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

Sadly I’m 8 months out have the syndrome you describe. I walk like a pirate (kind of peg legged). Haven’t slept more than an hour without waking due to the tightness causes the leg to be so stiff it won’t bend. My range of motion is “Norman” but the I feel like I have to force it to Bend. I’m told the X-ray show ms the knee replacement looks great. I wish I never had the surgery. My pain was bad due to arthritis before the surgery (mostly if I over used it). Not it’s constant and regular daily activity is limited. I’m told all will miraculously get better when it’s a year post op. Hmmm that doesn’t make sense. The knee has gotten worse and/or has had no improvement for 4 months.

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My TKR has been 2 years and I still have a tight band feeling around my knee and swelling.

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@tennisgolf

Happy NEW DECADE to all! I had TKR on left in 2015. Perfect result – hardly any pain; works well. Had TKR on right knee 13 month ago. Hardly any pain, but more difficulty. I do have the "Tight Band" on top of knee (a little to right of center). Tightness has decreased 70% (?) over the year. However, THIS LEG HAS HAD NUMBNESS SINCE THE SURGERY and still does. Numbness around knee and calf has decreased (maybe 50%), but is still very present. I am concerned about circulation (I do have some circulation issues in both legs showing blue/purple veins especially in feet. When I use corrective stockings it improves for a while.) Two things: I can play a racquet sport with no problem. Climbing UPstairs is definitely a problem now – it is an effort and I have to rest at top (and, again, I can play Pickleball for 2 hours.) Going DOWNstairs I have to hold on, go slowly as my "rhythm" / or coordination is off. Possibly NERVE DAMAGE??? Surgeon has nothing to offer.

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@tennisgolf That's amazing that you can play those sports yet have trouble on the stairs! Overall it sounds as if things are going pretty well though. It does sound as if circulation may be a problem. There are tests that can be done for that I think. I know before I had varicose vein surgery a number of years ago, they did a test for my circulation to see if it was being affected — it was.

@danielcwest If your pain is getting worse it sounds to me as if it's time to see another doctor, someone not associated with the same hospital as your current doctor.

@lukyme I never had that tight band feeling with either knee but it does seem to be very common. I hope it goes away in time.
JK

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@danielcwest

I have been back to my surgeon and to two others for opinions. They all say “it looks perfect”. Well it doesn’t feel perfect and it hurt more now than it did a few months after surgery. “Something” is wrong and no one seems to give a crap.

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Hi everyone it's been awhile since I have been on this site so I will give my experience over again. I had my 1st TKR on Jan, 8 2019 which was very unsuccessful. The Dr. did say that he may have misjudged the size of my knee & he put a larger spacer, anyways I had home PT and afterwards I had outpatient PT the knee still didn't bend. My surgeon then suggested I have a (2nd surgery) MUA that was scheduled for February 21st, 2019 I had good ROM for awhile, but then it started freezing up again. My PT contacted my surgeon & told him that something wasn't right and that he needed to see as soon as possible, which he did. He then suggested that he may need to go back in to put a smaller spacer. The 3rd surgery was scheduled for May 21, 2019 which meant I had to start all over again, all the pain the agony loss of sleep etc. The dr. said I had so much scar tissue like none he had ever seen before out of all the years he has been doing surgeries. He went in cleaned up as much scar tissue as possible, took cultures for infections and put a smaller spacer. Once again I did therapy and everything that I was suppose to do, just to have the scar tissue build up again and cause me not to be able to bend my knee. After some months I had arthroscopic surgery in Nov. 2019 once again he went in cleaned out some scar tissue & did another culture because he wasn't able to get enough fluid to send off before. I went back in about two & 1/2 weeks later, he said that everything looked good, but he was puzzled as to why I was still having so much pain & could barely lift my leg. He referred me out to the orthopedic office in Gainesville, Fl. I went there on Friday Dec. 27,2019. The orthopedic took an x-ray and said that everything looks good & that the 1st surgeon did everything accordingly. This doctor said the reason i'm probably in so much pain is because of the multiple surgeries that I have had so close together. He suggested that I get a nerve block to try and break up the scar tissue so that I can bend the knee, wants me to continue therapy. I have to go back to my surgeon soon I guess that he will schedule for the nerve block, but i'm not sure yet. One thing I am sure of is that I want this pain to go and that I will be able to bend my knee without the complications. Well this is my story I may have left a few things out due to experiencing so much in the past year.

