3months post TKR and still stiff .. normal?

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi all!

Well I got to 3 months post surgery, notwithstanding all my previous moaning and groaning, tears and insomnia.

I do find though, that I am stiff when I've been sitting, and go to stand up. The knee just doesn't respond as quick as a 'normal' knee.

I can't stand for too long - need to then sit.

I think I've developed a bit of a limp, but I don't care too much if I have. Not sure if I walk that way because I'm 'aware' of a new knee, or because I am used to limping from before the surgery - psychosematic maybe?

I ache a bit when I bend my knee backwards - normal?

Also, and this is a biggie ... do you all do your exercises religiously from this point on? I've been getting slacker and slacker, although I do get into the spa every day and do bicycling, leg lifts, knee bends and other stuff I can do in the shallowish water.

Thanks for your comments!

1 like, 18 replies

18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I am angel. I am 4 months and I have same issues. Hang in there. It does get better. Be patient. If it hurts don't do it. I am not able to sleep either. It will get better. Be patint. Xxx
    • Posted

      Your welcome. I don't sleep at all. I cat nap lol. And I try to put ice pack under knee. Although I have had partial in Dec. And had to get revision. So been nightmare to me. And I've got have 2nd opinion cause I limp and knee pops. It's a roller Coster. Just takes some time to get better. Xxx
  • Posted

    I'm 21 weeks post and have further surgery to straighten my leg in a week. I still have to do all of my exercises religiously to try to keep the pain at bay and keep it as flexible as possible. I was told by physio though, that once my leg is straighter, I wouldn't have to continue at this level. He said my leg would always be stiff upon waking so I'd always need to stretch first thing. Generally though once I'm all 'fixed' a normal exercise routine should suffice.

    Going off what I've been told, I would say that you are fine to lessen your physio exercises but you probably need to find the exercise that works for you and do this daily to loosen it up.

    I limp much less now than I used too and mine is due to my leg not being straight. I have been told that it's unlikely I will ever be 'limp free'. I was told though that in my case, I have limped for so long, it may take some time to stop it as my mind is used to it.

    I am also waiting for an MUA so I can't really comment on the ache when bending. I know I can bend mine so far ache free, it only aches when it reaches its limit (with me that's at 90 degrees so not great).

    I can stand without it aching for a while. I have worked really hard on stretching and strengthening my muscles. Maybe you just need a bit more work on these. I think mine were still hurting at your stage...I'm over two months further along than you. Just keep up the exercises for now, I'm sure you'll see further improvement in another few weeks x

    • Posted

      Thanks so much kathryn, your answer really dealt with everything I asked. I may just have to do my exercises a bit more, and for a while longer smile
  • Posted

    I'm 17 weeks po from new knee cap and metal trochlea (the bit behind it). I've struggled with muscle wastage and am continuing to build it up. My main exercise is using my exercise bike, which is the only thing that "loosens" up the stiffness. I also ice regularly. I have stiffness on waking......it's a damn nuisance! I can't sit or stand for long either! 

    I know I'm better than I was a month ago but the progress is so slow and I long for the day when my knee feels more normal........you do begin to wonder whether it ever will. I also can't get my head around "trusting" this implant, I would say its 80% fine, the other 20% is in my head.....and I dont know how to get round that scenario.

    I do have some sort of limp......which in turn makes my ankle, knee and hip on my other leg ache.

    AND.......I've laughed, cried (still do on bad days when the progress you've made seems to disappear!) and used every swear word I know.......none of this makes knee less painful, but it does make you feel better!! 

    Onwards we go........what a journey this is! 

  • Posted

    And I also forgot to say.......when it's damp/raining/cold it aches like hell lol! 
  • Posted

    Yes all normal I am five months. As muscles get stronger will improve so keep up the exercise especially quads. Don't accept the limp or you will have trouble with back hips and other leg. My Physio said the brain tells the leg there will be pain and so the leg limps. Need to exaggerate walking focus mentally on posture and practice walking up and down living room lots without limp. Mine is just going but I have had to train it and be conscious of heel first rolling through and do five minutes very slow walking every day just starting to see and feel a result.
  • Posted

    hi lindyblue sounds like your straightening could be the problem with you having a limp try to do more stretching im still trying to get straight like you behind the knee aches its grumbling not wanting to straighten  at 3mths your not past straightening it more by any stretch of the imagination so do more of it even if your reading a book lie on tummy on bed with your legs from knee down off the bed and let them hang there do it a few times a day another good one is sit on a chair and put leg on another chair i put sand bag on the knee ive got 2 kg in each sometimes i use both at begining you will only stick it for a min or 2 but then you will build it up       i agree its easy to slack off but dont you need to keep it up abit longer for good outcome i know you get soooo sick of it
    • Posted

      Thanks Irish! I like the idea of letting my legs hang off the bed while reading. I'll definitely try that ... sand bags, hmm, ok, off to the beach we go! Cheers!
  • Posted

    It is normal to feel stiff like this.

    Regarding exercises, I had TKR 3 years ago.

    I bought some ankle weights and stsarted doing exercises with them plus other exercises I was doing at physio.

    Then in December last year I was diagnosed with gallstones. I finally had my gallbladder out at end of April so this has meant I have rather let the knee exercises go to pot alothough have kept up swimming. It is so much easier to do exercises in water.

    To be honest I do not really feel the need to be doing the knee exercises any more. That is not to say that you should not carry on doing them forever!!!

    Hope this helps

    Sarah xxx

    • Posted

      It does ... thanks Sarah. Hope the gallstone surgery went well. I had mine out about 30 years ago and it was much more horrendous than it is these days! Cheers!
  • Posted

    Hi, I too am 3 months PO and have the same issues as you. I was told that it is all normal and not to worry, this too shall pass. Guess I think things should be better than they are and am frustrated they aren't. My physical therapist told me to continue with exercises at home or the knee will not heal properly. I know a TKR can take up to a year to fully heal and get back to 'normal' whatever that is. I have to keep telling myself to take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. I usually have the most problems when I've gone down the stairs. Still hard!! Going back up isn't bad at all. Hang in there.
    • Posted

      Thanks pyseangel. Funny thing is, this morning, I woke with the least stiffness ever! Might be because I hopped into the spa yesterday 2x, but ... that was because I did way more out in the garden, and played with my horses, way more than I have in many many months.  So ... *shrug* who knows, lol.

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