Is it ever too late to get more Mobility

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I had my total knee replacement about 4 months ago. I am still only at about 93 degrees Bend and 2 degrees straight. Is it too late to get these better? My doctor didn't seem too concerned that my 3 Month check-up, on the other hand he didn't seem to be really listening to me too much. But that's a whole different discussion LOL

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  • Posted

    Hi Donna

    I would be interested to know the answer to this, I'm 3 months post TKR I had a manipulation on Tuesday he got a 130 bend I've only been able to get 90 since Tuesday, it just didn't want to shift , can't believe how quickly the stiffness kicks in .

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    • Posted

      At 3 months, you are still early in your recovery.  Remember, there are advances, setbacks and plateaus.  I got stuck at -4 for a lot of weeks.

      In 10 weeks of PT @ 2X/week, I went from -14 / +84 to -1 / +123.  Regressed a bit after that because I got stenosis and needed a spine fusion...put a dent in my knee recovery.  Hitting the gym and getting into the exercise routine will absolutely help with the ROM and stiffness.  I'm now 0 / +133...I am NOT going further than that.  140 is athlete range and I'm done with that part of my life.  Besides, no one knows the impact on the life of the device when you consistently push it past 140 (PS: heel to butt is +161...never going there).

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

      Program designed by a pro.  Endurance before strength.  Gotta rebuild your dead quads, glutes and core to support the knee.  This doesn't stop.  People 3-4 years post op report a drop in the ROM and strength when they stop exercising.  Not good.  This looks to be a "forever" recovery.

      Also...  Stiffness decreases over time but can last for some people between 12-18 months though very decreased. I'm 2 years post-op and I still feel it from time to time when I skip exercise or sit around too much.  Gotta keep moving...

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  • Posted

    Hi Donna,

    I’m 11 weeks, got 127 bend and 0 straight leg, my PT works me hard and I keep moving. I swim now most days and do the strengthening work which is really important. I am throwing all I can at it. I have been told that the improvements will be over a period of time 1 to 2 years for full recovery. Also back to yoga classes this really helps with relaxing the muscles I’m working hard. My PT and consultants says everyone is different. Good luck x 

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  • Posted

    Never too late, but more difficult and often times,more painful. Scar tissue starts forming from day 3. All of us have swelling post op and the more we move,the more it swells,the less degree of range you have. The balancing act is tricky. Every surgery can produce more scar tissue. People think if the get a MUA, they're fixed and no work involved but not true.

    16mo out, i just had another searing pain from moving a way i hadn't before, scared me but no other issues but a little swelling that disappeared after a week and some anti-inflammatorys- turns out, just tore loose some scar tissue per the doc and my range is better in that spot-not so stiff.

    Ive been walking 2-6miles a day and it all the sudden got hard going down stairs w my left knee (the little bugger has had a lot happen to it) . Long story short, the scar tissue and flared IT band cause the problems. Now better.

    So it seems that, in the end, the knees will remind us that they are there and still need care. My right replacement has choosen to stay quiet-than God!

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    When the doctor doesn’t know how to fix things they quit listening.  I am one week from the 4 month mark and depending on what I am

    Doing determines how my knee bends and functions.  Today it is killing me.  It will get better but you have to exercise it.  Did the PT give you exercises to do? Biking is good.

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  • Posted

    You are too early in the process to be concerned with reaching your max. Just keep up the excercises and don't worry if you aren't showing progress every week. There is a certain amount of backsliding and playing but for every bit of that you will show gain. In case you haven't read the tkr mantra, its: this isnt a sprint, its a marathon. 2 steps forward and 1 back. This surgery teaches even the most impatient person the value of time. Listen to your body, don't try and do everything at one time and in one bite. Stay with this forum. Great people who have all been through the grind. I'll bore the beck out of some with my story. 11 surgeries on my leg/knee and 5. Complete rehab with 3 different prosthesis starting when I was 65 and I'm now 81. Hang in there and digest all of Chico Marx's teaching.

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    • Posted

      This is not what I want to hear! I am afraid I am on the road to a fourth surgery on my right knee.  The doctor isn’t following up at all as he hasn’t a clue why the infection.  I have severe arthritis, an autoimmune disease, an MGUS for multiple myeloma.  I don’t need another surgery! Why have you had so many knee surgeries? I want to know why?
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    • Posted

      Rare to find allergies to metal in knees but not that unusual in hip replacement. I had /have a rare tumor that started all my problems. The original prostheses came loose after 9 years due to the tumor. The day after my revision I fell and twisted my femur into at a 20 degree angle. The following day they inserted a hip to knee plate in my leg and held it in with 8 screws. 10 months later they surgically removed the plates and then came the real issue, infection (epistaph) 30 days later they opened the leg and cleaned things out and followed it up with 2 months of antibiotic infusions and order 900 mg of abtibiotics orally for what was supposed to be the rest of my life. A year later I fell and the infection reappeared. This time the hardware was completely removed, the joint was glided with antibiotics, plastic spacer was inserted, the leg was immobilized from hip to ankle and the antibiotic infusion (8 weeks) plus another 8 weeks to make sure I was infection free. Then the 3rd prosthesis was implemented and the rehab started again. I was 65vwhen all this started and now I'm 81 and full time care giver to a spouse with advanced Parkinson's disease and advancing dementia.