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@lynnwade54

Hi everyone it's been awhile since I have been on this site so I will give my experience over again. I had my 1st TKR on Jan, 8 2019 which was very unsuccessful. The Dr. did say that he may have misjudged the size of my knee & he put a larger spacer, anyways I had home PT and afterwards I had outpatient PT the knee still didn't bend. My surgeon then suggested I have a (2nd surgery) MUA that was scheduled for February 21st, 2019 I had good ROM for awhile, but then it started freezing up again. My PT contacted my surgeon & told him that something wasn't right and that he needed to see as soon as possible, which he did. He then suggested that he may need to go back in to put a smaller spacer. The 3rd surgery was scheduled for May 21, 2019 which meant I had to start all over again, all the pain the agony loss of sleep etc. The dr. said I had so much scar tissue like none he had ever seen before out of all the years he has been doing surgeries. He went in cleaned up as much scar tissue as possible, took cultures for infections and put a smaller spacer. Once again I did therapy and everything that I was suppose to do, just to have the scar tissue build up again and cause me not to be able to bend my knee. After some months I had arthroscopic surgery in Nov. 2019 once again he went in cleaned out some scar tissue & did another culture because he wasn't able to get enough fluid to send off before. I went back in about two & 1/2 weeks later, he said that everything looked good, but he was puzzled as to why I was still having so much pain & could barely lift my leg. He referred me out to the orthopedic office in Gainesville, Fl. I went there on Friday Dec. 27,2019. The orthopedic took an x-ray and said that everything looks good & that the 1st surgeon did everything accordingly. This doctor said the reason i'm probably in so much pain is because of the multiple surgeries that I have had so close together. He suggested that I get a nerve block to try and break up the scar tissue so that I can bend the knee, wants me to continue therapy. I have to go back to my surgeon soon I guess that he will schedule for the nerve block, but i'm not sure yet. One thing I am sure of is that I want this pain to go and that I will be able to bend my knee without the complications. Well this is my story I may have left a few things out due to experiencing so much in the past year.

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Wow, what an ordeal. I too had a TKR in January 2018. I had scar tissue as well. Pain and swelling in my knee still exist although the swelling has diminished some. I had a nerve block which helped with the pain and swelling and nerve damage. I’m no doctor but when you are having a TKR nerves are cut and symptoms start presenting themselves. Therein lies the problem, surgeons have no idea (my surgeon for one) how or why their patient is complaining of stiff knee, band tightness, tinkling and sharp pains in knee. Crazy. I went to a pain management/orthopedic clinic and was diagnosed immediately with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), there is no cure but there is relief with the nerve block. Hope this helps, stay focused on good thoughts. Stay away from anymore surgery on that knee. Best wishes for relief.

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@lynnwade54

Hi everyone it's been awhile since I have been on this site so I will give my experience over again. I had my 1st TKR on Jan, 8 2019 which was very unsuccessful. The Dr. did say that he may have misjudged the size of my knee & he put a larger spacer, anyways I had home PT and afterwards I had outpatient PT the knee still didn't bend. My surgeon then suggested I have a (2nd surgery) MUA that was scheduled for February 21st, 2019 I had good ROM for awhile, but then it started freezing up again. My PT contacted my surgeon & told him that something wasn't right and that he needed to see as soon as possible, which he did. He then suggested that he may need to go back in to put a smaller spacer. The 3rd surgery was scheduled for May 21, 2019 which meant I had to start all over again, all the pain the agony loss of sleep etc. The dr. said I had so much scar tissue like none he had ever seen before out of all the years he has been doing surgeries. He went in cleaned up as much scar tissue as possible, took cultures for infections and put a smaller spacer. Once again I did therapy and everything that I was suppose to do, just to have the scar tissue build up again and cause me not to be able to bend my knee. After some months I had arthroscopic surgery in Nov. 2019 once again he went in cleaned out some scar tissue & did another culture because he wasn't able to get enough fluid to send off before. I went back in about two & 1/2 weeks later, he said that everything looked good, but he was puzzled as to why I was still having so much pain & could barely lift my leg. He referred me out to the orthopedic office in Gainesville, Fl. I went there on Friday Dec. 27,2019. The orthopedic took an x-ray and said that everything looks good & that the 1st surgeon did everything accordingly. This doctor said the reason i'm probably in so much pain is because of the multiple surgeries that I have had so close together. He suggested that I get a nerve block to try and break up the scar tissue so that I can bend the knee, wants me to continue therapy. I have to go back to my surgeon soon I guess that he will schedule for the nerve block, but i'm not sure yet. One thing I am sure of is that I want this pain to go and that I will be able to bend my knee without the complications. Well this is my story I may have left a few things out due to experiencing so much in the past year.

