3 weeks TKR

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Where should I be 3 weeks today since total knee replacement.

Dont know if on track advice welcomed.

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  • Posted

    Hey Chris! Everyone is different and it's really hard to compare one to another. But, I can tell you where I'm at. I'm 4 weeks post TKR on my second knee and this is where I'm at: I do PT twice a week, I take 20 tabs of 5mg. Oxycodine a week. I walk anywhere from 3 to 8k steps a day. I can bend my knee to 117 degrees and have 4 degrees hyper extension with pushing by PT. On my own I'm at 178 degrees... Almost flat. My knee, thigh, butt and calf muscles hurt most of the time. I'm working on a "clam" exercise to help strengthen my butt muscles. I still have to sleep on my back with occasional rolling over to my sides. My Knight sleep is always interrupted and I never feel totally rested when I wake up. I can get in and out of my car easily and have been driving since the end of the second week. My appetite has gone down a lot but I eat healthy and drink plenty of water. I've noticed a little depression, post TKR, but that's getting better now. I rub a coco butter petroleum jelly on my knee nightly and that helps a lot with itching. My knee incision is totally healed and the scar is barely visible. When I wake or have been sitting and try and stand I'm very stiff, it takes me a little bit to get going. I ice my knee, above my heart, three to four times a day. I work on my home PT daily.

    That's all I have for now. I hope your recovery is going well and I know, for me, after about 12 weeks I really start turning the corner. Good luck and I wish you the best.


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    • Posted

      thanks for that I walk every day, now without sticks, not sure about driving as my leg aches badly when not raised although do have automatic and it's my left leg.  I have 15 steps up our house and can manage them quite easily.  I have an exercise bike but can't get anywhere near a full circle.  I've been to physio once a week and do exercises at least 4 times a day.  The sleeping is the worst and when I can crack that it will be better.  I have paracetamol about 3/4 times a day with a codeine if it hurts badly.  scar is doing well so hope it gets less stiff.  thanks so much for taking the time to reply regards christine 

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  • Posted

    It's such early days.

    I would stay in bed if I was you because you're going to need all your strength both mental and physical to get through this.

    I'm 11 months post op TKR and I'm still not right


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    • Posted

      Oh Mary!  I hope that you are not encouraging anyone to "stay in bed".  That is the LAST thing anyone should do after surgery....any surgery. You need to get moving to keep circulation going and prevent pneumonia from setting in. Yes, it is very hard...and painful, but the more you do it the easier it will become.  I am sorry that you are still having problems. I am 5 months post op TKR and everyone has always told me to not stay in one position for longer than 2 hours.  I am also an orthopedic RN and TKR's have got to "get up and move" to prevent blood clots and promote mobility. Hope that things get better for you soon!

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    • Posted

      I agree with Susans comments. I am a nurse and staying in bed predisposes to lows of muscle tone, blood clots, depression, exercise stimulates the endorphins the bodys natural anti depressants and [ain killers. Codein e suppresses the endorphins in my case I am unable to have any opiates -instructions from consultant neurologists.
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  • Posted


    Unfortunately for most after three weeks in pain not sleeping much feeling pretty depressed.

    Sorry it does get better.

    Good healing

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris

    Don't measure yourself by anyone else. You are you, I am me, etc. we are different!

    Think more on how YOU feel you are doing.

    I know someone who was back at work at 2 weeks! I went back at 11, some have taken longer.??!! Even people who have had the 2nd knee done have said recovery is different with the other leg.

    Sleeping comfortably takes quite a long time to get easier. Do your exercises, ice, elevate, rest, nap in the day & warmth on the joint. Don't get hung up on ROM! As long as you are doing the exercises, ROM will come.

    At 3 weeks you are still very early in your recovery. Take it easy, don't stress yourself,or your new knee.

    I wish you all the best in your rehab & recovery.



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    • Posted

      Hi Chris.. Thank you for responding to me. On thing that you might try regarding you bike is to raise the seat as high as safely possible and that may help with making that first rotation. Otherwise, if you can't make a full rotation on the bike you can always rock back and forth with your feet on the pedals. Just go as far back as you can and as far forward as you can. That was one of the first exercises I had at PT. Also, I totally agree with you, sleeping is tuff. I'm kinda lucky with that because I went through this last June but it's difficult to get comfortable. Take naps if you can and like Susan said be as active as possible. For me, the more I push my leg, ie.. Stretch, PT, take steps, etc.. the better and quicker my recovery is. Being complacent is not an option with TKR surgery. Prayers to you and keep up the good work. It seems to me you are working it and trust me it will get better!

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris!

