I did my tkr on July 9th 2019 and still experiencing difficulties going down and up the stairs .

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I thought that almost 5 months I would be able to manage the stairs better . I walk okay - even for many blocks , even at the end of the day i am very sore my rom is just around 100 . Any recommendations anyone.

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  • Posted

    I had double knee replacement july 30th of this year. I too have difficulty with stairs; sitting and standing; and my rom is 112 and 116. I am often disturbed by the regret of having them done because it doesn't seem much better. But then I concentrate on the fact recovery can take 12-18 months to fully recover. I am hoping strengthening all the muscles and keep bending and straightening will get as close to normal as possible. I wish you the best of good luck and lots of patience.

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  • Posted

    *"I thought that..." *

    That's where you went wrong...you EXPECTED your recovery to meet the timetable in your head. Silly wabbit... That just doesn't work with a TKR in which the knee controls your entire life during a typical year-long recovery. It's just that all the musculature that supports the knee is dead...D-E-D...dead. Gotta get all your strength back...

    Muscle Rebuild

    The bike is fine for a warmup and knee flexion, and walking helps you learn to kick your leg out to full extension but neither of these activities rebuild the muscles. For that you need strength training at a gym or at home with resistance bands. After doing what my daughter laid out, I was climbing steps two at a time with alternating legs and not holding onto anything at 14 months. Lots of work...lots of rewards. It literally takes the rest of year one to get that far.

    Also, walking is NOT measured in time or distance but in STEPS which is when the load is put on the knee. Get a pedometer and graph your progress increasing gradually every week. At 8 months, I was back to 11,000 steps a day. Anytime you're in pain or the knee swells, that's the knee telling you that you did too much. Back off, ice/elevate and recover. Then start again gradually. It usually only takes one "balloon knee" to learn the lesson.

    If you ROM isn't fully back, try these...

    ROM At Home

    ...and post this on your fridge...


    Most of all, no more expectations!!! Listen to the knee and you'll do just fine.

    PS: It's all worth it. I'm at 3 1/2+ years post-op. It's great on the other side...

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  • Posted

    Thanks you all for your brilliant advice , maybe I am expecting too much too soon . Your advices are very much appreciated. Another concern I have is that whenever i tried to bend the knee too far back it hurts , should it really hurt at this point though.

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  • Posted

    At five months I thought that I would be dancing at my daughters wedding, pain free and ready to take on the world. Not so. I did dance, but only because I forced myself to as I was not going to miss dancing at my only daughters wedding.

    I am now close to my one year mark, surgery was December 10, 2018, and am beginning to feel that some of the tightness I have felt is dissipating.

    Keep doing the exercises for range of motion that physio gave to you. I found the best one was to put a belt, or anything that you can wrap around your foot, and gently pull my foot up as if trying to reach the back of my thigh. Hold for five minutes, release and do again until you have done this ten times. Try to do a few times a day. It stretches the muscles in the front of your thigh and seems to allow for more range of motion. I found that it was more less trial and error in what I found worked for me. I googled as many things as I could as well as taking instructions form my physiotherapist. Good luck and remember that it is normal to be at least a year before feeling somewhat back to your new normal. Doctors seem to forget to mention that part, thus the reason we head for this forum.

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    • Posted

      Completely true. We've had people on this Forum report that their doctors told them that they'd be normal and back to work in six weeks. TOTAL LIE!!! Nobody prepares you for the pain, work, and recovery time from this op. Virtually everyone hits that brick wall of expectations versus reality. Not fun.

      And yes triphene1974, it will hurt but you need to keep working on it. The pain will subside and you will achieve your ROM if you keep doing the exercises and working on it. I went from -14 / +84 to -1 / +123 in 12 weeks of very intense PT. Over the years it's gotten to 0 / +133 from exercising and just using the knee normally. Some pain, stiffness and noises may linger in the 12-18 month period and then you just forget about the knee and move on.

      However... The knee will stiffen up even years later if you don't keep it active. They don't tell you that this is a life-long recovery. Remember...

      "Never give up! Never surrender!" - Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest

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