Has anyone had a tight band feeling after total knee replacement?

Posted by mhort1213 @mhort1213, Feb 28, 2019

I am 8 weeks post TKR and have had this very tight band around my knee since week one. My Dr at 6 wks says it is normal and will go away. Has anyone else had this and did it go away and when?

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I am 19 months post TKR surgery. The surgery went well. I have great ROM. But, from the beginning I have had a tight band feeling just under my knee, and a compressed feeling in my calf muscle. Feels like I have on the tightest knee sock imaginable with a tourniquet for a top band. I was prescribed gabapentin, didn’t help. I went through PT 3x trying different things to treat this, including astym and dry needling. I still have bruised areas on my leg and it’s been 7 months since the last session. My surgeon and PT have not been able to explain the what or why of this phenomenon. But was told at my one year appointment that there was a good chance I would just have to live with this. It takes a great deal of mental energy to rise above this pain to have a productive day. I am a 65 yr old female. Anyone else out there have any information or tips for dealing with this?

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@scgraham

I am 19 months post TKR surgery. The surgery went well. I have great ROM. But, from the beginning I have had a tight band feeling just under my knee, and a compressed feeling in my calf muscle. Feels like I have on the tightest knee sock imaginable with a tourniquet for a top band. I was prescribed gabapentin, didn’t help. I went through PT 3x trying different things to treat this, including astym and dry needling. I still have bruised areas on my leg and it’s been 7 months since the last session. My surgeon and PT have not been able to explain the what or why of this phenomenon. But was told at my one year appointment that there was a good chance I would just have to live with this. It takes a great deal of mental energy to rise above this pain to have a productive day. I am a 65 yr old female. Anyone else out there have any information or tips for dealing with this?

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Wow…I can't imagine having to live with what you have described and what I am also going through! I am 10 weeks post surgery and I just went to the doctor yesterday who once again reassured me that the band feeling and the fluid on my knee would go away in time and that is all normal. It is very uncomfortable and painful at times. I need to have my other knee done as well and am fearful now of having the same issue. Good luck. I hope your issue resolves soon.

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Hi @mhort1213. I want to clarify what you mean by tight band. I had my TKR (right Knee) in May 2018, so I am 10 months out. Before surgery, my knee was extremely loose, moving all over the place, locking up, and causing me to fall. After surgery, my knee cap felt very tight. It did not move around at all. It felt like it had been cemented in place and was stuck in that spot. After a few months of therapy, it loosened up and began to move around like a normal knee cap. I am wondering if that is what you mean by having a tight band on your knee, because it did feel like that. In my case, I had fallen so much because of having 2 bad knees, that I felt safer when it was really tight. I became afraid of falling after it loosened up. My PT and surgeon, reassured me that it was normal and that my knee cap would hold steady and it has. I think what you are describing is normal. You have brand new hardware in your knee and it will loosen up. And then that will feel strange. But it will be much more stable. Good luck to you!

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@mhort1213

Oh my gosh… I pray it doesn't last that long! What do you do that helps, if anything? I have been doing deep massage which seems to help somewhat. What do the doctors tell you that is causing it? Have they offered any suggestions to relieve it?

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Have you tried water therapy @mhort1213? The water takes the pressure of the joints and makes it less painful. That may help relieve that tight feeling and help with your range of motion.

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@ssbionicknee

Hi @mhort1213. I want to clarify what you mean by tight band. I had my TKR (right Knee) in May 2018, so I am 10 months out. Before surgery, my knee was extremely loose, moving all over the place, locking up, and causing me to fall. After surgery, my knee cap felt very tight. It did not move around at all. It felt like it had been cemented in place and was stuck in that spot. After a few months of therapy, it loosened up and began to move around like a normal knee cap. I am wondering if that is what you mean by having a tight band on your knee, because it did feel like that. In my case, I had fallen so much because of having 2 bad knees, that I felt safer when it was really tight. I became afraid of falling after it loosened up. My PT and surgeon, reassured me that it was normal and that my knee cap would hold steady and it has. I think what you are describing is normal. You have brand new hardware in your knee and it will loosen up. And then that will feel strange. But it will be much more stable. Good luck to you!

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I will clarify what i meant by "tight band" and it may not be the same as what other posters mean. It feel like a tourniquet is around my leg just below my knee. And the pain extends to the calf area of my leg, feeling like an extremely tight compression feeling. My muscles are soft, not contracted. My knee cap is not involved. I am 19 months post surgery.

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@mhort1213

Wow…I can't imagine having to live with what you have described and what I am also going through! I am 10 weeks post surgery and I just went to the doctor yesterday who once again reassured me that the band feeling and the fluid on my knee would go away in time and that is all normal. It is very uncomfortable and painful at times. I need to have my other knee done as well and am fearful now of having the same issue. Good luck. I hope your issue resolves soon.

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@mhort1213 I am also 10 weeks post surgery from bilateral TKR and have this banding I continue to be concerned with. I am 2 weeks out from MUA because I could not get pass 90 degrees on both knees at 6 weeks. I am an over creator of scar tissue, nothing to do with how hard I have worked on PT. My PT and surgeon tell me it will get better, but hearing from @scgraham makes we want to seek a second opinion on the tight banding I feel on both knees.

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@scgraham

I will clarify what i meant by "tight band" and it may not be the same as what other posters mean. It feel like a tourniquet is around my leg just below my knee. And the pain extends to the calf area of my leg, feeling like an extremely tight compression feeling. My muscles are soft, not contracted. My knee cap is not involved. I am 19 months post surgery.

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Thanks @scgraham. That is a lot different than what I felt. I wanted to be sure that I was understanding what "tight band" meant. Each surgery can be different for everyone. I am getting ready to have my other knee replaced in a few months. I am hoping it goes as well as the first one, but I have also had major shoulder surgery in between and I had a hard time during the operation and recovering from that. I am a bit nervous about it. I am sorry to hear that you have that much pain. When I was having a lot of pain with my shoulder, I read about dry needling, but never had to have it. I hope you find something that will ease your pain and give you some relief.

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@ssbionicknee and @mhort1213 I live in Tulsa OK and no one around here seems to know why this happened or how to treat it or what the long range prognosis will be. It has been so frustrating. The last thing i was told by my surgeon was I'd probably just have to live with this. I was desparately hoping somebody here could give me some direction. Thank y'all for your input.

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@ssbionicknee

Have you tried water therapy @mhort1213? The water takes the pressure of the joints and makes it less painful. That may help relieve that tight feeling and help with your range of motion.

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I have tried water therapy and up to this point has not really helped much if at all. My ROM is excellent. The tight band that I feel starts on the inside of my knee and wraps over my kneecap and goes under my knee. It feels like a wide band or tourniquet. I also have some effusion (fluid) on the lateral side of my knee which the Dr.says will go away as well in time. Praying he is right!

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