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9 months and 6 months after total knee replacement. at what point can I stop exercising and getting back to a normal life. I stopped for about 2 weeks while on holiday, did a lot of walking but really paying the penalty now. both knees feel like they are getting really stiff and more importantly very sore. my right is the 9 months one and it feels the worse. I go back to see the consultant on January 22 2020.. would that be the cause. stopping the exercises?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I am 2 years into TKR's on both knees. I have been lazy about exercise and I have paid the price. I have learned that I will have to exercise for the rest of my life if I want to walk without stiffness and pain. I also need to regain my balance and exercising is starting to help. Chico Marx posts are very honest and helpful, you should look up his discussions on this site.

  • Posted

    My first TKR was 12 years ago. i have never stopped exercising. i work out 3 times a week and spend 30 minutes of the time on leg exercises.

  • Posted

    My GP said for life , to keep the muscles strong and everything flexible to support the implant. It does'nt have to be too onerous. Theres a lot you can do while u r watching the TV or just waiting for the kettle to boil. Get in the habit of using stairs rather than a lift. I do pilates & swim each week which has multiple benefits. Think of it as an overall lifestyle change rather than just about the knees.

  • Posted

    Interesting subject. My PT is anxious to discharge me. They say at 12 weeks I am doing great and my knee is perfect. So I start using the stairs in my apt bldg....the penalty being very stiff and uncomfortable the day after almost to the point where I need to stay elevated? So how perfect is my knee? This recovery thing is a balancing act for sure.

  • Posted

    i was what you would call the model patient. did all the exercises up till about a month ago and thought that i could just do the walking. began to slacken off with exercises ... WRONG. defo paying the penalty. looks like back on the routine for me then

  • Posted

    Here's the deal:

    1. You have to keep doing the ROM exercises until you get to the 0 / +120 target. That usually happens in the first three months. After that, normal exercising should extend your flexion a bit further into the 130s. All of that is very typical. It wouldn't hurt to continue some ROM work long term.
    2. The next step is the muscle rebuild. All the musculature that supports the knee is very weak or outright atrophied. The exercise plan is a slow, gradual rebuild and takes almost the rest of the first year. It takes that long because the knee cannot be pushed; doing so will make it swell so it's a constant process.
    3. Virtually all of the stiffness and noises will gradually subside over 9-18 months. You won't even know it's gone until one day the light bulb will go off in your head. THE BAD NEWS...is that you MUST keep the knee active...forever. Even years later, if you don't work the knee, it will definitely start to stiffen up again. Therefore, some sort of exercise to flex the knee and keep the muscles strong is mandatory. Sorry... Walking could be the solution. If so, get a pedometer to record and graph your step count. Distance and time are irrelevant since it's the STEP that puts the load on the knee. The software will keep an accurate record of your activity.

    Also... Kneeling on a hard surface (cement, hardwood, tile, etc.) will absolutely cause you pain...but not from the knee itself. It's metal...there is no pain. The discomfort will be caused by nerve pain. To avoid it, use a foam pad indoors and knee pads outside for gardening. I do not recommend taking nerve meds like Gabapentin (Neurontin) or Lyrica. Too many side effects, especially weight gain, for the occasional pain while kneeling.

    These discussions should provide more information for you...

    Muscle Rebuild

    ROM Work at Home

    This is a long-term recovery and maintenance. Couch Potato is NOT an option. You didn't go through all that pain to fall back into pain again. Exercise to keep the knee fluid and strong is mandatory. Good luck.

    • Posted

      Hi Chico,

      I think I have Arthrofibrosis, can the NHS refuse to do Lysis of Adhesion sugery even when it's needed? I think I am being cast aside as one of the operations that wasn't successful.

      My knee doesn't hurt, but I can't bend my knee beyond 80 degrees and its 10 degrees of straight. I do a lot of exercise to try and straighten the leg and dog walking but the knees range of movement doesn't change.

    • Posted

      I'm in the US so I don't know your NHS rules. I would keep hounding them on that front until you get satisfaction. You must become your own best health advocate. "Never give up! Never surrender!" - Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest.

      I don't know anything about your condition and how your ROM can be improved. Everything I know comes from my TKR plus 4 years on the Forum. In that regard, exercise #3 from the ROM link, above, will straighten out a knee replacement. Although I haven't had one, some TKR patients need an MUA (Manipulation Under Anesthesia) to break down the post-op scar tissue to get an acceptable ROM.

      The problem is that you have a diagnosed condition that may or may not respond to the things we do following a knee replacement. You would need to research your condition (Mayo Clinic is usually a good site) to see what procedures/exercises would work in your case. Then I would take that information and shove it down NHS' throat until you get some relief.

      It's a tough and challenging road but you must consider your health and quality of life first. Arm yourself with good data and never give up. Good luck...

    • Posted

      Thanks for the great advice Chico, a lot of people on here appreciate it!!

      The trouble with the NHS is the surgeons blame poor knee performance after TKR on the patient and not their lack of finesse or time on the operating table.

    • Posted

      That might be true but I have only heard of actual doctor malfeasance in a tiny fraction of cases in four years. Your condition has its own complications that you need to research thoroughly. Just like in business, you need to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) so that you can question the docs and get the answers you need to improve your quality of life.

      Example: My wife had brain aneurysm surgery over nine years ago. We have become absolute experts on Treatment Resistant Depression, all the tricyclic, SSRI and SNRI drugs (and their chemical interactions), plus all the last ditch methods like Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and the new Ketamine inhaler protocols. Her case manager is the Director of Neuropsychiatry at the Peter O'Donnell Brain Institute in Dallas. We know all the right questions to ask to get the right treatment Sage needs. We never give up...we just get more informed so we know the subject matter inside and out.

      You need to do the same...

    • Posted

      thanks for the advice and good luck with your situation!!

      The surgeons dont want to know, mine never read the physio notes when i went for a check up and he never answered my questions, it was beneath him to explain to a mere mortal. hopefully my knee will improve overtime, its still slightly swollen around the patella after 7 months so that tells me its still healing. i am off to my local GP in january for a check up

    • Posted

      My knee still looked a tiny bit larger than the other at one year. All that went away by 18 months. It's so gradual that you never notice it.

  • Posted

    i thank you all for the replies . you dont realise what you have to go thru to get yourself better . and taking care of them

  • Posted

    You have got to do your exercises always every day hope this helps ypu.x

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