Knee stiffness

Posted , 12 users are following.

Hi I'm nearly 5 weeks post op after knee replacement and I'm wondering does anyone have that heavy stiff feeling and aching after walking or just being on their feet for a while,it tends to be at the end of the day, and also my knee gives way suddenly sometimes , I'm trying to do all the normal daily chores but I don't feel I could be without my crutches ,am I being to expectant of what I think I should be doing. Thanks 

1 like, 34 replies

Report / Delete

34 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Yep I think everyone on here will say the same. I hsve a tight band around my knees and they feel stiff. Exercise and walking helps. I am 9 weeks and 5 weeks after ,2 TKR
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Me too, I try to walk it off but it comes back. I call it my natural bandage!

    i don't think it's good that your knee gives way suddenly though, I don't get that. Maybe you should ask your doctor or physio about that.

    Caz - Australia, 9weeks 3 days post TKR

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    And me too! I'm 5 weeks post TKR and my poor knee feels like it has an elastic band around it and also feels stiff. It doesn't give way though so I'd seek medical advice on that, but if I try and walk without a stick I've been informed by my family that I'm like peg leg as I'm hobbling, so I'm trying not to do that!

    How are you doing with your bend, as I was measured at 80' last week and I'm trying very hard to get to 90' for this week's visit to the physio? 

    Can anyone out there tell us when the stiffness goes?!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    hi Josh... I have had the very same symptoms you describe... everyone seems to have a set opinion on .  oh you should be doing this ...don't do that... why do you still have crutches.?  as long as you do your exercises eat well.. drink plenty water... take your pain meds.... and listen to your own body....  its a huge trauma to the body and everyone reacts and heals differently... my knee was giving away almost every day  .. I spoke to my consultant who said it was because my quads were very weak.. I was trying to go without crutches and I had 3 bad falls when my knee went..  ....I bought an exercise bike and a balance ball which I use twice a day  and it is helping.... I am 12 weeks post op... Take care Mary
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Your knee shouldnt give way now. Go to your GP/surgeon. I went onto sticks at 17 days and without sticks by 28 days By 5 weeks I was walking slowly around the shopping mall Now at 8 weeks I have some pain after walking a distance but thats all. You should get your knee seen to quickly
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi I'm nearly 12 weeks post op and still have the same as you although only if I do too much. My knee still gives way sometimes although not as much now as it used to so must mean I'm getting stronger. The stiffness kicks in if I do too much walking and it gets to a stage where I feel like I have to physically lift my leg to walk as it becomes really heavy. This op is really major and everyone reacts differently and recovers at different rates. Good luck with your journey x
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    hi there ... giving way is perfectly normal according to my doc. remember, this is major op and a lot gets pulled and pushed around and now your muscles are having to settle back down and gain strength. it gets less and less frequent but do do your exercises.

    as for the heavy, aching leg that feels like an out of body experience ... we all have it. i am 11.2 weeks and last night i could hardly walk. the day before i was as fit as a fiddle. it comes and goes in waves for me so i am hanging in there for the next good day. nights can be bad with me tossing and turning for hours.

    the crutches / sticks dilemma! as many have said here, listen to your body. if you are unsteady, then take them as you definitely don't want to fall and so yourself some damage. as long as you put normal pressure on both legs and just use the crutches to balance, you are not doing any harm. i switched to one stick but was leaning on it so hard i bruised the palm of my hand black and blue! so not good. i said sayonara to my crutches at 8.4 weeks. before that date it would have been impossible. so we are all different.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I am so sorry for those who are having problems. My op was 01/10/14 and some days I go without painkillers all day only taking them at night because of spasms. My walking gait is nearly back to normal and I dont use any walking aids. 

      Perhaps its the surgeon using different methods. Mine only operates on knees and the staff congratulated me on getting on his list. He actually does the op in 40 minutes, takes minimal bone and uses presision replacement prosthesis. 

      Last time I went to physio my kneebend was 115 and my last visit to her is on Friday.

      This should be for research why some sail through and its fantastic and others are unable to walk unaidedand are in pain after 12 weeks

      Sorry but Ive got my RGN hat on I retired in August when my knee did collapse at work so am still thinking nursing side.

      It will get better in time

      ​X to all

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Ive just read on one reply that someone mentioned the quads not being strong. That could be the answer, I was going to the gym 3/4 times a week prior to surgery and am back at the twice a week now but only for 15 mins on static cycle Strengthen the quads by exercising all the time even when sitting. Tighten and relaxing the thigh muscles, 'pulling' the knee up. I have a laptop on my knees at the moment and can lift it up by using the muscles. These are the muscles to strengthen
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi there! Very interested in your post. Where are you located? And following on from your other post can you tell me what exercises you were doing prior to your surgery. I need to have both knees replaced but on my consultant's advice have deferred this for now. I too go to the gym and know I need to build up the muscles so it would help to do the right ones! 