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@lynnwade54 You have been through a lot, for sure. I am sorry you have had to deal with so much. I hope the nerve block will give you relief. As I read these stories I realize how fortunate I was to not have any of those problems following either of my TKRs. It sounds as if you doing everything possible though. I will be interested in hearing if the nerve block does help.
JK

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@contentandwell

@lynnwade54 You have been through a lot, for sure. I am sorry you have had to deal with so much. I hope the nerve block will give you relief. As I read these stories I realize how fortunate I was to not have any of those problems following either of my TKRs. It sounds as if you doing everything possible though. I will be interested in hearing if the nerve block does help.
JK

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Nerve block did nothing!

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@danielcwest

Sadly I’m 8 months out have the syndrome you describe. I walk like a pirate (kind of peg legged). Haven’t slept more than an hour without waking due to the tightness causes the leg to be so stiff it won’t bend. My range of motion is “Norman” but the I feel like I have to force it to Bend. I’m told the X-ray show ms the knee replacement looks great. I wish I never had the surgery. My pain was bad due to arthritis before the surgery (mostly if I over used it). Not it’s constant and regular daily activity is limited. I’m told all will miraculously get better when it’s a year post op. Hmmm that doesn’t make sense. The knee has gotten worse and/or has had no improvement for 4 months.

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Very sorry to hear about your pain and other problems. I have had 4 TKR's and the last one has almost 3 years on it. So fingers are crossed! Have had almost no pain from any TKR but the Polyneuropathy makes up for that. Will keep you in my prayers as I am sure many others are doing as well. I agree completely about wishing you'd never had it done! My L leg is over 3' shorter than the R so I must wear special shoes to compensate for the lost length of my leg. Even with the shoe, walking is proving to be impossible without a walker. I doubt I will ever walk on my own again. I advise anyone considering a TKR to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion and ask the docs if their is any possible way to avoid knee replacement , such as wearing a cast to allow the knee to heel, or anything that can be thought of rather than surgery. I had a bad knee as well as a fractured tibia, but I'd trade a cast to what I have now, and just live with a bad knee. God be with you!

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@lturn9

Very sorry to hear about your pain and other problems. I have had 4 TKR's and the last one has almost 3 years on it. So fingers are crossed! Have had almost no pain from any TKR but the Polyneuropathy makes up for that. Will keep you in my prayers as I am sure many others are doing as well. I agree completely about wishing you'd never had it done! My L leg is over 3' shorter than the R so I must wear special shoes to compensate for the lost length of my leg. Even with the shoe, walking is proving to be impossible without a walker. I doubt I will ever walk on my own again. I advise anyone considering a TKR to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion and ask the docs if their is any possible way to avoid knee replacement , such as wearing a cast to allow the knee to heel, or anything that can be thought of rather than surgery. I had a bad knee as well as a fractured tibia, but I'd trade a cast to what I have now, and just live with a bad knee. God be with you!

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@lturn9 That's great that you had no pain, but terrible that your leg is now 3" shorter than the other. What caused that, I have never heard of that happening before. I think someone on here did have a slight change in leg length, but nothing close to 3". Did the fractured tibia cause that somehow?

