9 weeks TKR post op and still 90 degree bend

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Today is 9 weeks post op and although I have greatly improved, I am only at a 90 degree bend.  I found this board a few weeks into my recovery & am very thankful.  My knee replacement was my 6th surgery on my right knee.  I am a 46 yr old female in the states.  My bend has been very slow to progress & I have only gained a couple degrees over the past 2 weeks.  I have an appt with my surgeon next week & am HOPING that I do not have to have MUA.  Has anyone had a slow progress with their bend & have been able to avoid having MUA?  I only had 110 pre surgery & tend to build scar tissue quickly.  I can go upstairs fine, still working on going down stairs, and I just limp when I've been sitting for a while or getting up in the morning.  Trying to stay positive, but very frustrated.  I'd love to hear from anyone in a similar situation.

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  • Posted

    Yes, I am one. My left TKR dec 2015. I might be at 95... And the bend before was not much more as is the right knee that I'm waiting on. I was not to happy with it and was thinking MUA. When I went for my final check up with the surgeon, I brought that up. He said he's not to keen n doing it, thinking that I might not et much more, and most importantly I'd be taking the risk of breaking my femur. I quickly said no. But...I went back to work at 12 wks, can ride my bike, do stairs and walk as long as my other knee allows me. AND I'm not in pain. Constantly trying to bend it more, but it's not going to happen. I say, what's the big deal for a dg or two, eh? I'll just do the things I can. Good luck to you and keep plugging away. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Anne.  So you had some improvement between week 9 & week 12 it sounds like?  I'm hoping I can do it on my own rather than go through that.  As long as I'm progressing a little I'm fine with that.
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    • Posted

      You are very early in the game yet. Everyone heals differently. One of the big things to take with you on this journey is patience, Shannon. Be kind to yourself. Don't over do it. The muscles need rest to heal. Drink lots of water, control your sin and move it as often as you ca. While sitting, laying and walking. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Shannon, I'm 7 mths post tkr and have about 95/100 deg bend. I became obsessed with degree's and got very down about it all. Every week at physio I struggled and cried,drove myself crazy. I still did my exercises yet the bend stayed the same. Then I made a decision to stop the numbers and just to concentrate on what I could manage to do.l learnt to walk downstairs properly and became aware of my posture and how I was walking,I'm glad to say my walking is much improved and I mostly manage the stairs well. Yes I do get stiffness and have to stretch and exercise but by dropping the numbers game I feel much better mentally and concentrate on the positives. I'm sure you will see improvement soon ,its still early days.
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  • Posted

    9 weeks is absolutely nothing.  It will take at least a year before your knee heals.  I know a lot of people on this forum believe in MUA, but personally you can do this by yourself. Patience and hard work will get to near perfection.  Think of what has happened to you, think about what your muscles and ligaments have gone through and then your nerves have to re-knit.  There is no time attached to healing.  Feeling down is also part and parcel of what you went through.  For some reason the medical know how's tell you this will happen.  There will be times that you il have to scrape yourself out of bed and function.  All I can say is, take your painkillers on time everyday until the pain stops altogether. Don't take them then stop, allow the pain to take hold and start taking them again.  Be consistent and things will improve.  If you can't get to a gym or spa with warm water, sit in the bath. The weight of the water will make movement easier (if. You take the bath route use mineral salts in the water, aids healing, essential oils will also be good for you, get some that are uplifting) if going down stairs is difficult try going down backwards.  Sitting for long (ish) periods of time will make your muscles seize, be gentle,a massage will get things going.  massaging (using creams or bio oil) will help with keeping your scarring to a minimum. The more you stretch your knee the less the scarring under the skin will thicken. When you have time (don't rush this) walk putting your heel to the ground first and then rolling onto the ball of your foot.  You will then be.  Controlling the right muscles need for walking.  There are so many ways of making your life easier.  All you have to do is believe in yourself 
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    • Posted

