Knee stiffness and pain following TKR or PKR

Posted , 6 users are following.

I'm interested to hear from othersabout their knee stiffness following surgery. My PKR was Juky 23 and I still have major pain and stiffness after sitting or sleeping.  I'm not too bad if I keep moving.   Hot bath gives me 100 percent relief.  I also have a vibrating exercise machine and feel wonderful after 10 minutes of massage on it.  I've even gone back to using my can for my first few steps in the morning.  I guess I fear this isn't normal.  I saw my surgeon on October 2 and he said probably soft tissue damage.  I've also started biking outside about 15 minutes or so a day..no hills just a nice smooth ride.  This doesn't give new any discomfort at all.  I feel it's better to keep exercising and not give in to the pain and want to do nothing.

Wondering if others have stiffness like this did it get better and what do you think helped you.

i have people say it's been too long I shouldn't have pain, nd others who say the opposite...it takes months and months possibly.

thanks for your input.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon.....I had my tkr on the same day as you. I have the same thing, stiffness after resting/sleeping and I hobble to the bathroom in the morning.

    Apparently it's normal or at least common after this surgery.

    My doctor said to just keep exercising it. It does loosen up after I walk around a bit. The exercise bike works well too, after the pain of the first minute or two.

    People say it can take up to twelve months for things to get back to 'normal'....I don't think they ever get back to what we had before the knee trouble started.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    By the way, apologies for the mistakes on my original message.  My iPad thinks it's smarter than I am and constantly changes my words..
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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon, I had my TKR July 21st and yes, I still get the pain and stiffness too. It gets you down doesn't it? I'm still doing exercises - mainly ones to strengthen my hamstrings as well as basic bends and stretches. I wonder if I'm doing enough otherwise. The weather is bad here so I haven't done much regular walking lately. I tried swimming yesterday but it wasn't a great success. I'm not a strong swimmer so not sure if that was the problem but it felt stiff in the water even and my leg ached all day afterwards. It's not too bad on my exercise bike since I raised the seat. Perhaps I should do longer stints on that. I still get pain behind the knee, thigh and top of calf when walking(especially downhill) and standing. Somedays it's better than others. I was so pleased that I walked home about 3/4 mile from a night out last Friday (on the flat) with no problems but then it was as bad as ever by Sunday. 

    I'm like you in that I want to keep moving. I want to do "normal" things, especially the walking but get so frustrated when the stiffness and pain comes. I go for physio today and another cupping treatment. I thought that was going to be the answer to all my problems last week as it seemed to loosen things up but it was short lived. I suppose I can't expect it to work with just one session so will keep on giving it a try. I have asked  about acupuncture too but they haven't  agreed to that yet. I'm still getting treatment on our NHS (I'm very lucky I know) so have just accepted what they've suggested. I see my surgeon on the 26 th so will see what he says - probably that "it takes time". 

    I haven't had a bath for years! Only way I can get out is turning onto my knees and I don't fancy trying that now but I'm tempted from the way you say it gives you relief😊 I use my heat pad under the leg quite often and when I go to bed. I find 10 minutes with that, 10 bends on the stairs then 3x30 second stretches on the footstool sometimes eases the pain. Sorry I can't suggest any magic cure and sorry to ramble on about my problems it's just quite nice to know someone else is going through the same thing. I can tolerate it all if I could be sure it will go away eventually - I just fear it's always going to be like this 😢 Sorry - mustn't be so negative. I will get out of bed now and start my exercises 😊 Keep moving, Sharon, Jen x

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer, thank you for your response.  My pain is below my knee.  Sort of strange, thus I think that's why he's saying soft tissue damage.  If I still or lie in bed I have no pain....

    i feel like I limp more than I should sad.   I guess we are all worn down, pain for months and years before, major pain for surgery and it hard wondering if it will get better.  I'm like you if I knew it was diminish I'd feel better and delving with it would make the ends justifying the means.

    I'm snowbirding in Florida so really hoping to return home I better shape.

    txs

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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon, I don't get the pain when I'm still or lying in bed either (luckily). Although the physio says it's from my weak hamstrings (really bent knee for a long time pre op) I wonder if there's soft tissue damage too. Will see what the consultant says. I try to walk through the pain as it were but it's only natural to limp when there's discomfort. 

    Hope you have a good time in Florida. What do you mean by "snow birding" ? 😊

     

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  • Posted

    I get it now I think - going South to escape the cold weather? 😊 
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  • Posted

    Jennifer that's right..there's a Cute song by Bowser and blue on utube called Snow is a Four Letter Word.....that describes snowbirding..

    i appreciate your  information...  I gues the thing to do is try and build up muscles which is what I'm trying to do. I will continue...I guess I wonder if we have pain if we re hindering something from healing by using muscles too.

    This is  great forum....where are you located Jennifer?

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    • Posted

      Yes I'm doing the same with the hamstring muscles. I do the exercises each day and wonder sometimes if I should do them every other day and leave the muscles to rest. Often they say to do that with gym workouts don't they? The physios have been a bit vague on the frequency of exercising. I'll try to ask again this afternoon.

      my pain has been off and on this morning. Uncomfortable walking and shopping for an hour. But round the house this afternoon it seems looser. I think you're right that keeping moving helps but I also seem to need regular rests. 

