11 weeks post TKR, can't straighten knee.

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Hi, I know this has been mentioned in the past, I think I commented on it, but I am now beginning to stress about this. My recovery seemed OK until about 7 weeks post op when I realised that I couldn't straighten my knee. I don't know if the swelling had stopped me noticing this before, but at my 6 week check, all was well and my surgeon was happy. Now I can't walk properly, uphill is ok, but downhill is a struggle and painful, also back of knee really stiff and painful after even a short sit down.

I attend physio weekly and have been advised to hold off from all usual exercises, can use the static bike, bend and extend my knee and use the bottom stair as a "step" for exercises. I can also use the pool when I can get there, but there seems little or no improvement.

Has anyone else experienced this at 11 weeks or beyond, or have any advice that has worked for them.

I am in the UK.

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    I am at 9 weeks post op and also cannot fully straighten the knee, even though I was released from PT three weeks ago and stopped using the cane two weeks ago.

    It's close but not quite there.  I do the foot on a chair thing and hang a 5 pound weight from the top of the knee for 5 minutes twice a day, so I hope it's getting there but I also thought it would be straight by now.

    Looking forward to responses from the group!

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    • Posted

      Thanks!

      I have had to resort to using a wailing pole when put and about now, I had discarded it weeks beforehand. I was using the weight method, but my Physio said to stop as he thought it was doing more harm than good. 

      I was certainly hoping to have a straight knee by now, my walking makes me look like a drunk!!!

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  • Posted

    10 weeks post TKR

    I was using weights on knee too. Lying on stomach on bed and letting knee hang over end of bed.  Still do it but without the weights, definitely set me back. Nearly there with the straight leg but not quite. Gently gently is my motto now.  Everything the PT told me to do I would do double. The boys and girls on the forum told me I was doing more harm then good and to pull back, so I did and they were right started to improve a few days later.   Like they all say here its a marathon not a sprint.

    Good luck

    Ann

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  • Posted

    Hi Tricia. I'm sending in Las Vegas USA. I am in my 13th week post op. I am not quite straight yet. I am at about three degrees away from total straight. I found online on this forum actually a great tip to help straightening that doesn't hurt too much. I took one of my compression stockings and I put a can of tomatoes in one end tied off the second end with a second can of tomatoes. So it looks like a long sock with a can of tomatoes hanging from each end. I lay the soft sock over my knee, stretch it out on an ottoman and let the tomato cans be the weights. This has gotten me some results. My experience has been this is a real back and forth recovery. Just keep plugging Trisha you will get there. At the 13 week mark I still have stiffness especially when I sit in one place for too long. From all the other blog reports I have read this is pretty normal at this point. You'll have to use your own body as your experience. I hope this helps. We're all in it together. Best Cindy
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    • Posted

      Thanks Ydnic217, I'm glad you are seeing some improvement. I was doing something similar using oven gloves but was told to stop, but I might just sneakily try it for the rest of the w/e and see what happens.

      Thanks for taking the time to reply, I hope you continue to do well.

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    • Posted

      Omg. You were the one lol. Well I told my doctor and he loved it. I told physical therapy and they loved it. The cans don't touch the ground and I know you used oven mitts but I couldn't rig that up so I used a compression stocking. Trisha this is so funny it was you it was you with the great idea. I also bought a yoga strap like they use in Pt to pull my knee close to my chest. I got it on ebay for like $10 us. Stay in touch best Cindy
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    • Posted

      Whoever said it's a marathon not a sprint.... thats the GEM... my doc told me... and this doesn't mean it's the same for anybody else... That it's truly a year before your body recovers. I asked him why he told me 3 months for recovery. He smiles and said three months until you can make full sentences. End of story....best everyone Cindy ♡
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    • Posted

      yes, that is exactly what I was referring to - I sit with my leg extended and my heel on another chair, with a five pound weight in a small plastic bag hanging off the top of the knee just above the scar.

      I can do that for five minutes twice a day, I am hoping that will eventually do the trick.  Glad to hear that it doesn't need to be perfectly straight yet, as long as I get it there eventually.

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  • Posted

    Tricia, had something similar happen.  .  Was doing all physio, got discharged early, then...OMG..forgotten one exercise.  Stretching back of leg.  Put my leg up on footboard of bed and let it hang.  It hurts!  Or use a high sofa arm, etc.  Only a brief time at first then work up.  This will slowly stretch BACK of leg.  We are all focussed on lifting leg and going on ties etc but try this.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Cass73 I will try that and the hanging over bed trick . . . .   I'll keep you informed, it would be so lovely to have a straight leg and to be able walk instead of lurch!!!
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  • Posted

    hi tricia yes do concentrate on the straightening and you will be glad you did .using the bottom stair as a step is good but make sure when you step on it put the full weight on that leg to strenghten it and try to have it as straight as you can .it will get easier .also you could try when your lying on the bed or sofa hold your hands around your knee and lift the leg up a little off the sofa/bed while holding the leg around the knee stretch out the lower leg and hold relax the lower leg which bends the knee back to the sofa/bed .now lift the leg again with hands around the knee lift it abit higher than the last time and again stretch the lower part of the leg to give the back of the knee a really good stretch . continue doing this lifting the leg abit more each time so you can stretch it more .i find this one great if your leg is stiff in the morning .
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    • Posted

      Hi Irish Linda, the step advice is really good. i was doing the step exercises but was doing them as quickly aspossible without thinking whether or not i was straightening my leg properly!

      I now do them slowly and properly which of course equals more pain, but in the long run it will be only good I'm sure.

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    • Posted

      yes tricia when you do them quick you are not leaning on the leg its only when you do them slowly you notice that the leg straightens much better .OFG always maintains stretches and all excersises should be done slowly ,and its something i have to agree with .we are all the same trying to get those boring excersises done ,less is more. do less but do them right good luck tricia
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