    Welcome! 😊

    As others have said, there are MANY variations of how recovery goes when it comes to knee replacements.

    I had my first done in June 2015 and my other one done in October of that same year. Same surgeon, same hospital, same anesthesia, same medications, same homecare, same physical therapist. My first surgery and recovery went well but was MUCH slower, had more swelling, much more effort required in physical therapy and MUCH heavier feeling to the entire leg than with my second knee.

    The real surprise was that my second knee was my WORST knee, and I TOTALLY expected to have PLENTY of sass from it during recovery. That DID NOT happen!😁

    I tell you this because even with two knees on the same body, extreme differences can show up, and what you EXPECT often does NOT happen while things you DO expect often DON'T happen!

    I'd suggest keeping a journal. This will help you compare YOU to YOURSELF and will help you to notice improvements from day to day. My journal provided a GREAT boost of confidence when I reread it after several weeks and could see how far I had come! It is easy to forget what once was an IMPOSSIBILITY (lifting my leg) on DAY 2 yet was EASY after a month of PT!

    If you are tired, REST!

    Plan to walk a bit around the house at least every hour. This will help you strengthen your whole body.

    Ice, elevate, drink plenty of water, eat well, work hard at PT and be sure to tell your therapist if an exercise HURTS. He/She can give you an alternative exercise that will accomplish the same goal.

    Be kind and patient with yourself. Your body will tell you what it needs, when you are doing too much AND, more importantly when you have gotten it just right.

    Come here often. There are MANY here who know what you are dealing with firsthand and can give you things to try as you recover.

    Sending prayers of patience and calmness, and strength to you tonight!💗

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    • Posted

      Hi cheryl. Thank u so much for taking the time to,respond. Not sure if I'm over the first hurdle or why did I do this to myself yet, but sure that will pass.  The sleeping or lack or it seems to be the hurdle at present, I am sure if you can sleep you can cope with most things.  if you do manage to have more than an hour of sleep, when you awake the pain and stiffness are pretty bad as if it's been lying in the wrong position and the pain is not too good to say the least.  As you ca. See 03.39 and I'm on here.  

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    • Posted

      Hi there, Chris!😊

      Sounds very familiar! Sleep DOES seem to be one of the hardest hills to climb with this surgery! I literally kept track of how much (little!🙄wink sleep I was getting by recording it in my journal. I, too, would wake up MANY, MANY times throughout the night and became a real POWER NAPPER throughout the day as well!

      I have to admit also that for about five years PRIOR to my surgeries I often was awakened by pain, stiffness etc. I rarely slept more than a couple hours at a given time.

      Following my surgeries I decided that maybe if I would get GET UP and MOVE AROUND, go clean out a drawer or put the dishes in the dishwasher or do some laps around the house or stretch a bit that I soon would feel better. I would then be tired enough, loose enough, and READY to lay down for the next round of sleep. I found that as the weeks progressed I would start to get sleep in THREE and then FOUR hour increments. ( Wrote this all down in my journal so that I could see that I WAS really making progress!😴😁😊wink

      I don't think ANY of us have really been prepared for the extremely challenging recovery process, but for me it has been all about noticing the small improvements. It also helps me to distract myself by getting up, moving around, even reading a bit or checking in on my friends here on this site. Misery DOES love company!😵😁

      A year and a half now following my surgeries I am now at about five or six hour stretches of sleep. My first FOUR hours came at about twelve weeks when I FINALLY was able to roll over ony stomach and feel comfortable enough to sleep ON MY INCISIONS which were VERY tender. That progress made a huge difference! I have ALWAYS been a pillow-scrunching stomach-sleeper, and getting back to it REALLY, REALLY helped my ability to get comfortable SOLID sleep.

      Another thing that has helped me a lot is stretching often throughout the day and also in bed at night. The stiffness thing seems to come with the territory, and weather changes often contribute to the problem. Two days ago I was stiff in every part of my body EXCEPT my knees! I have arthritis all over, but my KNEES were GOOD!😊 I had pain in my lower back, elbows, fingers, hips, ankles, and shoulders, but my KNEES felt GOOD! Once I got moving around I felt better. FOR SURE I was happy that my previous before-surgery pains were gone and at least my knees were no longer my problem.

      It takes awhile to reach this stage, but you, too will reach it!🙋🙆💃 Be patient, KEEP MOVING, think positively, and before you know it you will wake up after THREE hours then FOUR hours and one day will wake up after FIVE, SIX, maybe even SEVEN hours of straight SLEEP.

      It WILL happen!

      Pleasant dreams!😊

      (Heading back to sleep myself now!)

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