Post Knee replacement mobility

Posted by bushy @bushy, Mar 6 3:16pm

So, I’m 3.5 weeks out from my knee replacement; flexion gets better every day, but I have such stiffness when getting up from seated position, and not just in the mornings. Will I lose this stiffness over time? I am off the couch every ten minutes, So?

@bushy I think the stiffness will probably go away. I do have some stiffness when I get up but I attribute that to old age. Within a couple of steps it is gone too. Three and a half weeks is still very early in your recuperation. How are you doing otherwise?
JK

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@contentandwell

@bushy I think the stiffness will probably go away. I do have some stiffness when I get up but I attribute that to old age. Within a couple of steps it is gone too. Three and a half weeks is still very early in your recuperation. How are you doing otherwise?
JK

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Well. I'm working on getting my knee to bend a little more every day. My PT guy says I need 125 degrees to garden/kneel comfortably-which is my goal. I'm also told that the window for total rehabbed ability essentially closes after 3 months-which makes me anxious that I get there well before–. this is from where the concern of stiffness arises.

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@bushy

Well. I'm working on getting my knee to bend a little more every day. My PT guy says I need 125 degrees to garden/kneel comfortably-which is my goal. I'm also told that the window for total rehabbed ability essentially closes after 3 months-which makes me anxious that I get there well before–. this is from where the concern of stiffness arises.

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@bushy I have heard more than three months, but I think any significant improvement does happen in that time frame. I did have some small improvement after that. It was very slow but did happen.
Keep working on it. I wish I had worked harder. One knee is just over 120 and the other just under that.
JK

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Thanks.

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@bushy

Well. I'm working on getting my knee to bend a little more every day. My PT guy says I need 125 degrees to garden/kneel comfortably-which is my goal. I'm also told that the window for total rehabbed ability essentially closes after 3 months-which makes me anxious that I get there well before–. this is from where the concern of stiffness arises.

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Good afternoon @bushy, It appears that you are approaching this TKR rehab with a committed plan and some clinician supervision. I am going to share this link because it was clear and easy to follow. There aren't too many medical terms I have to look up and understand.

My TKR rehab plan was to follow my surgeon's directions. This was my 6th surgery with him and I trusted him 100%. Many of his recommendations are included in this blog. Together, we did a great job. He was so impressed with "our" progress that he took me and introduced me to his colleagues. I also did a video for him to give new patients. What a team!
https://www.peerwell.co/blog/2017/07/05/range-of-motion-after-knee-replacement/
Be content and at ease today.
Chris

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@bushy : you are at a very early stage in your rehabilitation. I’m sure you follow all instructions given to you by your therapist, and as time passes, any stiffness of the knee will diminish. I had my TKR in September of 2018, and while the knee does get sore or mildly painful if I overdo things, I never ever have any kind of stiffness – not even after a 10 hour flight, sitting wedged in the cheap, narrow airplane seats. That being said, I hate to rain on your parade…. I love to garden, but even with a flex of well beyond 130 there is no way to kneel comfortably. I have tried knee pads, but they are not really helping. The problem is not that I can’t kneel, it’s when I need to lean forward and put weight on my kneecap, as in pulling weeds, that’s a no-no. I have one good knee left, so I can at least kneel one-sided, but it does put a lot more stress on my back. However, as long as I can get the work done, even if it has to be done an hour or so at a time, I’m ok with that.
Wishing you continued success in your recovery!

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Hi! I had double-knee replacement four years ago. First thing is to be VERY patient and kind to yourself. You are just into the healing process. Take your meds wisely, eat healthy and get proper rest. Your commitment to rehab is essential. Doing the exercises is vital to regaining flexibility. I found walking to be a big help in regaining the ability to make both legs (knees) engage in being balanced and sharing the load. I used Nordic Walking Poles at first to help me feel secure and, frankly, alleviate concerns that if I sat (or fell) down I would still have the ability to leverage back up. Find a therapist that explains things, and with whom you can share your goals. Often, the therapist considers “success” once you can do all the basics. I had bigger goals to resume yoga and Pilates which would pushed well past my therapists notion of “sufficient” range of motion. I found someone who worked with me so I could get down on the floor, and back up. She showed me how using bolsters behind my knees would get me into “child’s pose”, and using foam yoga blocks for stability helped me have confidence and get stronger. Find someone who will truly listen to your personal goals and develop that plan with you. This does take time. My experience was reaching peak flexibility within six months, but frankly, you can continue to make improvements after that. Good luck! Oh, and remember if something ever doesn’t feel “right” to you, or is truly painful, talk with your doctor right away!

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@artscaping

Good afternoon @bushy, It appears that you are approaching this TKR rehab with a committed plan and some clinician supervision. I am going to share this link because it was clear and easy to follow. There aren't too many medical terms I have to look up and understand.

My TKR rehab plan was to follow my surgeon's directions. This was my 6th surgery with him and I trusted him 100%. Many of his recommendations are included in this blog. Together, we did a great job. He was so impressed with "our" progress that he took me and introduced me to his colleagues. I also did a video for him to give new patients. What a team!
https://www.peerwell.co/blog/2017/07/05/range-of-motion-after-knee-replacement/
Be content and at ease today.
Chris

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I just opened this website. It looks like it will be really helpful!! There is a lot of time to worry about results and re-gaining past abilities–this site will absolutely help towards reaching my goals. Thank You!!

