8 weeks in and recovery slowing down

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hi 8 weeks in physio happy got 120 bend nearly straight , walking round house no crutches , and doing 3 walks a day without crutches around 1 mile but still got limp , infact ive had one for years and cant come down stairs properly one step at a time , going up hard but can manage , thought walking would be simple after this long , I AM 50 and a joiner so i spend all day on my feet and being self employed the urgency to return to work is most urgent , i cycle on my bike 5 km to 10 km every other day which is getting easier , can anyone tell me about how long they find it difficult to walk and tiring , the other thing is my other knee is shot and is getting worse since this , but having it replaced is not happening as i need to work to save for all the bills and time i need off and this whole experience has made me so fed up , so any ideas to help me walk properly and coming down stairs and speeding recovery , cheers john

0 likes, 12 replies

12 Replies

  • Posted

    Sounds to me like you are doing pretty good at 8 weeks John. I'm just over a year and still improving. The thing is though everyone's different. My wife had a much faster recovery than me so no one can really tell you how you should be at 8 weeks. Your angle is pretty good, probably better than mine now, so the main thing you can do is muscle strengthening excercises. At 8 weeks you are still early days so hopefully things will still keep improving. You just need to be patient.

  • Posted

    Hi John,

    No such thing as a quick fix, I don't think. I understand the need to return to work, but you could undo the good work you have done. Got to make haste slowly. Keep up the ROM exercises and also do lots of different strengthening exercises to rebuild muscles. After my first TKR two years ago it took me 12 weeks to begin to feel half useful again. Had tiny amount of physio input plus 4 × 1hr hospital gym. Did ROM exercises for at least 1 hr every day, walked, biked, stretched, strengthened, endlessly. At 12 wks joined gym twice a week for 8 months, been doing Pilates twice a week since 12 weeks too. Now feeling 10 years younger than before op. BUT, I know of other self- employed farmers who did too much too soon and are back at square one.... It is really hard.

    It may help to know that my other knee was bone on bone, and like you it got worse when I had the first one done, but later improved with all the gym and Pilates work so it lasted another two years. (Am now 6 wks post second knee, and so far it has not been as bad, but it is still early days and I know that it will take lots of time and effort to get it good. )

    Keep going, hopefully things will start to come together soon.

  • Posted

    what do you expect after only eight weeks???? winger

    • Posted

      please don't be unkind,. we're all here in the same boat trying to find some comfort in a very difficult situation.

    • Posted

      He's not winging, none of us on the site are. He hasn't known quite what to expect and is asking what other people experience. I don't think any of us knew the level of pain and how long it would take, before having the op, even if other people told us. Until you are going through it yourself you can't imagine. And many times various sensation or stiffness become worrying if not rather frightening. I think compassion is called for here.

    • Posted

      "I don't think any of us knew the level of pain and how long it would take, before having the op, even if other people told us. Until you are going through it yourself you can't imagine. "

      AMEN...ALLELUIA!!! Preach it bother...The Gospel of the Knee Replacement, Chapter 1, Verse 1: "Give up all hope all ye who enter here!" Totally dead on. The first 12 weeks are sheer hell and the rest of the year is a slow but steady crawl back to normality. Nothing happens quickly and you have to do the ROM and muscle rebuild work to walk correctly, regain your balance and be able to do stairs normally again..

      Everyone's different but we all walk that same path. Time, work and patience. At 4 years post-op, it paid off for me. Be of good cheer brothers and sisters. The light at the end of the tunnel is NOT another oncoming train!!!

  • Posted

    Unfortunately, we are all led to believe that this is a faster recovery than it is. I had 0 to 120 as my ROM at week 2, thought I would be doing everything I wanted by 3 months, as that was what I was told by my surgeons assistant. Really pushed myself to do well. I am now 13 months after bilateral TKR and have stiffness and tightness, more in left than right. The physiotherapist put too heavy a weight on my left leg in an effort to help me get stronger and I felt something happen immediately. Right knee is doing pretty well, left knee improving but not where I want to be at this point, still very stiff and painful at times. I guess what I am trying to say is that you need to be careful and recover at your own speed and do not overdo it or you may not get to the finish line faster.

    • Posted

      I had 4 knee scopes, two shoulder scopes and a metal hip in my 50s. Did the hip in 6 weeks total...the scopes took a weekend. I figured the knee would be a piece of cake. Told my bandmates that I'd absolutely do the four hour gig the following weekend. Then came reality...like the 16-ton weight Wiley Coyote drops on the Roadrunner...except, with me, he didn't miss.

      I've been on here for 4 years...maybe read 30,000 posts. I can count on less than one hand the number of people who beat this in six weeks. At six weeks, I was still drooling on my pajamas. Almost all of us take the full year...and a bit more for those last noises and stiffness.

      Get rid of all your expectations and timetables...they just screw with your head. Don't measure your progress daily...monthly is best. You CANNOT push the knee to recovery. When you do, it swells up like a balloon. The knee controls the recovery...not you. Accept it. Your tools are time, work and patience. ROM first, then the full muscle rebuild. It's the only path back to full functionality.

      After that, keep the knee active for the rest of your life or the stiffness comes back...guaranteed. You will never again kneel on a hard surface without nerve pain. Let go of all your other delusions. Wanna make the implant last 20-25 years? You CANNOT run, jog, play singles tennis or any competitive sport. You'll need a revision in 3 years. Don't do that.

      We had a guy in here years ago who said that he was resuming mountain climbing at 13 weeks. We never heard from him again. I wonder if they used a metal detector to find the body...

  • Posted

    • Walking: Time and distance are irrelevant...it's the STEPS that put the load on the knee. Get a pedometer to track and graph your steps. Get a "balloon knee" one day? Check your step count. Ice, elevate, recover and start again at a lower count. Increase gradually. It took me over 8 months to get back to 11,000+ per day. S L O W.........
    • Dead Muscles: In order to walk correctly, regain your balance and do stairs again normally (alternately without holding onto anything, you MUST do the muscle rebuild. This is mandatory to regain complete functionality. It takes months to do this as you start very gradually to strengthen quads, glutes, adductors, abductors and core plus loosen up the hamstrings.

    ROM at Home

    Muscle Rebuild

    For almost everyone, this whole thing takes 12-18 months. Get rid of all the timetables and expectations in your head. Time, work and patience are your tools. You will find strength in your soul that you never knew you had. Close your eyes...deep breath...do it again...


  • Posted

    you are quite lucky your bend and endurance are very good.

    Many surgeons will state recovery can be 1-2 years.

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