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topdog11
@topdog11

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 29, 2018

Foot problems after TKR

Posted by @topdog11, Sun, Apr 1 6:37am

Hey guys, I am new here and have had some of my concerns answered just by reading your questions and peoples replies. I see my PT tomorrow and will be asking him, but thought I would ask this of others who have had TKR. I am 2 1/2 weeks out. The next day after surgery I pulled my calf muscle. It has slowed me down with my straightening of my leg. But I am still progressing. But my question is. I have been walking basically straight leg and flat footed on my left leg for at least 20 years. Now I am trying to relearn how to walk heel-toe. My ankle is swollen, just a little and across the top of the foot it almost feels like I sprained it. Plus, when I hang it down it almost feels numb. I think this might be because I am now using my foot in a whole new way. Walking heel to toe and bending the foot. Any one else have any foot problems on the leg they had surgery, and did it turn out to be anything to worry about. Thanks everyone.

REPLY

Hello @topdog11, and welcome to Connect.

I had my knee replaced in 2006. Like you, I had not had full function of my leg for many years prior to the replacement. I was a tad different in that I was unable to straighten my leg until after the surgery. I had not had my leg straight for the better part of a decade, and when I woke up from surgery, my leg was straightened out. The pain in my ligaments, muscles, and tendons was immense because I was stretching out parts of my body that hadn't been stretched that way in years.

I am not a medical professional, so it would be best to discuss this with your surgeon or provider, but it sounds like you may be experiencing something similar. I experienced swelling due to what sounds kind of similar to you – using ligaments, muscles and joints in a way they had not been used for many years. In my non-medical expertise opinion, it sounds like you might be stretching and working things that have not been used for many years, and they are responding by swelling.

I have end-stage arthritis in my right ankle and have been trying to refocus on walking heel to toe as well… it is harder than one would think isn't it?

@topdog11, other than your concerns with feet, how is your knee doing with bend and range-of-motion?

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @topdog11, and welcome to Connect.

I had my knee replaced in 2006. Like you, I had not had full function of my leg for many years prior to the replacement. I was a tad different in that I was unable to straighten my leg until after the surgery. I had not had my leg straight for the better part of a decade, and when I woke up from surgery, my leg was straightened out. The pain in my ligaments, muscles, and tendons was immense because I was stretching out parts of my body that hadn't been stretched that way in years.

I am not a medical professional, so it would be best to discuss this with your surgeon or provider, but it sounds like you may be experiencing something similar. I experienced swelling due to what sounds kind of similar to you – using ligaments, muscles and joints in a way they had not been used for many years. In my non-medical expertise opinion, it sounds like you might be stretching and working things that have not been used for many years, and they are responding by swelling.

I have end-stage arthritis in my right ankle and have been trying to refocus on walking heel to toe as well… it is harder than one would think isn't it?

@topdog11, other than your concerns with feet, how is your knee doing with bend and range-of-motion?

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@topdog11

Here a few other discussions you may want to check out. Each has many members discussing all things knee replacements:
– Scar tissue after knee replacement, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scar-tissue-after-knee-replacement/
– Limited ROM after total knee replacement, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/limited-rom-after-total-knee-replacement/

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @topdog11, and welcome to Connect.

I had my knee replaced in 2006. Like you, I had not had full function of my leg for many years prior to the replacement. I was a tad different in that I was unable to straighten my leg until after the surgery. I had not had my leg straight for the better part of a decade, and when I woke up from surgery, my leg was straightened out. The pain in my ligaments, muscles, and tendons was immense because I was stretching out parts of my body that hadn't been stretched that way in years.

I am not a medical professional, so it would be best to discuss this with your surgeon or provider, but it sounds like you may be experiencing something similar. I experienced swelling due to what sounds kind of similar to you – using ligaments, muscles and joints in a way they had not been used for many years. In my non-medical expertise opinion, it sounds like you might be stretching and working things that have not been used for many years, and they are responding by swelling.

I have end-stage arthritis in my right ankle and have been trying to refocus on walking heel to toe as well… it is harder than one would think isn't it?

@topdog11, other than your concerns with feet, how is your knee doing with bend and range-of-motion?

Jump to this post

After talking with my PT, he agrees my foot is swollen and causing me problems because I am using muscles, joints, etc in ways I haven't in many years. Also since I pulled that calf muscle I am not completely walking correctly cause of the pain in my calf. I am in a bit of a catch 22. I need to stretch my leg so I can get it to lay flat but I am not suppose to stretch my calf muscle so it can heal. I also judge myself by how well my husband did with his TKR. He was at 115 bend and -1 straight the day after surgery. I am 2 and 1/2 weeks and have 95 bend and 14 straight, which is just about how it was before surgery. I can tell I am bending it a little easier everyday so there is some improvement.

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @topdog11, and welcome to Connect.

I had my knee replaced in 2006. Like you, I had not had full function of my leg for many years prior to the replacement. I was a tad different in that I was unable to straighten my leg until after the surgery. I had not had my leg straight for the better part of a decade, and when I woke up from surgery, my leg was straightened out. The pain in my ligaments, muscles, and tendons was immense because I was stretching out parts of my body that hadn't been stretched that way in years.

I am not a medical professional, so it would be best to discuss this with your surgeon or provider, but it sounds like you may be experiencing something similar. I experienced swelling due to what sounds kind of similar to you – using ligaments, muscles and joints in a way they had not been used for many years. In my non-medical expertise opinion, it sounds like you might be stretching and working things that have not been used for many years, and they are responding by swelling.

I have end-stage arthritis in my right ankle and have been trying to refocus on walking heel to toe as well… it is harder than one would think isn't it?

@topdog11, other than your concerns with feet, how is your knee doing with bend and range-of-motion?

Jump to this post

I can relate completely. I wouldn't worry about comparisons, my recovery was long and painful. It took me well over a year to find my new normal, which ended up being 0-105 degrees. I had to have two manipulations along the way because of aggressive scar tissue formation. But, in the end, I am pain free and my flexion and extension is enough that it does not prevent me from any activities (except using a trampoline!). You will get there, even if it takes more time than others you know.

My ankle was swollen for few weeks after the surgery. Few days after the surgery I forgot to use the compression sleeves, on the operated leg and it really swelled up. I called my doctors office to see if it was normal. They ignored my question completely and asked my about my calf instead. She told me if it’s tight and hurting go to the ER and get checked for a possible blood clot. Luckily, it only cost me the ER fees, and no clot. So please make sure that you rule out the blood clot.

As for as walking is considered, just watch any 4 year old kid to see how they walk. They don’t use heel to toe, instead it’s the whole foot forward and they never straighten their knees. Following that method I was able to walk few miles a day before my tkr, instead of few hundred feet with a bone on bone knee which was completely worn out. This is also called CHI walking. I tried to find a good link for chi walking but unfortunately couldn’t do so. There are too many people pretending to be the experts on the topic with crazy videos.

I’ve told by some serious marathon runners at the gym that they use the whole foot, not the heel to toe.

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