Nine months after tkr

Posted by cgbi @cgbi, Fri, Jul 12 8:54am

Had tkr nine months ago. Was feeling good till 4 weeks ago. I started working full time and went on vacation were I walked a lot. Now my knee almost feels like it did before surgery. I limp and have a hard time walking without pain. I don't know what to do. My led will not lie straight and the pain is pretty constant.

Hi @cgbi – I have had two TKR's and I can relate to what you are saying. I'm still in my first year of the 2nd TKR. Had it in Jan 2019. When I have had situations that really stressed or over-exerted my knee, the result was much more of an issue than just a day or two of being sore as I would normally expect. Within that first year, our knees are still in recovery-mode. I have also found that even though I no longer do "formal" PT, when I slack off on my exercises and THEN do something strenuous, my knee doesn't respond well. If I were you, I would go back to square one – icing and elevating. If you baby it for several days or a week and see no improvement, I would check in with your orthopedic surgeon. You may have some damage that is beyond overexertion? During the time you were feeling good, were you doing still doing some exercises and walking to keep the knee in shape? Would you feel comfortable calling your doctor to check in?

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Also had TKR 9 months ago. Not sure about what your returning to work changed as far as the stress on your TKR knee is. I’m with Debbra – even though I am not required to do it any more, I still do the bare minimum of leg extensions and squats and bridges most days, and also do a brisk 2 mile walk most days. Yes, I have days of sore knee, sore hip, sore back – but at this stage it is far better than in months past. Perhaps the stress and over-use has caused a temporary set-back for you?

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I kept up exercising but then went back to a full time job, on my feet 8 hours with children. The vacation was extensive walking, hills, runes. Great vacation planned over a year ago. My knee almost feels like it did before tkr. I will go back to icing and see what happens. Thanks for feedback

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Don't think 8 months, 12 months, even 16 months is the best its going to get. I just celebrated my two year anniversary and as a competitive/advanced rated tennis player I'm still feeling improvement in strength, plus in the area!

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@cgbi

I kept up exercising but then went back to a full time job, on my feet 8 hours with children. The vacation was extensive walking, hills, runes. Great vacation planned over a year ago. My knee almost feels like it did before tkr. I will go back to icing and see what happens. Thanks for feedback

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@cgbi I am a year and a half post TKR on my L knee and if I really over-exercise I do feel it but it's manageable pain. My R knee is about 6 or 7 years post TKR and I tend to feel more discomfort in that one when I exercise a lot. A lot depends on the knee I think. My pain is as I said, manageable so I don't get too upset about it. It does not stop me from doing anything, although I do not do anything extremely strenuous like @jeffkirc playing tennis, and as much as I wish I could ski, I don't do that either. I do exercise in a gym and do a lot of elliptical with just some underlying fatigue in my knees.

As suggested if your pain continues you should call your ortho.
JK

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@cgbi

I kept up exercising but then went back to a full time job, on my feet 8 hours with children. The vacation was extensive walking, hills, runes. Great vacation planned over a year ago. My knee almost feels like it did before tkr. I will go back to icing and see what happens. Thanks for feedback

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@cgbi – If nothing else, the icing and the resting will make you more comfortable! Will you keep me posted in a week or so to see how things are feeling?

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@jeffkirc – Thanks for that positive and uplifting message. Sometimes I worry that when newcomers are reading these posts, they see only the downside of joint replacement. Some of us – me included – have had great recoveries and would do the TKR again in a heartbeat to get the positive results we've seen. I appreciate you making that so clear. I think it helps others immensely to hear messages like that.

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@jeffkirc

Don't think 8 months, 12 months, even 16 months is the best its going to get. I just celebrated my two year anniversary and as a competitive/advanced rated tennis player I'm still feeling improvement in strength, plus in the area!

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@jeffkirc : May I ask your age, tennis level rating, court surfaces, and what – singles, or doubles – you play? I have yet to take the plunge to get back on the soft courts. Have played social, but still very competitive tennis, and early on team tennis with several trips to state championships, for decades. (4.0, but probably more realistically 3.5 in recent years), singles only until I was about 63 and could not find any willing partners in matching ability and age range. Had to settle for doubles then. The younger generation hit too hard, and was too focused on ending points. To me, tennis at it’s best is a strategic chess match if players are evenly matched. Anyway – my main concern is the need to “twist” – sideways motion – of the knee. Starting, stopping, I can imagine would be fine. I still have major problems when I bend my knee inwards, sideways, and upwards, as in taking off a sock while standing. Does this make any sense to you? Oh, I’m now finally 70, and otherwise in pretty decent shape. Coming up on 10 months after surgery.

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I had TKR 11 years ago and I find the being very active gives me some discomfort short term. After retirement I started exercising at the gym using machines. I believe that exercising moderately is key to controlling pain after TKR. Currently I have started the process for a 2nd TKR (left this time), but want to get as much mileage out of this knee as I can. I cannot imagine being as active without TKR and would do it over in a heartbeat! I might add that I currently do not take any pain medications.