      I'm in the UK, in Wales - not far from Cardiff. Keep in touch. X

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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon . I am 13weeks and my knee is quite stiff and painful when I stand from a sitting position, my nights are getting better, but leg is painful fo a few moments when I get up. Sounds like par for the course I'm afraid. I don't do my excersise so often but take small walks to compensate. Just have to go with the flow I'm afraid, it's a hard, painful op to recover from. I wish you well in your continued recovery from tucks
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  • Posted

    Jennifer...we have a house in Whitland, Wales. I usually only go once a year.  Small world sometimes.  
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    • Posted

      Well, what a small world! There are some lovely places in that area - and you're near the Pembrokeshire Coast which is very beautiful. Maybe you'll be walking the coastal path there next year 😊 Jen x
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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon, how are you today? Thought I'd update you on my physio session. I was a bit disappointed at first as she's given up on me! She said there's not any more she can do for me when I told her I was still getting the pain. She did a bit of cupping though and told me to continue with the hamstring strengthening exercises.  She is a trainee I think so she has now passed me on to a fully qualified physio for an assessment. I see her on the 21st so we'll see what she says. I also see my consultant on the 26 th. I'm just hoping they'll say it will improve in time. 

    Hope you're enjoying some sunshine in Florida. Friends of ours have a house near Clermont. We spent a few weeks there with them two years ago. J x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer

      I've enjoyed reading the posts between you and Canadian Sharon, and both of you saying what a small world it is being that she has a home near you in Wales. Then I read your post saying you had friends in Clermont, Florida & I had to laugh because I have a cousin in Clermont, who was born in Canada smile it is a small world indeed. 

      I'm sorry about your disappointing physio session. We are at the same time post op (16 weeks) and I am as stiff & sore as ever, especially getting up from sitting for a length of time ( as Tucks has said) and my legs feeling tired & heavy after walking or biking. My dilemma now is I feel I need to go back to my little women's gym & start back with the strength training & other exercises us women need to do to stay strong but incorporate my knee exercises in there somewhere too, but I don't want to be spending the entire day, every day, exercising. Which knee exercises should I eliminate and which ones should I incorporate into a daily exercise routine. Does that make sense? It's just that my therapist gave me so many exercises to do, that I can't do them and go to the gym too, but not sure which ones to eliminate. 

      I'm sure I'm making more of this than need be, and once I get back to the gym, I will develop the right routine. 

      Thanks for listening to my rambling smile

      I feel my doctor released me too soon, saying come back in a year (!) & I'm no longer going to physical therapy so I feel I'm on my own with no one to answer all the questions I have.

      Take care and keep hanging in there my friend smile.   Betty

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    • Posted

      Good to hear from you, Betty. It is a small world isn't it 😊 I know what you mean about the exercises. I don't attend a gym but have thought of going to a low impact session at the gym in our local leisure centre. Apparently the girl who leads the group is very good at advising which exercises are best for you. Have you got anyone like that at your gym? I've cut out a lot of the exercises I was given, just doing a few basic bends and stretches then the muscle strengthening ones the physio gave me. They take me 30 /40 minutes so I don't think I could manage a gym session as well! Leg is aching again after walking round shops for about an hour. Thought it was better when I started out too! I think I must get used to having regular rests. It's funny - after I've sat down for a few minutes I seem to be able to get going again but it aches like mad after I've been on it for a while. We're the same I think in that we're trying to learn how to cope with our problems 😊 

      keep trying my friend 😊 Jen x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer,

      The little women's gym I go to is called "Curves" - it's a franchise here. It's just machines & we do circuit training, meaning we are on a machine for 30 seconds then rotate to the next. I don't feel that's enough time so I try to go when they are not busy so I can stay on my favorite machines longer. I'm primarily interested in the upper body exercises since I don't get that with walking or biking. It's hard for me to do free weights at home - I just feel more in control on a machine. I'd love to do yoga or Pilates but I can't do anything that requires lying on the floor! Seriously, I wouldn't be able to get up again! So I call Curves my old lady gym smile 

      I guess I could go there just for the upper body exercises then the knee ones & biking & walking at home. Like I said, I'm sure I'm making more of this than need be. I just need to get the motivation now to drive to the gym! Once I do, things will probably work out the way they are supposed to & I will develop a routine I can follow smile

      Have a good week Jennifer!

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    • Posted

      Hi Betty, I know Curves well. I used to go regularly a few years ago to one near us so I know the type of machines you mean. I'm sure the "leader" will be sympathetic and you could just try a few machines. Go on, give it a go 😊 

      I have to admire you for wanting to keep yourself fit. I know what you mean about getting down on the floor. I do some of these hamstring stretches on the floor and I wouldn't like anyone to see me getting down there. It involves a pillow and using my good knee first and sort of rolling over 😊 I'd love to be able to get down on the floor to play with my grandchildren 😢 Maybe one day .... 

      Let us know if you make it to your gym. X

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