I firmly believe that one of the most important things to do before getting a knee replacement is researching doctors and their outcomes. I had two good TKRs, the second one was great using the Conformis, custom made knee. I hear that the Mako surgery is highly successful also.

A person of course can get Synvisc injections to delay having a TKR, which I did do, but over time that becomes less effective. The only other option is stem cell surgery I believe, and that has to be paid for out-of-pocket because insurance does not pay for it. It is not 100% successful so it could be thousands of dollars wasted if you happen to be one of the people who does not get relief from it.
JK

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@contentandwell

@lturn9 That's great that you had no pain, but terrible that your leg is now 3" shorter than the other. What caused that, I have never heard of that happening before. I think someone on here did have a slight change in leg length, but nothing close to 3". Did the fractured tibia cause that somehow?

I firmly believe that one of the most important things to do before getting a knee replacement is researching doctors and their outcomes. I had two good TKRs, the second one was great using the Conformis, custom made knee. I hear that the Mako surgery is highly successful also.

A person of course can get Synvisc injections to delay having a TKR, which I did do, but over time that becomes less effective. The only other option is stem cell surgery I believe, and that has to be paid for out-of-pocket because insurance does not pay for it. It is not 100% successful so it could be thousands of dollars wasted if you happen to be one of the people who does not get relief from it.
JK

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Thanks for your kind thoughts and comments. The L leg is shorter because with each TKR, both the Tibia and Femur were trimmed to aid the fit of the prosthetic. Also, I am told my bones are getting fragile & the surgeon had to look for stable bone. I should have mentioned in my previous posting that I have Demylinating Polyneuropathy ; a disease where the mylin cover on the nerve bundle is dissolving. The only symptom is extreme pain. My legs and feet are both numb causing me to lose all the toes on my left leg due to osteomytis. Because I am now Diebatic and have the beginnings of kidney failure, the surgeons see me as a poor choice for surgery. I'm not ready to give up but sometimes it does wear me down. But we must stay strong and keep a positive attitude and trust in God always!

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I am 8 months post op and still have a tight band below the knee cap and it radiates out to the side. I was told it should go away after a year. Do you think that utilizing exercise machines at the Y causes this by putting stress on the joint?

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Like you I am 8 months post TKR. I have a tight band below the patella and on the right side of the knee. This is accentuated with exercise particularly when I use the exercise machines at the Y. I was told it takes one year before it goes away. Do you experience the same thing? Does it really go away? Should I not use the machines?

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In an earlier post I mentioned that at 8 mos I was still having a lot of banding and pain. Doc said exercise has to continue—said recumbent bike is the best for the knee because it helps mobility and moves the fluid around. I also walked a track and did leg presses at the gym plus a few other exercises with elastic bands and simple leg lifts with the quads tight. I also increase anti-inflammatory meds briefly if it got really bad. By one year everything was fine. They said that elliptical machine and stairstepper were not good ideas. Also, be sure to do the stretches. In fact I just started gentle chair yoga a few months ago and it is amazing how it has helped aches etc. Hope you get better soon.

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@sjot4u

I am 8 months post op and still have a tight band below the knee cap and it radiates out to the side. I was told it should go away after a year. Do you think that utilizing exercise machines at the Y causes this by putting stress on the joint?

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@sjot4u I would check with your orthopedist or your physical therapist about the exercises. I think some machines are off-limits and some are beneficial. As mentioned, all orthopedic doctors seem to love recumbent bikes.

@sierrashopper I'm surprised that the elliptical was not good. I don’t remember using it shortly after my TKR but I have been using it for quite a while now. I was told by both my doctor and physical therapist to absolutely not use the leg press!

That’s good to hear about chair yoga. I really wanted to do regular yoga, which did present difficulties getting up from the floor, and then I had an injury in July and now I don’t think I could possibly do it. Maybe I’ll try chair yoga.
JK

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Yes, you are correct in that recommendations do vary. PT had me using the leg press right after surgery; they said not to use the leg press until well into healing though. It is amazing how different everyone recovers. At 8 months I was at the point where my friend was at 2 months. My heart goes out to those who are continuing to struggle long term. Wish there were answers.

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