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?

Liked by ssbionicknee

@debbraw

Hi @grammygolfs – your experience definitely sounds like a nightmare. It must be so frustrating to still have so much pain after more than 2 years for both knees. I'm glad you got a second opinion in AZ – but sorry it wasn't more encouraging. Is there anything you have found that helps? being in the pool? more (or less) exercise? I've heard a lot of people say they are helped by water therapy, acupuncture and myofascial release. In case you haven't seen it, here is a link that might help….https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Being in the water only relieves discomfort while I'm in the water. I also did a lot of water therapy post op for my first knee as flexion was an issue…again, I could bend the knee much easier in the water, but it made no difference when out of the water. I am seeing a neurologist later this month. I'm taking Gabapentin which may be helping slightly. I find I can't take it twice a day as it makes me too sleepy during the day.

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@grammygolfs

Being in the water only relieves discomfort while I'm in the water. I also did a lot of water therapy post op for my first knee as flexion was an issue…again, I could bend the knee much easier in the water, but it made no difference when out of the water. I am seeing a neurologist later this month. I'm taking Gabapentin which may be helping slightly. I find I can't take it twice a day as it makes me too sleepy during the day.

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Hi @grammygolfs – Sorry that you don't get much relief from water. Is the neurologist visit related to the level of pain you are having with these TKA's?

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I have a similar feeling of a band around my thigh just above my TKR. It comes and goes in intensity and I must admit it's the least of my TKR problems! Am on my 4th TKR of L knee and it's been 2 years since my last TKR, If I had know how resistant my body would be to a prosthetic implant, I would have tried to find a way to fix my fractured tibia! These knee replacements have been nothing but problems for me and when this one fails I will likely lose my leg. But I have friends who had 1 or both knees done without a bit of trouble.

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@mhort1213

I'm 16 weeks post tkr and still have tight band which I think might be from fluid around the knee which doesn't seem to go away. My Dr. Is hopeful it will go away in time. I hope he's right.

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My thigh and knee are swollen due to a mild infection. I am taking Keflex in the hopes it will keep the infection at bay. Best wishes for you!

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Hi I had a second surgery on May 21, 2019 my surgeon said I had a bad case of scar tissue like none he has ever seen before. He removed the scar tissue, put a smaller cushion and a different metal rod. I can feel some difference, I don't have the tight rubber band feeling nor the feeling that something is sticking me in my leg. I am doing home therapy right now, she says the scar tissue is growing fast and massages it and tells me to do so as well. My ROM is only 95 i'm working hard to get pass 100 as she said the scar tissue along with the swelling is keeping me from bending like I should. It's hard but i'm not going to give up.

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Hi. I had my first TKR on left knee on April 16. I had a lot of swelling which inhibited flexion (still have some swelling—in the knee capsule, per PT). I had very poor flexion prior to surgery (if I was sitting in a straight chair with feet flat, any movement passed 90 caused severe pain at the back of the knee). I have that tight band feeling but faithfully follow stretching and exercise regimen in PT and at home. I can now bend to 95 to 100 unassisted and best was 112 assisted. When I saw surgeon on May 24 I was at 70 unassisted. He told me that after the surgery he was able to bend the knee to 130 with no problem. He suggested I schedule for MUA on June 18, see him on June 17 for X-rays and assessment. I think I am more frightened of an MUA than I was of surgery. I knew unequivocally that I needed a TKR, but I feel a decision about an MUA is more of a blind leap. Are there any out there with experience of MUA?

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Hi @jellycats – Welcome to Connect! There are a number of people here who have either had MUA's or had to make a decision one way or the other. I've had two TKRs – the latest one this past January and thankfully didn't have the issue of scar tissue. Here is a link that might have some information to help in your decision:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scar-tissue-after-knee-replacement/?pg=48#chv4-comment-stream-header
Also, I'm going to tag some others who may have insight on this to share: @gutthookd @gator1965 @contentandwell and @dduke
Meantime, I'm wondering if you have tried hydrotherapy or acupuncture? Both were helpful to me in getting a better ROM. You are just about 8 weeks post-op so I'm sure there is still plenty of room for improvement. Will you keep us posted on your decision?

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Thank you! I will check out the link on MUA now. I am very fortunate that I have a resistance pool installed off of our master bath. The surgeon gave me the go ahead to swim on May 24, and since then I am in the water 1 or 2 times very day. I am able to do almost all land exercises/stretching in the water. I do think this has helped considerably with improving ROM and gaining strength in quad. Plus water is good for the mind and it feels good to do something for my upper body! I have not tried acupuncture, but am willing to explore this. Right now, I am using Tramadol prior to PT and on occasion at home to help with pain associated with stretching, heel slides, etc.

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@jellycats

Thank you! I will check out the link on MUA now. I am very fortunate that I have a resistance pool installed off of our master bath. The surgeon gave me the go ahead to swim on May 24, and since then I am in the water 1 or 2 times very day. I am able to do almost all land exercises/stretching in the water. I do think this has helped considerably with improving ROM and gaining strength in quad. Plus water is good for the mind and it feels good to do something for my upper body! I have not tried acupuncture, but am willing to explore this. Right now, I am using Tramadol prior to PT and on occasion at home to help with pain associated with stretching, heel slides, etc.

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@jellycats @debbraw I thought about having lysis to help with my flex, it's only at about 115 – 118, but I have chosen to not proceed. It seems as if you can go through that and not gain anything so I will just try to be content with what I have.

