13 wks post TKR and still in pain

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Hi Im 13 wks post TKR and still experiencing various different pain, sometimes in my shin, sometimes in my ankle and today my whole leg throbs ! Ive finished with PT and been told by two Physios now that my bend will not improve, its 125 degrees. Has anyone elses improved after this time? I thought it took a year to get to the most recovery. Im supposed to have the right one done next year but Ive been put off. Also my GP has given me Lyrica for the pain but Ive only just started it so its early days.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rose, my tkr was May 26 and I have been very fortunate tI'll about 2 weeks ago. My bend is excellent and I can straighten it all the way to. .but about 2 weeks ago It has started to tighten up with me, swell and it throws off alot of heat....I have slowed down on my exercise and started back icing it.. I am hopine with a little time it will get back....just be patient with yours and don't overdue..

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  • Posted

    Unfortunately pain can persist many months after. Varies w pple. Also i found type and lication of pain varied as well. Im not a dr but i wld not take lyrica
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  • Posted

    Wow your bend is fantastic!! I'm at the same recovery as you and this is my second tkr. If I'm on my feet too long it aches and my ankles ache too.All part if the recovery,it takes months and months to heal all those nerve endings ,muscles ect. Your doing amazing really.😀

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  • Posted

    Rose. My surgeon said the rom can increase 3-4 degrees per year. I had bilateral tkr this summer. The pain comes and goes in different places. Things are healing in there on ways we can't see--only feel. Keep doing the exercises and stretches. It will get stronger. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hello Rose! Please don't get discouraged! I am 8 months post RTNR & am doing really well. Everyone I talked to before my surgery that had been through it told me that it was a rough road & it has been! The main thing, I believe, since I have been there with 4 prior knee surgeries on my other knee & one surgery on this knee prior to TNR Is make sure you really work on the physical therapy no matter how painful it is.. & it is! I am amazed sometimes how much better my knee is compared to before😃. I can straighten it & bend it better than ever before. I'm surprised they told you that it wouldn't get better if you really worked at it...keep pushing it.. try to get it straight & bending asap before scar tissue has a chance to build up. 13 weeks is still young.. it can get much better. The various pains will last awhile.. mine still hurts...occasionally in different areas but I can see the end of the road on that coming..better & better as each month passes. Hang in there...this too shall pass.. best wishes for a full recovery.. Holly

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  • Posted

    Hi Rose

    I am 6 weeks post tkr and was at physio 2 weeks ago and was 90. The PT said this was good and l was doing great but when l hear people saying they are at 125 l don't understand maybe l am being stupid how do l bend my leg any further is ti like pulling your knee's in towards your body. I still am in pain when l get to a certain angle. Like l drive with my seat close to steering wheel as l have short legs and am not the tallest but getting into the car l have to move the seat back so l can get my leg in. I have physio next thursday so l will see if l have improved but this has been a hard operation and l am still in a lot of pain my worst time is during the night l can't sleep in my bed very long. I end up on the couch. I am back to work in 2 weeks which is really worrying me. I have had both hips replaced in the last 8 months and my knee. I still have the other knee to get done but l cant face it so am having a break for a year. The knee was the hardest operation out of them all. I still feel physically not well due to the amount of surgery l have had in a short space of time. I still get pain in my hip especially one that l have had knee replaced the full leg throbs sometimes then my ankle hurts. The thought of going back to a full.time job l was in makes me feel scared. I was not that happy in my job anyway but now l have been off for a year.

    I just dont feel ready or confident enough yet.

    I am scared to also get the other knee done now.

    Laura x

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    • Posted

      Hi lors23... yes...it is definitely a rough surgery to go through...very painful recovery!i can't imagine having to go back to work post op at 8 weeks. Hopefully there might be a possibility to postpone that? It takes a long time to recover from this surgery... but well worth it in the long run...

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    • Posted

      Hi Laura, I had a 90 degree bend at 6 wks so you are doing fine! I think 8 wks is way too soon to return to work. Im going back next wk for two days during Oct and back to four in Nov. Im not having the other one done till at least next Sept as I dont want to ruin another summer. I found using a small exercise bike, the one you can sit down and use very helpful for my bend at first, I kept moving it nearer to me till my bend improved and standing on bottom step and lunging my knee forward till I could reach the next step with my knee. Not surprised you feel ill, you have been thru so much x
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  • Posted

    Do you also have fibromyalgia?  That's what Lyrica was intended for, but maybe it works in TKR.  However the "unlikely side effects" are unusual bleeding/bruising, unsteadiness, confusion, muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially if you are tired or have a fever), swelling of hands/legs/feet, signs of kidney problems.  If I had fibro, I think I'd stick with aleve. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Lynn, No I dont have fibro but my GP said Lyrica is also used for nerve pain and that is what is causing my pain. So far Ive had no side effects but as one of them is "inappropriate behaviour" I found that quite interesting!