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    • Posted

      Sorry your spouse has Parkinson’s, mine too!  My knee is infected but on a/b daily so pain.better, also better doctor.  Revision in 6 weeks hoping i. Don’t need a. New knee.  My hipp is fine, so lucky with that.
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    • Posted

      Hope all goes well for you. Sorry about your husband. Parkinson's is a terrible disease. I was told we were in for a rough ride but had no idea it would be this rough. My wife's biggest problems outside of fatigue is depression and anxiety. She's been on half dozen meds and nothing lasts very long. She was diagnosed officially, 9 years ago. She really needs to be in an assisted living or nursing home but I promised I would not let her go as long as I could care for her without jeopardizing her health. That time is close by, I'm afraid.

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    • Posted

      I was in an assisted living  after my TKR as I was in a coma 7 days due to overdose of anesthesia and opioids. I had to stay an additional time  of 6 days.  This place was a horror show.  They never changed my sheets, towels and put all medicine together in a paper cup so you would not know what you were taking.  I was a nurse for 17 years so  once I know they overdosed me, all’s I wanted to do was get out of there. I could not sleep so I walked the halls at night  seeing people sitting up in wheel chairs taking off all their clothes and no one would even help them.  The red lights for emergency bells were going off all over the place and they never came as the nurses sat in the lobby on their cell phones at 4 in the morning.  Who could they be talking to at that time.  I will tell you that you need to go to the place you are putting your wife into and check it several times at different times of the day and night for sanitation.  Food choices etc.  it will take me a lot to go back to any of these places as they do not care like you think they do! I spent time with many residents when I woke up and NO ONE liked the place.  Can you have someone come into your home to help with care?  Can she still speak so you can ask her what she would like to do? Can she do anything at all for herself? I know how Parkinsons can break down our minds thru all their crazy ideas but I have learned to meditate which has helped me accept the situation.  When it gets to the point where you have to help her with everything and eating becomes difficult because of the shaking violently, I can understand.  It begins to take a massive toll on you!  Just check out the place really well that she has to go and I would talk to others whose loved ones where in the place she will be going to! Prayers and Good Luvk with this!
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    • Posted

      I have a housekeeper that deep cleans and does laundry plus will run errands if I need. (She's a family member, was the flower girl in our wedding). I have home care a couple days a week.!(recently started that) and we have an excellent super market that delivers second day. Do I'm reducing some of the load but at one time I went 18 months with only 2 different times away at 4 hrs each. I was on the verge of collapse. Caregivers are the most overlooked people in our society.

      Where are you located. I'm in the middle of the US in a suburb of Kansas city. Fortunately our facilities are very good in comparison to the one you described. I have found one that will take me as I recover from an expected back surgery and will put us both in a small suite. Its very, very nice and close to home. Take care now. You need a break.

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    • Posted

      I am glad you finally got some help for your wife.  This is probably so hard on her too! Glad you have a good place near KC.  I used to live in Lake St Louis, MO so I know your area well.  My last 20 years I have lived in McKinney, TX.  The healthcare is subpar in this area compared to other states.  I was a nurse for 17 years and ran a burn ward in Detroit, MI. At Henry Ford Hospital.  Hopefully, you will get out if you have someone help out a few days a week.  I actually like being home doing nothing! I have done so much in my life, glad to do nothing.
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    • Posted

      At 70, I'm still working full-time in IT Architecture for AT&T.  Would love five more years and then go part-time consulting.  I love what I do and have the energy to do it.

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    • Posted

      Love it. I worked full time traveling till I was 66. Would have wirked longer except the damage the tumor did to my knee made it impossible to sit in cramped up seats on airplanes and prolonged car trips plus handling luggage. Then I started doing marketing and sales for a friend in the ad specialty/ logoed apparel business and then the tkr revision and my wife's advancing Parkinson's condition made me throw in the towel @ 77. I also ran a very profitable charitable golf tournament until 2007. Started it as part of my job and did it as a volunteer the last 4 years. In 14 years we raised $750,000. Everyone on the committee started getting old and a couple died so that was the end. Loved doing whatI did but there comes a time. Like the wise man said"death is natures way of telling you to slow down". Hope you can. Continue to be a productive senior, Lord only knows we need every $ paid into Social security we can get. I was telling the coffee group one morning right after I turned 75 that I still enjoyed bein a productive human being. One of the wise a**es remarked that my case just showed it was never too late to start. As a third career, Wal-Mart still needs greeters. They probably don't a jazz bassest playing at the door anywhere else in the chain.

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