Extreme muscle weekness in both legs post TKR

Posted , 7 users are following.

Right TKR 4 months ago, (osteoarthritis)seemed to be going well, but still favored that leg when walking. Then injured other knee. So now relying on new knee. My range of motion is a -5 for extension on both legs..so cant quite walk with straight legs...last week or so, I can barely walk, need cane, almost need walker when first up in moring. Can only stand about 5 minutes, then both legs feel so week i have to sit down. Horrible calf muscle pain in both legs..feel like mu leg muscles aew wasting away completely. Have not been good about exercises this last month. Is this because my ROM is poor, and Im using rest of leg too much? Help!!

0 likes, 10 replies

Report / Delete

10 Replies

  • Posted

    I know it hurts but do the exercises. It will help your leg muscles to grow and get stronger. You can do it.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are having complications. I would suggest you find a competent pain management Dr. The 1st thing he/she will probably do is examine your spine. You may have some underlying nerve issues that is creating problems. In the meantime restart an exercise program slowly and with basic things: tightening of the quads, leg lifts, stretching, etc. Its a long haul back. Just be steady..posture, walking with a slow correct heal, toe, bend.

    Again, go very slowly...make sure you rest and stay well hydrated. Use some type of anti imflammatory for pain. Try and elevate your legs when you sit. Best of luck. You'll get better with time

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I agree with Cheryl here, go back to physiotherapy.

    Hope this works for you.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello, I am in a very similar position, and surgery for other knee scheduled in Feb.

    Don't give up, at least do stretches. I find it helps if first thing in am instead of getting right up, lay there and stretch and flex a few minutes to loosen your muscles and get them going before you stand.

    Go back to physical therapy if you can afford, if not make yourself do so,e thing throughout the day. It is so so hard but I have found if I can just force myself to just keep a bit more active it helps. I will be thinking of you, keep going! The only failure is no longer trying. Taje care and keep your chin up

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Un fortunately, there may be another explanation...and it's a major pain...

    About five years ago, I suffered from the same extreme muscle weakness in one leg, referred to both.  Walk from car to mall and that's as far as I could get. Meds, pain shots, nothing worked.  Finally went to a neuroSURGEON, not a neurologist. MRI revealed a bone spur at L4 "crushing" (doc's word) my sciatic nerve root.  Simple laminectomy got rid of the spur and surrounding bone/disc areas that were impacting the nerve. After a few days, back to normal, all pain was gone, no rehab.

    Now, it the same but different...

    http://patient.info/forums/discuss/patient-heal-thyself--548806

    Read.  Then go to the update half way down.  Very bad weakness in both legs.  Can hardly walk in the morning.  MRI reveals severe stenosis in my back, L1 through L5.  All the nerves exit the spinal column through canals in the vertebrae.  When these narrow tunnels get "clogged" (bone overgrowth, disc impingement, etc.), they cause the same problem as I had before.  Neurosurgeon has to go into your spine and clean out the canals.  My surgery should be in February.

    Right now, I walk hunched over to alleviate the pain but that puts enormous pressure on my already weak quads making them hurt constantly...kind of like the symptoms of muscle fatigue because the quads are firing constantly to make up for the weak back.

    We live with constant major pain and the refief is spine surgery...IF this is truly your problem.  Only a neuro can make that call.  I say this because typical sciatica affects one leg, rarely both.  See a chiro, realign hips and SI joints, takes a month of treatment but it works.  When BOTH legs are affected, it's usually stenosis in your back and only surgery can fix that.  Yes, there are temporary pain shots but those don't work on me.  The good news is that after the laminectomy, the pain is gone pretty quickly (the nerves are still inflammed) as the pressure on the nerves is relieved.

    So...to be on the safe, non-invasive side...  You can start with an x-ray and MRI.  These will pinpoint your problem.  If there's nothing wrong in your spine, a chiro can probably fix your problem.  If the radiologist spots spurs and stenosis, then you need surgery.  Sorry this isn't better news.

    Temporarily, get some Voltaren Gel (RX in US) and use it where it hurts.  Second best topical anti-inflammatory on the planet.  No pills.  VG works great.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Wow...read your thread!! You are also very inspirational! I will keep the stenosis idea in mind....but wayyyy in the back...lolol!

      Hoping a better exercise regimen will suffice!

      Your thread humbled me...was kinda thinking I had it licked too...didnt like seeing the "takes a full year" .....😓 sooo..its back to the gym!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I REALLY did not want to level that news on you but "extreme muscle weakness in both legs", at least for me, has nothing to do with the TKR.  Yes, our quads are weak and have to be rebuilt.  But in my case, this weakness happened 8 1/2 months post op...when my recovery was coming along just fine.  If you were doing the same and all of a sudden this weakness came on, I'd get the MRI.

      I have alleviated some of the pain and weakness temporarilly with exercise (light), heating pad and a "custom topical ointment" on my back and down the back of my legs.  No drugs!  Hate them!!!  I see the doc this coming Monday...got the films and report already in the car.  He'll offer pain shots...I'll refuse since they've never worked on me.  The solution is a laminectomy...period.

      If your situation is like mine (stand up...complete weakness...grab the bed/dresser/anything to stand up...barely walk at first...gets a little better as you walk more), get the MRI.  I know you don't want to think that it's a spine issue but that's what my chiropractor said when I initially saw her for the pain...and she was right.  Down one leg...usually sciatica.  Both legs...gotta look at the spine.

      Just trying to help...

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Let me explain better and see what u think. I am 14 week out. was progressing ok with new knee no walking device necessary, went back to work at 10 weeks. Could go to work, then to grocery store for a quick trip, but not much more..(which is still better than before tkr)other knee not good, so was a crap shoot on taking turns favoring one then other for a bit if that makes sense. Then about 3 weeks ago I so brilliantly decided I could soak in the bathtub!! Got in fine, never wanted to get out! Time to get ou, oh no...cant get onto right knee, cant just pop up into standing...so flipped over and put my 240 lbs onto old knee..just for 3 seconds..ok maybe 5. One day later.

      Cant put weight on old knee..completely relying on new knee and new knee leg muscles which i hadnt been working on building up..cuz..ya know (I already had it licked) ;-).. so i did get a cortisone shot in old knee haelped a ltiitle, but cant straighten old knee now, and new knee is at best a -5. So i carry 240 lbs, in a perpetual kneebend. Cant last too long on either thigh muscles, start over using calf muscles too.. Im in quite a Pickle!! My muscles work ok when i first get up..but my knees are so stiff, until i get moving..but I am very quickly exhausted with no leg muscles..does this explain better? Thanks for your replies!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Again, extreme muscle weakness in both legs could very well be spine related.  Gotta get it checked.

      For me, my neurosurgeon had his pain doc inject some cortisone into L2/L3 on Thursday.  Within 24 hours, I could stand up straight again and about 80% of the pain is gone.  It will take a few more days to feel the full effect, if any.  This means that most of my pain is caused by the stenosos at L2/L3 but the rest of it is coming from elsewhere in the spine.  I'm guessing that he "unzip me" and check out all L1 through L5, doing is "repairs" as he goes along.  Just need to get rid of this pain...permanently...

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thanks everyone so much for the responses! I joined an "over 50" health club where I was receiving physical therapy before surgery. They have a warm water brine pool and I was given exercises to do..I will get started right away and hopefully my condition will improve. Will keep posted!

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up