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  • Posted

    Hi Rose,

    Your knew is doing pretty great. Some of your symptoms are strange for a knee typcially. Throbbing of the entire leg makes me think more back. Just a thought. Throwing out other possibilities Typical things like pain with rising from a chair or bed are good indicators. Back stiffness etc. Unfortunately there is a lot of sitting with tkr recovery.

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  • Posted

    Wow 125 sounds amazing ! 

    I have been told my my PT the first year can provide improvement time but the first three months provide the most improvement so I guess it can slow down. She has also advised me not to expect more than 125 and I had good flex ion pre op. Time will tell smile

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  • Posted

    Yup...there can be lingering effects for 12-18 months.  Swollen "look", residual pain, stiffness, clicking and popping, etc.  You're 3-months post-op, still fairly early...you will probably be a lot better at six months.  Try some Voltaren Gel (RX) on the knee.  Best topical anti-inflammatory out there.

    Since 0 / +120 is the standard for post-op flexion and you're already there, be happy.  Yes, I've gotten a bit better with gym work.  Finished PT at 128 but I've done better than 131 now...hoping for 141 like my other leg but that may be a bridge too far.  Takes time and effort.  Gotta hit the gym to rebuild quads, glutes and core...also helps with the flexion.

    Like you, I have to have the other knee done but I'm putting that off too until the first one is totally rehabbed...like it never happened.  Plus, I want some of those first week memories to fade...really, really fade...

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    • Posted

      I woke last night with severe pain beside my knee cap on my "good" knee. Third time this has happened in the last week or so. Scary to think I will need a repair done on this one as well. I can't bear the thought at this point in time I have better things to do with what time I have left smile

      Your recovery stats are inspirational - at 4,5 weeks out I am -15/125

      and I know that will improve. Things are going so much better for me now that initial few weeks has been negotiated. I went out for dinner last night for the first time and was comfortable sitting and wearing "normal" pants smile Nearly tripped up a waiter with my crutch though.......genuine Itallian was Devine.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply and the great stuff you have put on this site. I cant use Volorol as its called here in the UK as Im on NSAID Meloxicam and apparently you cant use the two together. Its weird cos the pain is always somwhere different! I have Hypermobility Syndrome so I knew the TKR would not be as flexible but I was hoping for a better bend as its hard to get in the bath!Ive got no swelling at all so Im lucky there and compared to what a lot of other people have been thru Ive been lucky 
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    • Posted

      I'm a Sicilian originally from Brooklyn, NY.  Genuine "Italian" has been my thing since forever.  Ahhhh...the smell of the sauce cooking for 6 hours on a Sunday morning...the insane 75-course meals...the creamy cannoli for dessert...  A long time ago in a galaxy far away...yet my culinary mastery of the genre still flourishes...  How can it not?  I learned from the old Sicilian grandmothers!

      Glad you are getting better.  People just don't realize that there are advances, setbacks and plateaus...and they get all upset about some mental "timetable".  Gotta be a lot more Zen about this ("We'll get there when we get there."wink.  Too many expectations and comparisons.  Take the stress off...give up the mental and emotional gymnastics.  Geez...life is tough enough without picking up another bag of bricks.

      Disclaimer: The above comment is not meant to minimize the pain we've all gone through so please don't jump down my throat, people.  The pain really, really sucks...really.  Worse than four kidney stones, a hip replacement and a back fusion...all put together!!!  But there comes a time when you have to move that pain from the front of your brain to the back and focus on what you have to do to get better.  Concentrate on the work, not the pain...we've got drugs for the latter.  

      The question everyone has to ask themselves is: Am I willing to do the hard work necessary so that I don't limp or walk with a cane the rest of my life?  Yes, there are the elderly as well as some people with other medical conditions who will not be able to avoid it.  For the rest of us, there should be only one choice.  So stop beating yourself up and kick the TKR's a$$!!!!!!!

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