Post Knee replacement mobility

Posted by bushy @bushy, Mar 6, 2020

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?

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@gobigred

I am 11 weeks out and still terrible stiffness and pain. I have complications with a big Baker’s cyst which had gotten even worse after surgery plus lots of swelling all around the knee and pain in back of calf as well as around knee replacement device. Dr tells me that will probably last a year. UGH!
Not what I wanted to hear.
I’m miserable most of the time. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news but I had higher hopes than this.

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So sorry to hear this. I'm six weeks out from a TKR and must admit that I had no idea it would be such a long and painful process. Even though I read up on it in advance, obviously not enough. LOL. When I recall the bone-on-bone horrific pain, I think, well this has to get better at some point. The bone on bone could never improve… Hope things get much better ASAP.

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@gobigred

I am 11 weeks out and still terrible stiffness and pain. I have complications with a big Baker’s cyst which had gotten even worse after surgery plus lots of swelling all around the knee and pain in back of calf as well as around knee replacement device. Dr tells me that will probably last a year. UGH!
Not what I wanted to hear.
I’m miserable most of the time. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news but I had higher hopes than this.

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I have had Bakers cysts. One lasted 2-3 months. the other a week or two.

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@gobigred

I am 11 weeks out and still terrible stiffness and pain. I have complications with a big Baker’s cyst which had gotten even worse after surgery plus lots of swelling all around the knee and pain in back of calf as well as around knee replacement device. Dr tells me that will probably last a year. UGH!
Not what I wanted to hear.
I’m miserable most of the time. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news but I had higher hopes than this.

Jump to this post

Good evening @gobigred, I am very sorry to read that you are still having pain and discomfort with your recent TKR. I have had an entirely different experience and am 4 months post-op. This is my second TKR. It was robotic and minimally invasive. The recovery has been so much better and faster than the first one which took a year…… UGH! Of course, I know more now and there are better surgical techniques now. Still, the solution for me was ice and elevate multiple times a day. Swelling can also be reduced with hands-on Myofascial Release techniques. I have not experienced problems with pain in the calf so don't have a solution except for suggesting that you do the Yoga pose "Legs up the wall" a few times a day. When the fluid that causes the swelling is pushed up into the pelvic area, it is then eliminated when you urinate.

What else can you do to relieve the misery? My Baker's cyst…..which was pretty large and full….pre-surgery, has totally disappeared. With the first TKR, the surgeon drained it before surgery. This time the post-surgery attention by my MFR therapist prevented any fluid retention.

Please check-in as you notice changes. Are you still doing PT? At home or at an orthopedic center? I am concerned about you. How are you doing emotionally?

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

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Hi sorry to hear but I can understand most of hear can …. I myself am almost 5 months out still deal with inflammation, pain, stiffness, but I am so much better now than two months ago ……I can straighten my leg …. And now I am about 70-75 degree bend for me that’s awesome …, it has taken a lot of pt and ice and Motrin .., I also found Mayo facial massage made all difference for my recovery….so what I am getting at I know what your dr said my dr gave up on me also at 6 weeks if I did the same I would not be where I am …. So just do your pt make it work for you …..don’t give up it’s only been 11 weeks for you I know an eternity already …. When my dr gave up I looked up alternative therapy because I felt therapy I was doing was not working so I started water therapy worked for me much better…..,there are other recovery methods out there utilize the internet helped me …. And this form of recovering tkr folks like I said we understand we all been there ….. so here is to speedy recovery for us all in the new year …,, merry Christmas

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@ezas123

Hi sorry to hear but I can understand most of hear can …. I myself am almost 5 months out still deal with inflammation, pain, stiffness, but I am so much better now than two months ago ……I can straighten my leg …. And now I am about 70-75 degree bend for me that’s awesome …, it has taken a lot of pt and ice and Motrin .., I also found Mayo facial massage made all difference for my recovery….so what I am getting at I know what your dr said my dr gave up on me also at 6 weeks if I did the same I would not be where I am …. So just do your pt make it work for you …..don’t give up it’s only been 11 weeks for you I know an eternity already …. When my dr gave up I looked up alternative therapy because I felt therapy I was doing was not working so I started water therapy worked for me much better…..,there are other recovery methods out there utilize the internet helped me …. And this form of recovering tkr folks like I said we understand we all been there ….. so here is to speedy recovery for us all in the new year …,, merry Christmas

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I have great sympathy to all whose recovery from TKR is more difficult and painful that you expected. It is distressing when an operation that was supposed to cure pain doesn't work as expected.

I think we need to rethink what is a "success" to surgeons, compared to what is a success to us as patients!

I have had 5 hip replacement surgeries, an ACL/MCL repair and replacement and multiple hand/ wrist/thumb surgeries. Most surgeons consider a stable implant without infection a "success".

Most patients I know have far different expectations! We want full use, with little or no pain after recovery.

Here is where we have know to help educate our doctors and ourselves:

I have learned "the hard way" to discuss my expectations and aftercare BEFOREHAND with the surgeon to make sure we are in agreement about this, including post surgical pain, PT, OT and time to full recovery. This has led me to walk away from more than one surgeon over the years…

I have learned that every surgery and every recovery is different, our bodies, especially angry and disturbed muscles and nerves, mend on their own schedule, and predicting how it will go is impossible.

