Knee Tightness

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hello All

I am nearly five weeks post op but last Thursday I woke up and my knee was the tightest it has ever been and is still like it; it feels horrendous and stops me from bending and is just not getting any easier. It feels like someone has bound my knee with rubber bands.

Has anyone else had this happen?

Thank you, Tracey

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey,

    I am 13.5 weeks post op and this tight band/vice feeling is quite normal.  Muscles and nerves adjusting to this difficult surgery.  Something else we have to get used to, but it does decrease slowly.

    Unpleasant sensation, but nothing to worry about.  Please try to bend through the tight band though.  It will help.

    Any other questions, ask away.

    Lynn

     

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    • Posted

      Sorry pressed send button by accident!

      How long does this horrendous tightness last approximately - days or weeks as it is just not abating yet?

      Did you find any medication helped in particular? I take naproxen and oxy norm when I have had enough but was thinking of asking TO for a muscle relaxant?

      Thanks so much for advice.

      What a nightmare it all is!

      Best wishes,Tracey

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    • Posted

      Well, can't say my bend is still great.  Still working on it, but not getting too uptight as the bend will continue to improve for weeks and months.

      Was paranoid at first about the six week window.

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    • Posted

      It definitely lasts weeks, but it lessens.

      Truly is a horrible experience and I've got to get knee number 2 done.

      Didn't find medication helped, just exercise.  Easier said than done, but vital.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn

      Am really suffering with this tightness in my knee - in fact it now feels like it's being crushed, seriously. Did yours get this bad before it got better?

      Am seeing consultant next Monday but don't feel I can wait that long.

      I called the consultant 's clinic today and they said it would be agony and to go to A&E if I wanted.

      Spoke to a friend at the A&E who said they would see but would probably refer me to the consultant so am back at square one.

      Nothing I do eases it; am now trying diazepam to relax the muscles but . . Am feelingvdesperate and so worried that something awful is wrong.

      Thanks, Tracey

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracey,

      The weird feeling certainly comes and goes, sometimes felt like a vice on my knee but I didn't have real pain.

      I suspect it is just the muscle and nerves adjusting to the surgery.  

      Do you have a temperature?  Any pain in your calf muscles?

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn

      No temperature nor calf pain - I did experience terrible calf pain st the beginning.

      I guess it is pain but the pain of my knee feeling like it is being crushed all day long every day since last Thursday - am thinking something must be wrong sad

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey,

    I am 8 weeks post op, and  I still have that tight band feeling.  One thing I have tried recently is to put a very soft blanket on a couch and gently kneel on it holding alot of your weight with the back of the couch, then gently rock back and forth, you can feel it slowly working that tight feeling.  I think it might be slowly helping me.

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    • Posted

      Tracey, I have to say it is a bit uncomfortable, but I felt I needed to try it.  One other good stretch that helped me is stand at the bottom of the stairs and place the TKR foot on the first step up--then keepp the other foot planted on the floor-slowly lunge forward and try to get the knee to touch close to the 2nd step up--do this 10 times, then switch legs, then  sit down and strech it out and repeat--you will notice the 2nd set  will be

      much easier

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    • Posted

      Hi All, I still get the tightness but I think it is improving - 10 weeks post op now. I do the exercise you describe on the stairs. My bend is fairly good but I'm working on straightening the leg. I get real tightness and pain in the muscles behind the knee, thigh and calf. I can put up with the stiffness but it's the pain that's getting me down. Do any of you get this? I think it's got worse the last few weeks as I've been doing more. Also find standing for any length of time really hard. I started using my stationary bike a few weeks ago. Have you got one, Tracey? That might help with the tightness too. I keep up my exercises 3 times a day as I think they're the only thing that will help me get through this but I get so frustrated as progress is so slow! It's good to know I'm not alone in my frustrations 😊 Jen x
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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer,

      It's your 10 week post op "pal" here again smile

      I am fascinated every time I read your posts because we are at the same stage and  you sound exactly like me, and it is such a relief to know I'm not alone! I am also still having stiffness and pain in the same areas that you are! In fact I took two pain pills the other day after I had been able to reduce them to one a day. I felt seriously depressed that evening & don't know if it was from the pain pills or because I feel I'm not progressing.

      When I think about what all was done during the surgery, it's a wonder we are not in more pain, but on the other hand I thought we were supposed to start feeling better as weeks go by, not worse!

