all, are you feeling like you did the right thing to have your TKR?

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