hi all, been recovering from a LTKR for 4 months

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Probably do not exercise quite enough. However recently been swollen slightly on the outside/numb side of my knee and feeling that nerve pain burning in my knee cap and over the side. It was feeling better a week or two ago - this is new and I am a bit stiffer and having pain again. I have not taken anything in weeks, not even a tylenol and now this burning is quite painful. Am I going backwards? Perhaps I need to ice again more regularly - didn't seem necessary for awhile. What are the stages of healing - the info I have is very vague...

Thoughts? Tnanks.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I can't say Ive had that, after 7 mths can still be stiff, not exactly pain, still numb but that may not go , I would see how you go , it is very up and down for some people, I also didn't exercise that much, just normal things like walking, did go to pool for a while and that was good, but have to wait till water warms up to go back to water aerobics, if its hurting just maybe rest it a bit, I find even if I walk about 4 kms its a bit stiff and sore later but okay while walking. Its a bit opp and when you think what they do no wonder it takes ages , my first one 7 years ago still plays up, Im hoping the new one will be better because of better methods and parts, good luck 4 mths is early days still

    • Posted

      Thanks for kind words. I haven't walked that far in years. I think I am under exercising. But early days true. Will be more productive active and active tomorrow...new resolve

    • Posted

      Yes just walk a bit more each time , or try pool if ones handy , or bike even , or try joining a gym if that would motivate you more . I have a big dog so that makes me walk . Just go slow , but at a time and you will be fine 
  • Posted

    Basic Stages...

    1. 0-3 Months: AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Bad pain, lots of swelling, doing PT to get your 0 / +120 ROM back, ice, elevate, meds on schedule, stiffness, etc.

    2. 3-6 months:  ROM work done, start the exercise plan to rebuild your dead quads, glutes and core (this will take a good 6 months), OTC meds, decreasing stiffness (tightness, band-like or cement feeling), clicking, popping clunking noises, numbness at the incision site, some residual nerve pain but decreasing, back to work in the 4-6 month range, ice when necessary.

    3. 6-9 Months: Starting to feel more like your old self, pain is pretty much gone, residual stiffness and nerve issues decreasing, getting your strength back, stairs like a normal person are looking possible again.

    4. 9-12 Months: Pretty much done, finish the strength training, master stairs again, dance at your one year anniversary, minor residual stiffness and noises at one year.

    5 Beyond 1 Year: Some stiffness may linger up to 18 months, the noises are pretty much gone by 18 months too, numbness at the incision site is forever, nerve tingling will occur when you kneel on hard surfaces (don't do that), nerve tingling on kneeling may take years to resolve or never go away.  WARNING:  You must keep the knee active or it will start to stiffen up again.  This is a lifetime recovery...no slackers allowed.

    For your current problem, may I suggest some Voltaren Gel (RX in the US, generic diclofenac elsewhere).  GREAT topical anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.  For the nerve issues, try some OTC Aspercream With 4% Lidocaine or Lidocaine patches.  Whenever you push the knee too far on any given day, it will definitely swell...count on it.  Get a pedometer and track your STEPS...time and distance are irrelevant...it's the STEPS that matter.  Go to far one day and your knee will bite you back.  Note the steps, back off, recover, increase gradually.

    • Posted

      Thank you.. I am actually under exercising. Can you lose rom that you have gained? Can you go backwards? If so is it too late to move forward on rom again. Will try your other suggestions!

      Thanks for your care.

    • Posted

      At four months, your ROM is still in flux.  Advances, setbacks and plateaus are all normal.  You have to keep doing the exercises.  This may help...


      I labored intensely at PT and home starting with a ROM of -14 / +84.  I finished PT at 12 weeks (3 months) post-op at -1 / +123/  At 2 1/2 years, I'm at about 0 / +133.  Yes...you can increase your ROM for a while.

      The key word in the above sentence is "about".  There is no definitive, objective measurement.  My doc told me that if you had 10 ortho's and trained PTs take your ROM measurement, you'd get 10 different sets of numbers.  They just "eyeball" it.  Forget the number...get the flexion you need to straighten your leg and bend it sufficiently to walk correctly and be able to do stairs with alternating legs without holding onto anything.  That's the actual goal.  The number is just a number.  Keep the knee active!!!  The muscle rebuild is also critical to walk correctly, regain your balance and do stairs.

    • Posted


      Appreciate all your comments... my ROM is not so great.. right is a little better then left..   I do exercises everyday.. do you prefer any over the others to get that ROM?  Left leg is 5 months in but at 12 weeks had a MUA done.. wondering if that put me back.  Leg it tight, not as much as before MU A.  If I could get a better ROM then I might actually appreciate these new knees.. thanks

    • Posted

      People who have had bilaterals or knees done separately a few months apart rarely report identical experiences with both legs.  Each one is different so be prepared for that.  One may get better ROM faster than the other...very common.  The important thing is to do the PT and then the exercise program to regain all your muscle strength.  Very important for your future.  This will all be over in a flash...although it doesn't seem like it when your smack in the middle.  Keep working on your ROM (link above) and then the muscle rebuild...


      Have fun...

  • Posted

    Yes I feel it’s common my knee is the same my  Physio told me yesterday that I need the fluid draining so I will be asking at the hospital today also need to do more  ice the knee more often do this I will be doing  good luck 
  • Posted

    7 months post op i have a similar problem. GP advised perfectly normal. In pain when taking first few steps but this improved to normal walking. Numbness still there, scar still hurts but joint pain free. I'm in less pain than before and knee improving daily. Keep exercising !

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