      I don't see my surgeon anymore. He "let me go" at my 8 week post op check up, so reading your posts ( as well as others, but yours and Lynn in particular as we are all at the same time frame, Lynn being a few weeks ahead) is the only way I can moniter my progress.  

      Sorry if I'm babbling, but I just wanted to respond to your post to say I am feeling the same way as you, and I also get extremely tired from standing too long. Even a day out exhausts me where I have to take a nap as soon as I get home.

      Thanks for listening my friend. Betty

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I believe I turned a corner at week 12.  At week 10 I was blubbing at physio feeling I would never feel normal again, had lost my place in the family as 'Mum', the one who took care of everyone and everything.  My physiotherapist was terrific in pointing out that my feelings at that stage were perfectly normal and I wasn't going mad.

      Since then I feel much more in control, rather than the knee controlling me.  So much so, that we are planning a visit to the US in November to see our daughter.  Life was passing me by and I suddenly realised I needed to get a grip.

      Don't get me wrong, I still have my wobble moments, especially when I know knee number 2 needs doing, but those moments pass and I realise I'm getting 'me' back. SO important.

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    • Posted

      Hi Betty, really good to hear from you. I'm not glad you're suffering too but it's so reassuring to know I'm not alone. I was so exhausted one day this week after shopping for over an hour and a half. I overdid it obviously but it's so hard isn't it when you want to be normal again? I'm trying today to accept the pain and try not to keep worrying about it. One day soon it's going to get better, I'm sure. Trying to be positive 😊 I'm lucky that I attend a weekly knee class at the hospital for 6 weeks (done 2 already). I am able to ask for advice from the physio who runs it and she's given me a few different exercises to do to work on straightening the leg which hopefully will help loosen those muscles at the back of the leg. I see my consultant again in about 2 months time when I'll have another x Ray of the knee done. Mind you, he's just warned me that it'll be at least 6 months after the op before I'll like him! It's amazing how things vary around the world isn't it? Please keep in touch and keep your chin up 😊

      Jen x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Lynn - that is encouraging indeed, to hear that you turned a corner at week 12! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

      Where abouts in the U.S. does your daughter live? I'm in California. When I was first desperately looking for a blog about TKR, when I found this blog I did not realize it was in the UK. It's been so informative and everyone is so friendly & caring. I feel like I've made new friends smile

      Again, thanks for the encouragement. My heart goes out to you, knowing you have to go through this again. Has having gone through it make it less frightening or are you dreading it? I have a fear I may have to do it on my other knee as well, someday, but it's no where as bad as my right knee was.

      Thanks for responding, Betty

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    • Posted

      My daughter lives in Cimarron, New Mexico.  We have a dreadful journey to see her.  First a 10 hour flight to Denver, then we stop in Denver for 2 nights to recover, and then a 5 hour drive down Int.25 to New Mexico.

      You and I corresponded a while back. I advised the v-pillow from Target. Remember?

      I am dreading having knee no. 2 done, but there's no choice.  Bone on bone again, I'm afraid.  Holding out til next March when our daughter returns to the US after a short visit home.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn, good to read your wise words. I'm trying to be more positive today, trying to accept the pain as "normal" and temporary. I went to my grandson's Christening this morning and enjoyed it even though beforehand I was dreading it a bit wondering how I'd be. When you say you turned a corner at 12 weeks do you mean just psychologically or did you feel better physically too? I'm really looking forward to doing normal things with less discomfort and perhaps having a trip away. At the moment the thought of sleeping away from home is a bit daunting. I'm very impressed with your proposed trip to America and admire you too considering you need your other knee done. Thanks for the inspiration. Jen x
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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer,

      Your knee class sounds great! I wish we had something like that here! It would be tremendously helpful to the majority of us who come home from the hospital feeling confused about what to do, wondering if what we are feeling is normal, etc.

      I can't really get answers from my physical therapist, as her patients come to her for so many different reasons. In other words, she's not an "expert" on TKR to know if I'm where I'm supposed to be as far as progress at any given stage. She's helping me, don't get me wrong, but it would be wonderful to attend a class such as yours, that focuses on TKR. 

      Your posts have been so helpful to me! Betty

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    • Posted

      Hi Betty, yes it is quite good. There are about 12 of us at various stages post op and we do a circuit of various exercises which lasts about 45 minutes. You don't get a lot of individual attention but it is an opportunity to ask for advice. I'll keep you informed if I learn anything new or useful 😊. Jen x
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    • Posted

      Psychologically, I think.  I believe I was giving myself too much time to dwell on the knee.  Although I am not in pain, I am always aware of it due to all the strange sensations I experience each day.  I'm sure you can relate to that. All feels so weird.  But, although I'm not ancient (63 in December), I felt that time was just passing me by and I'm not prepared to let that happen.