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@jmanj

Hi! I had double-knee replacement four years ago. First thing is to be VERY patient and kind to yourself. You are just into the healing process. Take your meds wisely, eat healthy and get proper rest. Your commitment to rehab is essential. Doing the exercises is vital to regaining flexibility. I found walking to be a big help in regaining the ability to make both legs (knees) engage in being balanced and sharing the load. I used Nordic Walking Poles at first to help me feel secure and, frankly, alleviate concerns that if I sat (or fell) down I would still have the ability to leverage back up. Find a therapist that explains things, and with whom you can share your goals. Often, the therapist considers “success” once you can do all the basics. I had bigger goals to resume yoga and Pilates which would pushed well past my therapists notion of “sufficient” range of motion. I found someone who worked with me so I could get down on the floor, and back up. She showed me how using bolsters behind my knees would get me into “child’s pose”, and using foam yoga blocks for stability helped me have confidence and get stronger. Find someone who will truly listen to your personal goals and develop that plan with you. This does take time. My experience was reaching peak flexibility within six months, but frankly, you can continue to make improvements after that. Good luck! Oh, and remember if something ever doesn’t feel “right” to you, or is truly painful, talk with your doctor right away!

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Thanks. I am essentially isolated on a wooded Island up in the NW, not being able to drive yet, I have a lot of time with the 'what-ifs'. Thanks for the perspective. Double TKR!!! wow Awesome!!!

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@jmanj : you sound impressive in what your goals were, and what you were able to achieve. Thanks for the advice of a bolster to enable child’s pose. I don’t really do yoga as such, but child’s pose was my favorite relaxing position between sets of planks. I can almost get all the way down to touch my butt to the heels, but just not quite. Should have thought of putting pillow there! Also, as a matter of principle, whenever I get up from any floor exercise, I turn over/onto the TKR side (only single, thank goodness), roll over on the knee, and push up with arms and good leg. As long as I keep my weight on the tibia, not the patella, no problem.

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@jmanj

Hi! I had double-knee replacement four years ago. First thing is to be VERY patient and kind to yourself. You are just into the healing process. Take your meds wisely, eat healthy and get proper rest. Your commitment to rehab is essential. Doing the exercises is vital to regaining flexibility. I found walking to be a big help in regaining the ability to make both legs (knees) engage in being balanced and sharing the load. I used Nordic Walking Poles at first to help me feel secure and, frankly, alleviate concerns that if I sat (or fell) down I would still have the ability to leverage back up. Find a therapist that explains things, and with whom you can share your goals. Often, the therapist considers “success” once you can do all the basics. I had bigger goals to resume yoga and Pilates which would pushed well past my therapists notion of “sufficient” range of motion. I found someone who worked with me so I could get down on the floor, and back up. She showed me how using bolsters behind my knees would get me into “child’s pose”, and using foam yoga blocks for stability helped me have confidence and get stronger. Find someone who will truly listen to your personal goals and develop that plan with you. This does take time. My experience was reaching peak flexibility within six months, but frankly, you can continue to make improvements after that. Good luck! Oh, and remember if something ever doesn’t feel “right” to you, or is truly painful, talk with your doctor right away!

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Thanks! You are an inspiration!!!

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keep moving knee and use hot water on the knee when showing and at night put v-e and Neutrogena hydro boost body palm get up slow

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How long does the stiffness last? Exercising twice a day, 2x a week. Sleeping is tough and morning stiffness is almost unbearable. I still feel I am doing well @115 and 0.

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@nancyjw

How long does the stiffness last? Exercising twice a day, 2x a week. Sleeping is tough and morning stiffness is almost unbearable. I still feel I am doing well @115 and 0.

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Hello @nancyjw, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You will notice we moved your post to this existing discussion Post Knee replacement mobility – so that you can meet other members with similar symptoms and learn what they have shared. You may also be interested in the following information:

Treating Stiffness After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Technical Note and Preliminary Results:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3414723/

"Joint stiffness is a common, debilitating, age-related symptom, which may be seen after total joint replacement (TJR). Stiffness also occurs in fibrotic conditions such as shoulder capsulitis and Dupuytren's contracture. We speculated that the two traits (TJR and fibrotic disease) are linked pathogenically." excerpt from the following article:
Joint Stiffness Is Heritable and Associated with Fibrotic Conditions and Joint Replacement:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509645/

@nancyjw you mentioned you are 4 weeks out from the replacement. Have you discussed the stiffness with your surgeon or care team? I had a lot of the swelling and some pain for a short time after the knee replacement and my surgeon told me I was not elevating and icing the knee enough. I also was faithful with the daily exercises but was not keeping the leg elevated when I was sitting for long periods of time.

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@johnbishop

Hello @nancyjw, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You will notice we moved your post to this existing discussion Post Knee replacement mobility – so that you can meet other members with similar symptoms and learn what they have shared. You may also be interested in the following information:

Treating Stiffness After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Technical Note and Preliminary Results:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3414723/

"Joint stiffness is a common, debilitating, age-related symptom, which may be seen after total joint replacement (TJR). Stiffness also occurs in fibrotic conditions such as shoulder capsulitis and Dupuytren's contracture. We speculated that the two traits (TJR and fibrotic disease) are linked pathogenically." excerpt from the following article:
Joint Stiffness Is Heritable and Associated with Fibrotic Conditions and Joint Replacement:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509645/

@nancyjw you mentioned you are 4 weeks out from the replacement. Have you discussed the stiffness with your surgeon or care team? I had a lot of the swelling and some pain for a short time after the knee replacement and my surgeon told me I was not elevating and icing the knee enough. I also was faithful with the daily exercises but was not keeping the leg elevated when I was sitting for long periods of time.

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Thank you John, I am exercising twice a day and noticed I didn’t type PT before the 2x per week. It sounded a bit confusing. I will try to be more patient and ice & elevate!

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