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@ellerbracke

@jeffkirc : May I ask your age, tennis level rating, court surfaces, and what – singles, or doubles – you play? I have yet to take the plunge to get back on the soft courts. Have played social, but still very competitive tennis, and early on team tennis with several trips to state championships, for decades. (4.0, but probably more realistically 3.5 in recent years), singles only until I was about 63 and could not find any willing partners in matching ability and age range. Had to settle for doubles then. The younger generation hit too hard, and was too focused on ending points. To me, tennis at it’s best is a strategic chess match if players are evenly matched. Anyway – my main concern is the need to “twist” – sideways motion – of the knee. Starting, stopping, I can imagine would be fine. I still have major problems when I bend my knee inwards, sideways, and upwards, as in taking off a sock while standing. Does this make any sense to you? Oh, I’m now finally 70, and otherwise in pretty decent shape. Coming up on 10 months after surgery.

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My knees went south playing on hard courts. Hard true came late for me. I played both singles and doubles but near the end of tennis days it was only doubles. Won state of Ohio 13 times as a captain of a team. Played 4.0 but as i aged i was plating 3.5 . I am 78 now but told i look 60. Shot my age in golf the other day. When i had first tkr i noticed i lost a lot of speed. I decided on stem cells as my TKR did not go well. Its been 5 years and still have swelling, pain, etc, I love my biking and i do 20 miles each day. Good luck to you.

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@cobweb

My knees went south playing on hard courts. Hard true came late for me. I played both singles and doubles but near the end of tennis days it was only doubles. Won state of Ohio 13 times as a captain of a team. Played 4.0 but as i aged i was plating 3.5 . I am 78 now but told i look 60. Shot my age in golf the other day. When i had first tkr i noticed i lost a lot of speed. I decided on stem cells as my TKR did not go well. Its been 5 years and still have swelling, pain, etc, I love my biking and i do 20 miles each day. Good luck to you.

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Congratulations on your excellent track record in tennis (I, too, was a team captain for several years). Went to SC state championships several times, lost in finals mostly. Let me tell you, it is a LOT harder to herd a group of females (even though I am one myself), than to deal with guys. Just take my word for it. I wish I would like to bike….. I really hate the stationary one(s), and here in SC the actual outdoor riding is definitely not something you do in the summer. Clarification re. stem cell: must be the “other” knee, since once the artificial one is in, it would not help.
I plan to start tennis hitting practices come September, and go from there. I really miss smacking a ball to get rid of pent-up energy? frustration? anger? just sheer joy of it? All of those.

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I had a TKR 9 months ago. My leg was totally fine before the surgery. After a month my entire leg from thigh to toes started swelling and from my calf down to my toes is as hard as a rock. I have been to all kinds of doctors and have had all kinds of test and no one has been able to tell what is wrong. Nothing makes the swelling go down and it just keeps getting worse. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should do next. It is very frustrating and painful. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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@cmquigley

I had a TKR 9 months ago. My leg was totally fine before the surgery. After a month my entire leg from thigh to toes started swelling and from my calf down to my toes is as hard as a rock. I have been to all kinds of doctors and have had all kinds of test and no one has been able to tell what is wrong. Nothing makes the swelling go down and it just keeps getting worse. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should do next. It is very frustrating and painful. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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@cmquigley, welcome to Connect. I combined your discussion with an existing discussion titled, "Nine months after TKR." I did this so you could meet members discussing their experiences after TKR. Members like, @cgbi posted their experience and symptoms with their TKR nine months after the surgery. @cmquigley, what is your range-of-motion like? Is the swelling keeping you from moving the leg? Is there discoloration with the increasingly swollen leg?

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@cmquigley

I had a TKR 9 months ago. My leg was totally fine before the surgery. After a month my entire leg from thigh to toes started swelling and from my calf down to my toes is as hard as a rock. I have been to all kinds of doctors and have had all kinds of test and no one has been able to tell what is wrong. Nothing makes the swelling go down and it just keeps getting worse. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should do next. It is very frustrating and painful. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Hi @cmquigley Welcome to Connect.

The first thing I thought of when I read your post was a possibly allergy to the cement used in the TKR. There is a discussion about this type of sensitivity here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/need-tkr-and-had-positive-allergy-testing-bone-cement-and-metals/
Also a discussion on swelling and stiffness here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/swelling-and-stiffness-3-years-after-total-knee-replacement/
I hope one of these will resonate with you and that you might be able to find the cause of this. From what I have heard here, most doctors expect a patient to wait a year after a TKR to get a second opinion. You are getting close to that. If the surgeon who did your TKR is not supplying any answers I would seek that second opinion from a doctor at a different medical center — doctors at the same medical center often will not contradict a colleague. If you live within reach of a major medical center the doctors there have seen virtually everything so they often are better at figuring out unusual problems.

I have had two TKRs and never had anything like that. I had a normal amount of swelling initially but it subsided fairly quickly. It is definitely not typical to still be having it at 9 months.
I am definitely interested in hearing what you can find out about this, I hope you keep us up to date.
JK

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