      We visited our daughter in April when both knees were bad, and I found that wheelchair assistance at both airports was excellent.  HATED sitting in one though, but needs must and distances at airports meant there was no choice.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn, yes I remember you telling me about the pillow - good memory smile

      I wish you were coming to California as I'd love to meet you!

      Your trip sounds brutal though sad although hopefully you will be far enough along in your healing that it won't be too bad. I know that before my surgery, there was no way I could sit that long on a plane or in a car! 

      I know what you mean about having no choice about your other knee. I waited far too long before my TKR. 

      Good luck to you and thanks for your encouragement!

      Betty

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    • Posted

      Yes! All those strange sensations! Whenever my husband asks me " how's your knee" I never know how to answer except it just feels "weird"! Strange sensations is exactly right! 
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    • Posted

      As I have mentioned before, hydration several days prior to the flight, reguarally during the flight an post flight is very important. Walking the aisles at least once an hour during the flight is mandatory. Hope you can get an aisle seat. My flight from Memphis to Amsterdam was a crippler. Had some guy and n the aisle sleep all the way and leaned on me most of the way. Had me cramped and was hard to get up and down. Plan well.
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    • Posted

      Absolutely right. Getting a blood clot is a big fear when sitting too long. Even when sitting in the car for long periods, we stop every hour or so to stretch our legs.
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    • Posted

      Lynn I was quite scared about having the second done but like u bone on bone and no choice. But the good news is so far, and it's only 2 weeks, is that it is much different/ better.the reason is, I believe, adequate medication to cover the pain and thereby enabling me to exercise fully right from day 1. I am doing at 2 weeks what I was doing at 4/5 before. I walk better etc. in fact now at this time I am quite bored having to allow recovery time, because lets face it one can't do much so recovery time is just being a couch potato with odd bouts of exercise and moving. I've said it before on this forum. Talk to your anethesist and ask for high dosage meds in the first week. I don't know if it is the difference but there is a huge difference. But don't be scared, just try to make it better if u can. Good luck 
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    • Posted

      Yes Betty. When ppl ask how your leg is its hard to know what to say because it feels strange. Not painful but sometimes stiff always tight, you can do most of the walking etc but you know it's not right yet. And YET is what I'm holding out for. Mind you, that's with my first knee. I have just had my second done and that is proving different and better, so maybe down the track I'll have different things to report.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gloria, So pleased for you that your 2nd knee is progressing so well. It proves that experience helps. I like your description of your 1st knee. How long ago did you have that one done? Everyone tells me I'm doing really well (10 weeks post op) but I know I'm nowhere near "normal" YET. I can't say I'm without pain yet, especially when standing for any length of time but there is always the tightness/stiffness that you describe. When did you feel you coped well with walking with your 1st knee? By the sound of it, you're going to be running everywhere once your 2nd knee is fully recovered 😊 Well done! Jen x
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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer. My first knee is 6 months. 10 weeks is early days. As I remember I could walk around for 10/20 minutes at around 7 weeks but standing for anything more than 3/4 minutes was difficult , I always made a beeline for a seat of some sort. Recently I stood for 80 odd minutes without a break during choir rehearsals and performances. The tightness goes on for ages but I do remember at about 4/5 months it shifted from all the knee to the outside half which was a relief. It is still tight but given that it has half gone , I expect it will go. I'm aiming for 12 months for perfection. Hopefully I won't be too disappointed. It took me about 3 months to stop considering my knee in everything I tackled. It is a very long road, only one that people who have had the op would understand. I think that one medicated as long as one needs but not everyone would agree, kidneys etc. the stiffness is still there especially after inactivity but hopefully 12 months will see that disappear too. I reckon that if we are patient and allow ourselves a good amount of time then it will be easier to accept. Good luck to you as well.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gloria, thanks so much for your reply.  Your words have given me encouragement. I must be more patient and limit myself to short periods of activity. I feel the nature of the pain is changing. I think that could be the different muscles and nerves readjusting to the new position I'm walking in. My leg was quite bent before the op and I've been working hard on getting it straight. Think it's more or less there now but I suffer from pain behind the knee and down the leg as a result. Hopefully I will see some improvement by 4/5 months like you. I can put up with the stiffness but I don't like the pain! I just take paracetamol now though as I don't want to take anything stronger. Thanks again for your kind words and good luck again with your 2nd knee recovery.

