One Year after TKR

Posted by rickraleigh @rickraleigh, Oct 5, 2021

My surgery was successful. I went through what most folks do along the way to a year. I performed range of motion exercises for the whole year. Now my knee and leg don't feel like my other knee–I have a tight band feeling in the TKR knee but no pain. I don't have the fine motor control in my TKR knee which would help with finer-tuned motion. I have very good range of motion. I've started playing doubles tennis, I walk the golf course most times when I play, and I use the elliptical often and do weights, including strength building on my legs. I am happy with the surgery, but wish I never had to have it because the TKR knee will never be a good as my other knee. I think the worse your knee is before surgery, the happier you will be with a TKR. My knee wasn't that bad, but I went ahead with the surgery and I'm OK with the outcome. I'm hoping the knee continues to improve over time. Anybody know if improvement continues? I'm 73 years old.

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Good afternoon @rickraleigh. Thanks for the post about your TKR results over time. We seldom receive information that can be considered longitudinal. I am 79 years old……80 is right next door. My first TKR was 10 years ago. Although my new knee and I had a few hitches in our get-a-long…….I made peace with it. In August of this year, I had a TKR on the other knee and am just at the beginning of total recovery. I think I am more excited about this one because I let it go too long trying to avoid another surgery. Of course, my activities have become less aggressive……no more walking/climbing/ trips of 10-15 miles a day. Exercise for me is now Yoga every morning and strolling at the gardens in the afternoon.

I was told by my first surgeon that it would take a year before I would feel like my knee was really a part of my body. He was absolutely right. So, I am just moving with the flow of healing and becoming stronger.

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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I am at two years with one knee, and one year with the other. The two year TKR does feel looser and more normal than the one year for me. Even though it does not look swollen visually, I feel that the movement of the one year knee seems more impeded by something that is not there in the two year knee. It could just be a difference that will remain, each surgery heals a little differently. I guess I won't know for another year!

I don't think it's realistic to think your TKR knees will every return to the organically normal feel of bone and cartilage, your body knows they are metal and plastic. I couldn't be a cat burgler because of the clicking sound. But that is the alternative to constant pain. My right knee was painful for a couple of years, but I dealt with it, until while walking down a hill at our house it exploded in a burst of pain so severe that I fell over and rolled down the hill. I knew then that it was time for a TKR because I did not want to go through that crushing amount of pain again. My left knee never got to that point of pain. I had alternating cortisone and Synvisc injections for about a year, til they quit helping. I decided to have the 2nd knee done, because I figured at 73, I would recover faster from surgery than if I waited a few more years and I was happy with the first TKR.

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I liked your description of how you feel about having TKP. I am 77 years old and most of the time I manage my knee pain- walking and doing PT really doesn’t cause much pain. My knees click and if I bend my legs to put on my shoes it hurts terribly. I am concerned if I wait too long I will be 80 years old and my body wouldn’t heal that well. I am scheduled to have my first knee done Feb 2022 at Mayo Clinic and I am getting scared.
Have you tried swimming? If so how does it feel?

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I haven't been swimming, but that should be easy because it involves less stress on the knee.

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@mercuryrose

I liked your description of how you feel about having TKP. I am 77 years old and most of the time I manage my knee pain- walking and doing PT really doesn’t cause much pain. My knees click and if I bend my legs to put on my shoes it hurts terribly. I am concerned if I wait too long I will be 80 years old and my body wouldn’t heal that well. I am scheduled to have my first knee done Feb 2022 at Mayo Clinic and I am getting scared.
Have you tried swimming? If so how does it feel?

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@mercuryrose I have had two TKRs and the first one had minor pain after a lot of exercise but virtually no pain in the second one. Then the pandemic came. I went from walking on a treadmill or track at my health club to having to walk on pavement. That really affected both of my knees. I have given up walking on pavement, I do videos where I am basically walking in place, and the pain is resolving.

I used to do a lot of pool jogging and that felt good, never any discomfort afterward, so I suspect swimming would be similar.

My best advice to you would be to make sure you have the absolute best doctor you can find for your knee replacement. For my second one I went to a doctor who used a custom-made knee (Conformis) and it really did make a difference, plus he is extremely highly regarded.
JK

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Did you have your second knee replacement at Mayo?

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