My surgeon never mentioned MUA so I guess he does not feel my problem is bad enough to warrant it. I think what you decide depends on how bad your flex is, and how much that bothers you. With my 115 I can pretty do most of what I want to do.
I am not very familiar with this particular site, but this article seems to have good info regarding MUA.
https://www.peerwell.co/blog/2017/10/19/manipulation-under-anesthesia-mua-after-knee-replacement-surgery/
JK

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Because I inquired about MUA, thought I would post a follow-up. Left TKR was on April 16. On May 24 ROM was 70 and surgeon thought a MUA might be needed. I saw my surgeon on 6/17 for x-rays and evaluation, and he was excited that in three weeks I had gone from 70 degrees without assistance to 100-105 degrees without assistance–and he saw no reason for MUA. He told me that before the surgery he measured me at 105 (no shock there–I've had terrible ROM due to pain for a number of years) and 130 after the surgery. He was confident that I will continue to gain more ROM over time. I'd like to get to 110-115–that's my goal. I see surgeon again in two months, and he gave me the go-ahead to see a massage therapist for myofascial massage and to resume my weekly sessions with my Pilates instructor (who works with lots of knee/hip patients). I'm reducing my PT visits from 3x each week to 2x, and continuing to swim/do water exercises daily and do my dry land exercises at home. I have the tight band feeling sometimes, sometimes I feel a tight and tender spot right behind the knee when I walk–seems like recovery for many weeks/months after a TKR includes varying types/degrees of pain/discomfort. Trying to take each day as it comes. Of course the right knee is "barking" more–especially on steps, when I do mini-squats, etc. It has to hang in there until I get the left one sorted out!

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@jellycats

Because I inquired about MUA, thought I would post a follow-up. Left TKR was on April 16. On May 24 ROM was 70 and surgeon thought a MUA might be needed. I saw my surgeon on 6/17 for x-rays and evaluation, and he was excited that in three weeks I had gone from 70 degrees without assistance to 100-105 degrees without assistance–and he saw no reason for MUA. He told me that before the surgery he measured me at 105 (no shock there–I've had terrible ROM due to pain for a number of years) and 130 after the surgery. He was confident that I will continue to gain more ROM over time. I'd like to get to 110-115–that's my goal. I see surgeon again in two months, and he gave me the go-ahead to see a massage therapist for myofascial massage and to resume my weekly sessions with my Pilates instructor (who works with lots of knee/hip patients). I'm reducing my PT visits from 3x each week to 2x, and continuing to swim/do water exercises daily and do my dry land exercises at home. I have the tight band feeling sometimes, sometimes I feel a tight and tender spot right behind the knee when I walk–seems like recovery for many weeks/months after a TKR includes varying types/degrees of pain/discomfort. Trying to take each day as it comes. Of course the right knee is "barking" more–especially on steps, when I do mini-squats, etc. It has to hang in there until I get the left one sorted out!

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@jellycats Congratulations on your success, I am excited for you. I am 115 on my L knee and it is very liveable. I never had that tight band feeling that so people do seem to have.
Looking forward to reports on continued improvement. You must be so relieved to be getting there without additional surgery. Phew.
JK

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@jellycats

Because I inquired about MUA, thought I would post a follow-up. Left TKR was on April 16. On May 24 ROM was 70 and surgeon thought a MUA might be needed. I saw my surgeon on 6/17 for x-rays and evaluation, and he was excited that in three weeks I had gone from 70 degrees without assistance to 100-105 degrees without assistance–and he saw no reason for MUA. He told me that before the surgery he measured me at 105 (no shock there–I've had terrible ROM due to pain for a number of years) and 130 after the surgery. He was confident that I will continue to gain more ROM over time. I'd like to get to 110-115–that's my goal. I see surgeon again in two months, and he gave me the go-ahead to see a massage therapist for myofascial massage and to resume my weekly sessions with my Pilates instructor (who works with lots of knee/hip patients). I'm reducing my PT visits from 3x each week to 2x, and continuing to swim/do water exercises daily and do my dry land exercises at home. I have the tight band feeling sometimes, sometimes I feel a tight and tender spot right behind the knee when I walk–seems like recovery for many weeks/months after a TKR includes varying types/degrees of pain/discomfort. Trying to take each day as it comes. Of course the right knee is "barking" more–especially on steps, when I do mini-squats, etc. It has to hang in there until I get the left one sorted out!

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@jellycats – I'm so delighted to hear your good news. I know it has to be a relief being able to avoid the MUA. I just had my 2nd TKR in January and I'm feeling for your other knee. How bad is the right knee? Can it take the added stress of being the "strong one"?

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I’m doing my best to keep everything “balanced” — including stretching left and right and doing strengthening exercises both sides. I’ve never had cortisone in my right knee and it’s not quite bone on bone (very thin layer of cartilage left). I see my surgeon for a check up in late August and that might be the time to try cortisone. Never did any good on the left but I understand that one’s knees don’t always behave/respond the same. I just want my left to be as strong and flexible as possible before doing the right!

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@sdhkkjmz

I’m 7 months post op. While there feeling gets better, it still always feels tight. Keep up your pool therapy and use the cpm machine as much as you can. Some insurances pay for you to have a cpm at home thru your dme coverage- please check. You may need a script from your dr to have it. It will be worth it!

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What is cpm?

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Hi @debbie64131 – CPM machine means "continuous passive motion" machine.
Here is another conversation about those:
Here is a little bit more information as well as another Connect conversation about CPM machines:
https://www.verywellhealth.com/cpm-continuous-passive-motion-2549555
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scar-tissue-after-knee-replacement/?pg=24#comment-240588
I think the verdict is still out on use of those machines. I know that there are some clinical trials going on at Mayo but not sure the results are in. I've had two TKR's and didn't use one and I actually don't personally know anyone who has. But they may be great. Are you thinking of trying this kind of therapy?

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