I have learned that most of the hard work comes after surgery. It is my responsibility. PT, daily exercises, icing, elevation – and insisting on being heard when things go wrong. This continues far longer than the 2 or 6 or 14 sessions with a therapist and a couple after visits.

And finally, I have laearned that sometimes I must be persistent and insistent, but not angry and demanding, until someone hears me.

To all of you who are surprised and distressed that you didn't know what was going to happen, PLEASE keep insisting on being heard, and know that there is a solution to nearly every unforeseen effect if you persist.

Wishing you all a full recovery in the new year.
Sue

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@sueinmn

I have great sympathy to all whose recovery from TKR is more difficult and painful that you expected. It is distressing when an operation that was supposed to cure pain doesn't work as expected.

I think we need to rethink what is a "success" to surgeons, compared to what is a success to us as patients!

I have had 5 hip replacement surgeries, an ACL/MCL repair and replacement and multiple hand/ wrist/thumb surgeries. Most surgeons consider a stable implant without infection a "success".

Most patients I know have far different expectations! We want full use, with little or no pain after recovery.

Here is where we have know to help educate our doctors and ourselves:

I have learned "the hard way" to discuss my expectations and aftercare BEFOREHAND with the surgeon to make sure we are in agreement about this, including post surgical pain, PT, OT and time to full recovery. This has led me to walk away from more than one surgeon over the years…

I have learned that every surgery and every recovery is different, our bodies, especially angry and disturbed muscles and nerves, mend on their own schedule, and predicting how it will go is impossible.

I have learned that most of the hard work comes after surgery. It is my responsibility. PT, daily exercises, icing, elevation – and insisting on being heard when things go wrong. This continues far longer than the 2 or 6 or 14 sessions with a therapist and a couple after visits.

And finally, I have laearned that sometimes I must be persistent and insistent, but not angry and demanding, until someone hears me.

To all of you who are surprised and distressed that you didn't know what was going to happen, PLEASE keep insisting on being heard, and know that there is a solution to nearly every unforeseen effect if you persist.

Wishing you all a full recovery in the new year.
Sue

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I agree that surgeons need to listen to patients’ concerns and expectations. I am 5 months from my TKR. At 9 weeks I had stopped making progress and couldn’t bend past 95 degrees. I have been very dedicated following through with my “therapy homework” so it was not due to lack of movement. My PT consulted with the Surgeon’s office and they all agreed an MUA would be helpful in getting me to progress. The Nurse Practitioner at my surgeon’s office is the one who follows patients after surgery. She is very knowledgeable and responsive to patient concerns. IMy surgeon is highly skilled but I do notice thee surgeon focuses more on the surgery and then relies on her for follow up care. I am so thankful for her and my PT. I am now 6 weeks post MUA and can bend to 120. My indoor stationary bike is a key tool. I still struggle withe stiffness and scar tissue and my PT is addressing it with MFR techniques. My daily movement is still painful but much more tolerable my care team tells me not to worry as long as I continue to make progress. I’ve learned this is a long game and I have to work at this every single day. Don’t be afraid to question and be vocal. My best wishes to all for a healthy recovery.

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@montem

I agree that surgeons need to listen to patients’ concerns and expectations. I am 5 months from my TKR. At 9 weeks I had stopped making progress and couldn’t bend past 95 degrees. I have been very dedicated following through with my “therapy homework” so it was not due to lack of movement. My PT consulted with the Surgeon’s office and they all agreed an MUA would be helpful in getting me to progress. The Nurse Practitioner at my surgeon’s office is the one who follows patients after surgery. She is very knowledgeable and responsive to patient concerns. IMy surgeon is highly skilled but I do notice thee surgeon focuses more on the surgery and then relies on her for follow up care. I am so thankful for her and my PT. I am now 6 weeks post MUA and can bend to 120. My indoor stationary bike is a key tool. I still struggle withe stiffness and scar tissue and my PT is addressing it with MFR techniques. My daily movement is still painful but much more tolerable my care team tells me not to worry as long as I continue to make progress. I’ve learned this is a long game and I have to work at this every single day. Don’t be afraid to question and be vocal. My best wishes to all for a healthy recovery.

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Thank you for the progress report. I am so happy to hear that your surgeon has a great NP to help you. Keep up the good work!
Sue

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@ezas123

Hi sorry to hear but I can understand most of hear can …. I myself am almost 5 months out still deal with inflammation, pain, stiffness, but I am so much better now than two months ago ……I can straighten my leg …. And now I am about 70-75 degree bend for me that’s awesome …, it has taken a lot of pt and ice and Motrin .., I also found Mayo facial massage made all difference for my recovery….so what I am getting at I know what your dr said my dr gave up on me also at 6 weeks if I did the same I would not be where I am …. So just do your pt make it work for you …..don’t give up it’s only been 11 weeks for you I know an eternity already …. When my dr gave up I looked up alternative therapy because I felt therapy I was doing was not working so I started water therapy worked for me much better…..,there are other recovery methods out there utilize the internet helped me …. And this form of recovering tkr folks like I said we understand we all been there ….. so here is to speedy recovery for us all in the new year …,, merry Christmas

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Great advice!
PT and Exercise. Im 5 months post op. I do at least 2 exercise everyday. I never miss my morning exercise.

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