      Thank you.  I've been massaging, but I think I need to do it more often & a little deeper.  I see my Dr next week and am hoping to hear that I'm doing ok & no need for MUA.  I am usually very positive, but this has been a tough road and having my progress come to a halt is frustrating.  Do you use a specific technique for massaging the area?
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    • Posted

      Yes it is a long road, with lots of twists and turns, but look at it as becoming a stronger person, mentally and physically.  Think of it. Can you honestly say there is something out there that is more physically painful, or mentally draining than what you have just had done, think of all those nerve endings, not only do they have to heal, but they are also sending messages to your brain! On top of it all that, you have to get on with your life.  It's not one of those things where you can just sit back and do nothing and let your leg heal on its own (well maybe on tv).  The ony magic wand is yourself and your will power.  This is a huge hurdle that you are going over.  Slowly but surely you are getting there. Don't rush for an MUA. You are doing ok.  The Doctor will look at your scar (most probably will say "mm healing nicely, looking good!!") he'll ask you to lift for leg off the bed; remember to consciously tense your thigh muscles before lifting, then he'll ask you to bend. Don't tense up (you are going to be thinking "it will hurt"), relax and the bend will be better than you think. Your progress may not have come to a halt, think back to the same time last week, then the week before that.  Where were you on the progress road then?  Feeling down, whilst frustrating, is a normal emotion, why, I don't know, but it happens to all of us.My doctor put me on a one months worth of antidepressants, and whilst I was not singing from the rafters, I did feel well enough to carry on, I felt more in control. If you go down that road, keep the prescription to a minimum, you just need a little aid, not a crutch. Look at all the herbal teas out there, some of them have uplifting properties, watch what you eat, Some fruit and veg aggravate pain, others aid healing. Drinking plenty of water will help flush toxins, but not too much whereby you are flushing the painkillers through your system.  Up your vitamin intake.  You will soon be back your old self, better able to cope. Don't make getting your bend back a chore.  You can work your muscles any time of day and anywhere; literally, even when sitting down (you can push your foot into the ground as if you are about to stand, but don't stand, just hold the position and you will feel your muscle tensing. See how long you can stay there. Then slide your foot backwards, see how far you can go, if it hurts, hold the position until the pain eases, then go back a little further).  You are busy doing other things, so your mind in not really thinking about your knee.  There are so many cheats that can aid your bend.  Be creative.  A massage is just a massage, but over the scar tissue be a little firm at the same time you are bending and straightening your leg, use bio oil, mineral oil, almond oil. If your scar has well and truly healed rub some gel that is specific to swelling/sore muscles (my Dr have me some, with a little bit of scorn I tried it and after a while the swelling eased a bit as did the pain (a micro bit)). Then you have the alternatives like acupuncture.  If it is expensive where you live, find a school that teaches alternative medicine (or a Chinese health place). There are so many things that you can do, without much effort to achieve a better bend, and stronger muscles. 

      Sorry if I have gone on a bit (I have had rather a long time to practice what I'm "preach"), hope you didn't fall asleep ;-) x

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    • Posted

      I am loving your advice. I certainly didn't fall asleep. Very up lifting and such a positive read. I didn't even think of the pain in my muscles while hanging my leg over the end of the bed. Yippee. So thank you

      Jodie

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    • Posted

      That is very sweet of you.  Sometimes I do ramble on. Great for getting the kids to sleep when they were small!!!  Our brain is a marvellous essential part of our body, but sometimes it does over think itself. Divert its way of coping works every now and then. But that's all we need to get that much needed rest from pain. Don't forget, while you let it down, use the same motion to tighten your muscles and lift.  Wishing you a pleasant weekend 
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    • Posted

      You are so very welcome, I am glad I can offer ideas. I have OFG, Irish Linda and Cheryl to keep me sane (apart from a good pain management team, a GP who listens and is willing to try whatever it takes to keep the pain to a minimum and my favourite eldest daughter) (I also have a favourite youngest daughter).  Just remember your BFF Patience, and use your everyday movements as exercise... You will go far grasshopper x
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