5 weeks post op and discouraged

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I may be too much of a worry wart, but wanted to see what others who have been through a total knee replacement think. I am 5 weeks post op and my flexion/extension are doing well, however grit my teeth to get these movements as I am super tight and stiff in my knee. There is also a spot that is super sore about an inch from my scar towards the inside of the knee. Dr says I must give it time and is normal. Day 2 in hospital, I heard a pop in this same area so am paranoid something is wrong. I know others who seem to breeze through it all. At night I am so stiff in my knee area, that I practically am in slow motion bending it. anyone else having these probs> PT says I am doing well, but its messing with my mind on how stiff/sore I am.

Ellen

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Don't be discouraged ! pain and stiffness is normal at 5 weeks and popping is too, it will just take time.

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  • Posted

    You are 5 weeks into a 52 week recovery. EVERYTHING you relate is absolutely normal. The biggest problem is that no one prepares you for the recovery which is long, painful and takes lots of work, determination and PATIENCE!!! All of us hit the wall of expectations vs reality...and you just did. What usually follows is depression because you thought you'd be "better by now". Nope...not happening. The first 9-12 weeks are usually sheer hell...but then it gets better...S L O W L Y... Get rid of all your expectations and time frames. The knee and how much scar tissue your DNA generates controls the recovery...not you, not your head.

    Click on my name, Discussions, and then View ALL. About 30 discussions out there for mind, body and soul (depression, sleeping, ROM work, the mandatory muscle rebuild and more...). You are not alone. In four years on this Forum and having read over 30,000 posts, I can count on less than one hand the number of people who beat this in 6 weeks. Possible but not very likely.

    At 4 years post-op, I can tell you that it was definitely worth the challenge. Found strength I didn't know I had. Learned patience the hard way. Now, it's like it never happened...as long as you keep the knee active...always. Stop and it will stiffen up again. The typical one year recovery is tough...especially the muscle rebuild. Some stiffness and noises may linger to 18 months but by then you just ignore it and get on with your life.

    Save this pic and put it on your fridge...

    image

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  • Posted

    I think most of us have been through similar feelings. My discovery is that every week that goes by is something different. One symptom goes away and then you notice another little glitch. I place most of the blame on nerve endings that need plenty of time to heal. After all, it's a perfectly savage surgery so give it time. I'm at 12 wks now and able to deal with most of the discomfort. Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    I am 6 week post op and having similar. problem night time struggle to get comfy in bed wake up my knee stiff i have to move it walk a bit before i get back into bed and sleep i go about 4 hours also numb area on side knee painful if i try to lie on it or put quilt on that area during day walk without stick around house 110 degree bend almost straight leg pain ok with my pain medication get where i considered sleeping in a c hair to see if i i have same problem been told normal half way through a normal 12 week recovery

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  • Posted

    Hi Ellen,

    Sounds as though you are making progress. It is a very slow job, but worth it in the long run.

    Just keep on trying as hard as you can. Some days will be better than others, some nights will be a long dark lonely tunnel.

    Allthe symptoms you describe sound normal to me, but yes, they can appear alarming.

    Remind yourself of the progress you gave made and keep pushing on. Unfortunately there is no quick fix bolus, you just have to accept that your recovery will take as long as it will. We are all different, and I don't think that you can compare your progress with anyone else.

    I am six weeks post TKR of my second knee and the two experiences have been quite different, so comparisons are pointless.

    Good luck and try to keep positive.

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  • Posted

    I am 14 months into recovery, perhaps complicated by the fact I have a walking disability. I can walk about 100 yards using a Walker and that's it. Stairs are doable but only if hand rails both sides. Am I frustrated? Yes. Am I discouraged? No. Every day there is a small but discernible lessening in pain and increase in strength. Stick with it, you will get there, as I will!

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  • Posted

    5 weeks here too. I have the same problems...... all of em. Today was the first time I took a day off from the exercises and am just icing. ( I try to do an hour of exercises and an hour of ice, three times a day).

    Yesterday, we were out for about 5 hours, and I think that has something to do with my swelling and pain.

    Anyway..... since you sound like you and I are going through the same stuff, we are either doing everything right...... or we've totally screwed this up..... 😄

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  • Posted

    Do you realize how over the top 3 hrs of exercise daily is? Who recommended this for you?

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    • Posted

      Sounds about what I have been aiming at too, but I am now swopping one hour of set exercises out for an hour's hike in the country, forestry tracks, public footpaths, not too steep yet and trying to avoid too much mud (impossible!).

      This is the best thing for me to chase away the blues and frustration. Have been doing this for two weeks now, obviously starting short, slow and easy, but I'm finding it very good for strengthening and for improving your gait, if you can remember to concentrate🤔🤣 .

      I am now six weeks post TKR. What is important to remember is that we are all different and will progress at different rates. Sometimes it's two steps forwards and one step back, and sometimes it's the other way around....

      Stick at it, it will improve with time and effort.

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  • Posted

    No one has even asked me about walking....I have been walking 5 minutes around the house every 1-2 hours plus my exercises 2x daily......hope thats enough for 5 weeks out.....the other thing....has anyone had like a feeling of the implant when exercising? when I sit and extend my leg, I seem to feel the implant behind my kneecap and it bothers me. That sensation, the stiffness and a very sore spot about an inch from my incision are the 3 main things bothering me.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ellen

    5 weeks is still very early. I am 20 months post operative and still adjusting to every day situations.

    The first 5 weeks was not good, I was not sleeping well, lost my appetite, and was taking pain killers every 4 hrs albeit Co codamol and Ibuprofen. I used to go on 2 short walks a day which helped my knee bend. It was only after 6 weeks that i went back to Gym 3 times a week for the next 8 months. After 6 months i noticed a vast improvement, I was sleeping better got my appetite back and had weened my way off pain killers. It was hard excercise , some good days and some bad days, but am now back playing indoor Tennis twice a week and outdoor Tennis at my club during Summer. I can manage about 110 degrees bend and my leg is virtually straight..

    I know my limitations and still do my PT excercises every day. I am still learning every day any difficulties which may arise due to my new knee like sitting in concert seats.

    It is a long haul but if you percevere you should achieve any goals you have set

    Good luck

    Howard

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  • Posted

    WOW!!! Three hours exercising every day! Well done you if you can do it with no repercussions.

    I'm fifteen weeks on with my second TKR and I think I'm doing well with thirty minutes a day.

    We are all different on our road to recovery and we all do as much exercising as we can. As long as we can see gradual improvement then that is good.

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