      Jen x

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    • Posted

      The other thing that I always try to keep in mind is listening to friends who had the op 3/4/5 years ago, they all say it is the best thing to do and barely remember the times of hardship. I reckon we'll get there too. I have already booked an oseas holiday for exactly 12 months from the day of my 2nd knee replacement and I have in mind a plan for something at 6 months although not quite confident enough to book that yet heh. But the 12 month booking was like an important statement. No doubt we' ll still be posting over the ext months smile
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    • Posted

      Good to hear about your friends. I don't know anyone personally who has had the op. That's the sort of thing I want to know. I like your idea of the holiday 12 months post op. I have begun to think of what I'll be doing next summer actually. We're thinking of our first holiday abroad in January which will be 6 months for me. I'm really hoping I can do some pain free walking then 😊 Hopefully we can post of our good progress, as you say😊
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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer

      I do have an exercise bike, I did try today but can't quite manage to get on just yet so I turned it round and put my feet in the stirrups from the front whilst sitting on my bed - Lol!! But I did manage to stretch that way.

      You are not alone at being frustrated, I have a few tears more days than not!!

      Tracey x

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    • Posted

      Lol Tracey. I am only 2 weeks with my second knee and have been having a good recovery being in a position to compare with last time, soooooo I thought I would try the ex bike. Ouch heh heh. I only got my leg about half way up and with a loud squal of pain I realised that 2 weeks is probably a bit ambitious for an ex bike. Quite funny really, brought me back to earth and gave my overconfidence a good slap.
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    • Posted

      Hi Tracey,

      My knee feels very very tight, so much that I dont want to move it at times.  But I dont think it felt crushing.  I sit in a chair and bend it then I masage both side of my knee cap--it usally makes it feel more relaxed until I stand-up.  I thought it was my knee's way of telling me, that I am on my feet too much at that time.  Like a swollen feeling in the knee cap. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracey, I sympathise with you so much. It's so awful not knowing what us normal isn't it? I remember getting the awful tightness. My knee felt like it was made of concrete. It's probably normal as long as there's no redness, hardness of the calf or you have a temperature. I expect they would have checked that at A&E. I think exercise and ice are the only things that help. Although I still get tightness it's nowhere near as bad as it was a few weeks ago so it does get better. Take care.

      Jen x

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn, this is off topic, but I looked up Cimarron, NM - what a charming & interesting little town! I'd never heard of it. At the risk of being out of line, what does your daughter or son in law do in such a sparsely populated town? ( don't feel obligated to answer if you are not comfortable doing so on a forum. I totally understand )

      It IS a dreadful trip! Oh my gosh Lynn, please take old fat guys advice & walk the aisles every hour!

      I know you have no choice having the other knee done. If any of us had a choice there wouldn't be this forum, ha. Seriously though, my knee was bone on bone too and I was walking inward with my knee bent. As traumatic as the surgery was and the healing process, I have to say that I was in more misery before the surgery, so if I have to have the other knee done one day for the same reason, I will do it too.

      Oh, and you will always be "mum" and the one who takes care of everything smile that never changes.

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    • Posted

      My daughter married a real-life cowboy and lives on a ranch there.

      Quite surreal for us, but we adopted ranch life - branding, rodeo , cook-outs, shooting, rattlesnakes, bears and mountain lion.

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    • Posted

      Oh my goodness - sounds exciting actually! Except for shooting rattlesnakes, bear & mountain lion! smile

      Sounds like a fun visit though, so different from your every day life. I can see where you need two  good knees to keep up with that life style! 

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    • Posted

      Hello Betty

      i had TKR on 16th November seven weeks ago - I think I am going backwards not better.  I tried walking round a shop this morning and my knee was so tired and stiff..I felt I was doubled up or doubled over to make my knee walk.  I get absolutely exhausted too and could sleep afterwards. My pain is not bad until I walk on it then it's stiff and uncomfortable. My GP says walking on it is the best exercise I don't know about that. I tried standing on the bottom step of my front steps and got my foot on the step but felt my knee wouldn't hold me up so my husband has made a step for me to use in the house for me to go up and down on to see if that helps. 

      What a moan I am 

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