How long before walking without crutches or a limp?

Posted , 10 users are following.

I had a right hip replacement Iom Nov 16 and a right knee replacement at the end of June 17. I'm on one crutch, but walking without it, leaves me limping badly. How long before I can walk well? I'm 53!

1 like, 24 replies

Report / Delete

24 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    I used two crutches for any walking over ten minutes even at 12 weeks...My quadriceps were very weak and took a while to activate properly. My personal feeling was I wanted to give the muscles a chance to build up first before putting more pressure on the joint and also I found my gait much better using two. It was also possible to walk faster with two crutches/sticks. Which was rather exciting at that stage!

    This approach was also what my PT encouraged. Sticking with support for balance and also for relieving undue pressure on the healing joint. I think it made a huge difference in reducing my pain levels and reducing swelling. I basically focused on increasing range of motion rather than anything else. But every one is different. I am 52...nothing to do with age though!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hello, John

      I had a double tkr this past April and I am now 62. I used a walker for the first two months and then switched to a cane when I venture out. I still walk a bit like a zombie, but I remind myself to stand up straight and go heel to toe. I live in NY and haven't seen anyone use crutches. You'll be fine, just be patient and gentle with yourself smile

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Around three months my walking took off...never looked back since! Now almost five months, walking more quickly and further than I have done for two years. Be patient with yourself.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      This is very interesting. I am 11 weeks post op and my PT took one of my crutches away after 4 weeks and wanted to take the second one away after 7 weeks but I refused because my surgeon told me I needed to continue using crutches when walking any distance. My knee is very swollen and very sore and now I am wondering if my PT took my crutch too soon. It is difficult when we have nothing to measure against. Glad to hear your recovery is going well and I would advise John to follow what you are saying and use the crutches until he fills well and fit enough to go without. Thanks
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I think it is interesting too... different way of thinking about using support....is using support a bad or good thing?... for a chopped leg, it is only kind! Bone takes a long time to heal. Glad it is useful. Plus it is great fun whizzing around on crutches! There is an amazing you tube video of someone who dances with crutches, cannot remember name but worth a look,😁

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Meant to add, with crutches one is stilll weightbearing, so simply reduction in weight taken by knee, and less if more pressure gradually allowed. So still enables strengthening of joint, but in a controlled way. I have two rather trendy hiking sticks i used a lot around 8 to 16 weeks. I don't don't them now at all but would take them with me on uphill country walking, or a long walk more than an hour.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Impossible to give a time for recovery , everyone recovers differently . It's only a few weeks since your tkr . lots of physio and exercise helps , but dont over do it .Take your medication to help with pain relief before exercise . Read some of the other posts on this forum and you will see that some recover qickler than others . There is no timeline for recovery .

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Answer: When you're healed enough to walk.  There are no set timetables.  Give up any expectation that you will be walking normally by a certain date.  Waste of mental energy which should be completely focused on your healing.

    You've got a long road ahead of you on the TKR...most people "feel like themselves again" in a year...big jump in capabilities usually in the 9-12 month range but it's different for everyone.  After weeks and weeks of PT gets you your ROM back, you'll need to exercise legs, glutes and core to build up the strength to support the knee.  

    I'm assuming that you exercised the hell out of your right quad after the hip replacement.  I did 5 hours a day, 6 days a week of therapy pool and gym.  Got all my strength back in 6 weeks...that was back in 2009.  My TKR was March '16.  The recovery from each is completely different.  You can push the hip...really push it but you CANNOT do that with the knee.  When you do, it swells up like a balloon.  The hip can be a sprint; this is absolutely a marathon.

    I would be careful about the walking.  When you are "off kilter" because of the pain, you can develop sciatica...many TKR patients do.  For me, 3 weeks with a chiropractor fixed that.  I had locked my SI joints and that pinched the sciatic nerve.  Just a warning in case you encounter it.  Read the Sciatica Section here...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-experience-or-wish-i-had-another-kidney-stone--524499

    The best advice anyone can give you is to give up all expectations of "when".  You have to treat yourself well, do the work and heal.  This takes a while...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-recovery-bell-curve--563756

    I hope that you are on the far left of the curve and are better in two months...not likely but we can all hope.  Just don't get down on yourself; in a post-TKR world, the word "should" is stricken from the lexicon.  You will be better when you are better.  Do the work...stay strong...kick butt!!! 

    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