5 weeks after and can't bend knee

Posted , 6 users are following.

Had a tkr almost 5 weeks ago. Pain is tolerable, I walk without cane, do steps one at a time, drive but it seems almost impossible to bend my knee. My Physical Therapist is telling me I have to bend it. Help, is anyone else having this problem? Sleeping is not good, just can't get comfy with my knee. I can only bend knee 50 degrees. Thanks for any help

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  • Posted

    Ann, I'm 15 weeks post op for patellafemoral arthroplasty (new plastic knee cap and metal trochlea - the bit behind it). Prior to op I purchased small static exercise bike from Argos (about £40) - one that you sit on your dining room chair and pedal away. From 4 days I could only rock the pedals backwards and forwards, but gradually I could do a full revolution......very tentatively I might add but I could do it. I found that trying to pedal took my mind off the fact that my bend wasn't very good - I could fully straighten day after op, but bending was a different matter. 

    At 15 weeks my bend is still only about 115°, but I have had problem with muscles not working as they should so am hopeful that once this problem is resolved a little bit, my bend will be better. Lots of folk on this forum also speak of a "tight band" sensation around the knee - it's a damn nuisance but mine is slowly beginning to loosen.

    Good luck - take it one day at a time - you're doing better than me with driving - I didn't do that until 12/13 weeks. Remember, all folk (and their knees) heal differently! 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for responding, I guess I am a bit anxious to everything all at once. I do have the small exercise bike so I will give it a try. I too can fully straighten my leg but the bend is terrible. Hopefully you willcontinue to do well. Thanks again, let's keep in touch
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  • Posted

    Are you taking pain meds prior to starting excercise (30 min to an hour before). Sometimes that will allow you to out more pressure on the bend. There are various creams , I use vit E oil) massaged in good before I start. Softene and loosens
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  • Posted

    Very difficult for anyone else to judge whether your knee's refusal to bend is due to some problem with the knee, or just needs to be pushed more!  OFG mentioned pain meds . . and you do say that the pain is tolerable. I just wonder if you have eased up on the pain meds, which will make it very difficult to cope with the pain of bending the knee.  My phsyio used to make me scream . . literally . . and I soon got rid of her!  I then took it more slowly, but it has to be done time and time again . . In my case, it really took over my life, sitting on a chair and pushing the leg back, trying for a little more every day.  It is also true that while there is a lot of swelling, it isn't easy to achieve much . . but it is essential to keep trying.    If you haven't got something strong for the pain, I would try and get your doctor to prescribe it. . . Although I agree with the people who say that we are all different, and heal differently, the first few months are critical to the final outcome for all of us.  Always possible that you have scar tissue stopping the bend too . . .perhaps you should also see your surgeon???  I do hope things improve for you soon . . five weeks is still fairly early, and I remember that at around six weeks i noticed a definite improvement.  
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  • Posted

    Hi, I am 9 weeks po for tkr and it still hurts to bend my knee, though not as much as at 5 weeks. My PT gave me some exercises to do at home to help. One simple one is, sit in a chair and try to push your 'bad' knee back with your good leg and hold it. This is done slowly! I also massage my knee with cocoa butter, every day and include the incision as well. Make usre your incision site is healed first before trying this. Scar tissue will build up and make it harder to bend your leg. You need to breask up the scar tissue. This does hurt but 5 - 10 minutes a day will surprise you as to how much better you can bend your leg. Sleeping is another story, it's par for the course for knee surgery. I'm just now getting to where I can sleep through the night. Try a small pillow between your knees.
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  • Posted

    I was in a very similar position at 6 weeks. I also used a small cycle but I bought a child's skateboard on the internet for £4, best money I ever spent. I use the skateboard to help with the bend and it has worked a treat.
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