Exercise and Walking after TKR (Total Knee Replacement)???

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hi,

I had my Total knee replacement on my right leg 7 days ago. I have a lot of swelling, discoloration and pain. My question is how many times a day should I be doing my exercises and how much walking should I be doing at this stage?

I'm willing to work through the pain, but I also am very cautious not to do too much or too little.  Any advise would be much appreciated. 

 

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi There

    I am 12 days in and i actually had similiar concerns .No need to worry you just do what you feel comfortable with and what your pain threshhold can manage .The Muscles have taken some amount of trauma and will be the hardest to recover .

    I can actually walk a few steps without crutches now .

    And i can do some straight leg lifts

    It does get easier thats for sure .

    Good luck .

    Time is the healer

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  • Posted

    Don't weight bear on it too much at this stage, concentrate on range of movement exercises keep that joint moving. Weight bearing now will only cause swelling and pain, rest, ice that knee 20 minutes on 20 minutes off and keep it elevated above the heart. You seriously need to rest the poor thing. Straight leg lifts are good to do, heel slides also they are both non weight bearing. Keep on top of your pain. If your pain is preventing you from bending your knee get hold of your doctor and get stronger ones. Hope this helps I'm 10 weeks post op now so I think I can give advise now x

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  • Posted

    Yes it is both rest and exercise and the decision on how much is the main thing to negotiate through!

    Listen to your body...

    First two weeks I chose to mainly rest..well, no choice actually, couldn't do much else. I did make sure I kept my knee in motion regularly.

    Ice, elevate and pain medications vital.

    Forcing the knee to bend is not recommended in the UK as far as I know...are you in UK?

    However, the exercises need to be done as far as you are able, which may not be very far at this point!

    I used the approach of working to the pain but not through it, and this worked very well for me.

    I had good physiotherapy but no forcing, or indeed, no physical contact from therapist on the leg at all apart from a little bit of gentle support.

    Be kind to yourself at all times.

    You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It was written to convey the need for patience, something our culture in the western world is not really geared up to! It has a lot of useful suggestions and information.

    Now coming up to 9 months post op, and it is well worth the hardship of early days and months. Outcomes vary, but trust your body and resolve to be positive. I can now live my life fully, something I had previously lost all hope of doing!

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  • Posted

    You are so early in the process, and this is truly a process, that you shouldn't be putting in pressure on yourself to push th e walking. Right now take your pain meds as prescribed, drink what may seem likecexcessive amounts of water, do heel slides and minimal leg lift s. Ice frequently a nd keep it elevated. Rest is more important than try I g to walk. When you do walk go very slow:heel, ball of the foot, toe bend s nd then stride. Do this with both legs when you can. Leg lifts are most important. If you can't get th Ed leg up by itself lay on your back with head on a pillow, use a towel or belt around the arch of the foot, hold on to both ends and slowly lift your leg by pulling back and lifting the foot off the bed. Scroll through posts on here and find the writings of Chico Marx. He gives you a step by step tutorial of what to expect and a list of pot holes to watch out for. As for me, I've been through nearly a dozen surgeries and 5 complete rehab all due to a rare tumor. We look at the medical and practical side of healing. Two very important factors: healing is not lineal, you will have ups and downs throughout re process. Don't get too high when things are going to perfection and don't get too low when you have setbacks; 2nd, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Follow Dr s and therapists instructions but don't let anyone put you in abnormal amounts of pain. Wait till the stitches or staples are out before getting real excited about pushing yourself. Dint do anything to expose yourself to the possibility of infection or blood clots and stay with this forum. Almost every question you can come up will be answered and Sometimes in several different ways because e everyone on this site will become an expert, they ha e earned that designation because they have been through the process. We ar e all different and what works for one won't help the next. Patienc is your ally, be good to yourself and don't think you are a loser because you aren't keeping up with someone else because you'll find you are way ahead of someone else. Now relax and let your body and brain do their things.

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  • Posted

    Hi 

    It’s your recovery do what you think you can do, we are all different. However physio persons think we are the same.

    Good healing

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  • Posted

    Here ya go...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-rom-work-at-home-620053

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/walking-after-a-tkr-593409

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/post-tkr-exercising-565527

    ...and finally...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/mastering-post-tkr-stairs-552728

    Oh...be careful of...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-and-post-operative-depression-604195

    Hint: It's fake.

    Enjoy...

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  • Posted

    Hi! I'm curious about that as well. My surgeon wants me in p t 3 times a week and at my first session my physio said he thought we needed to back it down to twice a week. He also said that he was going to pull me off my walker soon. I'm only 9 days post op so I'm not sure what I need to do. I exercise it several times a day and keep it elevated with ice several hours a day. I have pain that seems to be coming from very deep in the bones. I have had to use my pain meds on a regular interval just to be bearable. The physio seems to be very happy with my progress as my rom is at 88 but I don't want to push it and cause setbacks. Good luck with your recovery.

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    • Posted

      First, advances, setbacks and plateaus are ALL part of the recovery.  Believing that you will not have setbacks is not realistic.

      PT twice a week is quite normal.  Depends on doc and PT assessment.  I started external PT at 3 weeks for 10 weeks @ 2X week.  Went from -14 / +84 to -1 / +123 in that time.  Just takes a lot of effort, patience and a deep breath.  Give yourself time to heal and for the PT AND YOU to do the required work.  There is NO TIMETABLE!!!!  The knee will heal when the knee heals.  You cannot push it.  Gradual progress.  Reality?  See the picture...

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    • Posted

      +1 on the patience. I am quite prepared to give it the time to heal. Judging by some of the other post on here I feel quite lucky to be at the point that I am this soon after surgery. I hope it continues this well as I am planning on doing the left knee by September of 18.
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    • Posted

      Just a note...  Lots of people get #2 done some months after #1.  The experiences reported are that rarely are the results the same in terms of recovery.  Some better, less painful, faster...others the opposite.  Just have no expectations that #2 will be like #1.  No one can tell in advance whether you'll come up heads, tails, or the coin ends up on its edge...

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  • Posted

    I   am assuming you are now home from hospital? They should have advised you about all this before discharge did you not ask them? They should also be giving you some physiotherapy. If you are unsure you could ask your local GP surgery to contact your consultant who operated on your knee and find out the answers to your questions. They are not very good at giving you this basic information sometimes you have to drag it out of them but you do need to know.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah xx

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  • Posted

    I just had bilateral TKR (both knees) on Tuesday 12/12/2017. They used the MAKO robot assist technique. They had me walking 3 hours after surgery. I walked 400 feet with a walker. They kept me in the hospital until Thursday 12/14 and they wanted me to walk as much as I felt like. They said don't let it get fatigued so you may fall but otherwise walk as much as I can. The pain was really bad on morning one and the doctor changed my meds and my pain has been well controlled since. I do my exercises twice a day and walk. Every bit I do feels like it contributes ten fold to the healing progress. I walked a mile on Friday, 2.5 miles Saturday and 3 miles today. I feel great. I'm still using a walker and my biggest problem is wearing out tips from the concrete. I will be going to PT in the morning so I will see what they say.

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  • Posted

    Ok, I had my first PT session this AM. They said it was good I walked as much as I did, but they said the exercises are more important. These exercises are leg lifts, leg straightening and bending at the knee. They also do not want you going to the point the pain is intense. I want to say that pain management is key. Maybe I was fortunate that mine was under control so quickly, but having it under control enables you to do a lot in terms of exercise.
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