Range of motion after joint replacement of knee?
I was wondering why I am struggling to get my range of motion and flexion after surgery. I will be 8 weeks post op and at 103 for bend and 8 for straightening. Very frustrating. Going to therapy twice a week.
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I had both knees replace about a year apart. I did physical therapy at home and went through all the exercises and as it was tough I made sure to push myself through the discomfort. Using an Ice Man was the key I thought. After 5 years I have full range of motion in both knees.
Along with going to supervised PT, a person also needs to faithfully do prescribed knee bending and strength exercises at least twice a day at home, stretching to the edge of pain. It's boring and uncomfortable, but it's easier to gain range in the 2-4 weeks right after surgery before the healing process "sets up" your muscles. Expected swelling after surgery is usually the main reason you can't bend as well as you should early on, so lots of raised leg icing is needed to help reduce the swelling so you can bend your leg to it's possible range.
Find a way to incorporate a deep knee bend many times into your daily routine around the house. If you use stairs in your house, every time you go up, put your TKR foot up a couple of steps and lower your chest over your knee with the goal of trying to touch your knee to the next step up. Hold for about 30 seconds. If you don't have stairs, do a deep bend on a chair, stool or sofa. The more times a day you can force a deeper bend, the more likely you are to be able to gain range.
Thank you ddsack, that is some of the best advice I've read. I will try those.
Have you been doing the home exercises three times a day? I know it's boring but you have to exercise every day for the first month or two.
You're at 8 weeks so flexion at 103 is ok, not great but ok. Extension though at 8 degrees seems high. At home you have to straighten your leg and push down on your knee. It hurts, just like flexion exercises, but you have to do them 3 times a day, 7 days a week. I don't know your at-home regimen so I'm not judging. This is just what worked for me. I also put in a lot of therapy time pre surgery. All TKRs are different. Stick with it.
This is really good advice. I had both knees replaced last year and followed the exercise regimen, three times a day at home, especially the first month.
You seem to be doing great for8 weeks. For great information and support you should speak to your physical therapist. They help immensely. They are very knowledgeable and have hands on experience.
Hello, This is Irish283. I had a TKR Aug. 2019…I went to PT 2x week, also did exercises at home.By November I progressed and was riding the 15 mins. UNTIL one day I couldn’t make a full revolution on the bike! Pain was horrible. Went back to my surgeon….he said there was nothing wrong I was complaining of pain on the inner left side of my rt. Knee. Then COVID hit….saw him in late April, he told me everything was fine, but both my flexion and extension now had gotten worse! He blew me off….well 12 doctors later it’s now summer of 2022. I now have two doctors one in state where I live and another out of state that tell me I need a TKR. One said he would do partial ( he believes in minimally invasive surgery) while seeing all these doctors, I find out that after going to an allergist, I’m allergic to the cement used by all doctors! There is no other type of cement, or glue that would be an alternative! I had the partial done, where the spacer under the patella was too large, it was bent and broken and inserted incorrectly!!! My second surgeon said this was the cause of all my pain and trouble! Second surgery made all the difference. So glad I did it in Oct. of last year. I’m at 120-122 for flexion. No longer have pain. Follow your gut, if your not getting the proper response from your surgeon! Irish 283
After 2 yrs since my tkr and continuing pain , (different kind of pain) my surgeon told me it is referred pain from my hip. I am seeing a hip doctor this week. I might need hip replacement. The knee, per X-ray looks fine and I do have good range of movement.