      Your recovery is most encouraging but I know every knee's different but it is nice to hear your experiences. 

      Thank you! 

      Kind regards,

      Gill 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      My normal gym work was 20 mins cycling 10 mins ski machine 

      upper body weights but for legs the machines were for closed exercise lifting the weights (only 1 weight on) The ankles under the bar and bring it up to straight, bent knee to straight, 20 times or what you can do. Closed exercise, legs straight out onto bar and push the bar down to a knee bending position 20 times. This is easier. This was included in the circuit I did

      I go to the gym and use the cycle for 15 minutes. I have just managed to get the pedel to go right round, some pain but getting easier

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. I'll try those. My main problem at the moment is my knee caps are just bone on bone but I am ok walking on the flat so I use the treadmill (after walking to the gym - (about 15 minutes). I am off to Florida for 8 weeks on Tuesday so plenty of walking there but when I get back and go to the gym I'll do what you have done. My consultant says exercise is good! I'm in Lancashire.

      Thanks for the info.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      If you can manage the cycle its better exercise for the quads Walking is very gentle but the cycle pulling the knee up & straightening exercises the quads.

      Just sitting with a tray (laptop) on your knee and lifting it using your thigh muscles, tightening and relaxing is good exercise. 

      If you can walk 15 mins you should be able to manage the weight exercise

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm interested in your comment about why some knees recover better than others. I had both done, one 9(3) weeks ago and the other 5(3) weeks ago. Knee no. One was a walk in the park. Pain manageable, 110 deg bend in hospital, doing straight leg raises on day 1 walking to toilet on day 1 etc. Knee no. 2 was excruciatingly painful, taking huge doses painkillers etc. Left hospital with90 dev bend took 3 weeks to get bend past 90 and 2 weeks to do straight leg raise. Walked to toilet evening of day 2 etc. Now however, knee two is doing better than knee 1. Knee 2 has 120 bend, pain manageable etc. Knee 1 has 110 dev bend and I keep getting hamstring ans now calf cramps. Walking is good, walk 3 km. Prior to surgery I could only walk 50 m if I was lucky, had to give up work etc etc. I didn't go to gym, but did do quad exercises as you describe sitting in my chair, but still had significant wastage. That is all improving now. So I am not sure why some knees recover better than others!. I know I am doing well, all things considered and feel very fortunate.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sandra, seems like you're doing well all things considered. I admire you having two done! I'm interested to read of your hamstring and calf pain. I've been harping on about this for weeks and not many other people seem to suffer from it. My physio dept have been very good at trying to help with it. I've been given specific hamstring strengthening exercises and last time I was assessed by a more senior physio who thinks I might have a problem with a small muscle in the buttock pressing on the sciatic nerve. This can cause pain anywhere down the back/side of leg and even the foot apparently. She did some massage of the muscle and  Showed me a stretch to do to help. I think it is improving slowly. Just thought I'd mention it to you in case you continue to get problems with hamstrings and calf. I found it painful when walking but it is getting better now. Jen 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I think exercise and gym work pre op is the answer. The physio has discharged my today. Im  8 wekks + 2 days and have full movement. I see the surgeon in February.

      Im continuing with the gym work to maintain full movement

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I agree with that. I was discharged from physio at 4 weeks so decided to do it all myself. I swim nearly every day, have gone back to pilates and my complex is opening a gym in the next few weeks so will be using that. I did everything I could before surgery. At 9 weeks I've been discharged by my surgeon for 12 months and he said he was very pleased with me and wished everyone would work as hard.  However,I am only 67 and am well aware that if I were in my 70's this could be a very different story. Also I don't have to hold down a full time job or care for a family of small children  so have all the time in the world just for me. I am very lucky and realise this.

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Can you describe the hamstring strengthening exercises? It us really annoying me, and is now effecting the bend(which is still good) doesnt effect walking. my physio says it will go away as I get stronger, and to do passive bends to maintain the bend. He is not worried because I hdvd a 110 etc bend in that leg. But the other leg has a better bend and I am worried this one will go backwards. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The main one is the "bridge". Lie on floor, knees bent, clench buttocks then raise your bum up off the floor till there's a straight line between pelvis and knees. Hold for 5 seconds keeping buttocks clenched. Repeat 10 times. I also do one using one  leg at a time which is harder. If you google hamstring bridge you should find it. I also do bends lying on my tummy and using a ball between ankles and also one with leg hanging over end of bed from knee with weights on ankle and bending leg back. She's also given me a stretch to do for this sciatic nerve problem which is a bit difficult to describe . If you search "piriformis muscle" it leads you to exercises . My consultant wasn't concerned about the pain either and said it would probably go in time. I shouldn't think you'll go backwards if you keep up your bend exercises. Everything takes so long before there's sign of improvement I've found and still I find I'm better one day then go backwards the next! So frustrating ! 
      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