Leg hasn't straightened after TKR

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone I'm here again !  Last time I posted I was at 3 wks p o & concerned about feeling exhausted just to get showered & dressed. I had many replies telling me this was perfectly normal, I can't tell you how reassuring it was to hear that. Now I'm at 9 wks p o and doing well,saw my surgeon last week & he was pleased with me  & said I was doing better than average ( I'm 62 so a lot of his patients are considerably older, so I'm not sure that I'm a true average!  😄 ) anyway my concern now is that my leg doesn't seem to want to straighten. I mentioned this at our meeting, he said there was about a 5% deficit & told me to put my foot on a chair and let gravity do its work. I've been doing this a lot from the very beginning , but it doesn't seem to be improving. Has anyone else had this problem & does it eventually get back to normal ? 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Junie,  I had the same problem too and I put a little weight, like my purse, a couple of pounds above the knee when it is extended.  Keep up the exercises mine is finally coming around and it has been 10 months for me.  When they said this is a long recovery I didn't realize how long but I also had my hip done 5 months after my knee.  I stopped ice to soon and that helped when the dr said to start that again, to get the swelling down in my knee.  Best wishes Smile here come spring!!  Deb

  • Posted

    Hi Junie 

    I’m at 9 weeks also and my straightening is -4 which Physio said is good and consultant said do also I’m in U.K. your only 1 different. Give yourself time. I flex my knee regularly and push back if knee down into bed or chair to straighten. You will get there. Im 60 and also told I’m ahead of where I should be. 9 weeks ago when I had op it was -45 so it’s done good. I had 2 ops in one as had to have Osteotomy at same time as my leg bent out at 12 degrees so seems weird for it to be straight now. I’m slow going up stairs but go up normally now; can’t come down the same. Still feel exhausted though at times but know I went back to work too soon. 4 weeks post op. Keep up good work your doing well. 

  • Posted

    Do #3...


    ...then with 2-pound ankle weights.  Gravity is the law...and it's a b**ch!!!  Precautions:

    1. Have a pillow you can scream into. 

    2. Give everyone else in the house some money and tell them to leave...immediately.

    3. Turn up all the TVs and stereos to cancel out whatever screams escape the pillow.  You don't want a neighbor to call the police.

    Try it for 5 seconds...then 6...a few reps.  Increase time and reps every few days.  Zero angle guaranteed!!!

    WARNING:  For this to work, you CANNOT fight against it.  You have to let the leg just hang there.  Zero muscle resistance or it doesn't do anything.  Most challenging leg-straightening exercise ever!!!  Worth it...

    Having fun yet??????

    • Posted

      Hi Chico

      I knew it was your posting reply before I even looked at your name.

      Have u any advice to give to somebody over two years down the line after  TKR and who still can’t walk properly and is suffering from lack of sleep because of pain and burning leg sensation

    • Posted

      I just passed 2 years also.  Most of the day, I feel nothing from the knee.  Yes, at night, I feel it a bit...some nights more than others.  Since I also have dealth with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) for decades, I take 1 mg Xanax at bedtime to relax all those muscles.  Works pretty well most nights.  Sometimes supplement it with 25 mg diphenhydramine (cheap, generic Benardryl).  I also apply Voltaren Gel (RX in the US; OTC Voltarol in the UK) about 15 minutes before bed.  GREAT anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.  The "burning" is nerve pain.  OTC Aspercream with 4% Lidiocane or OTC Lidocaine patches could help.  I HATE the nerve meds!!!  Gabapentin (Neurontin) will put on 20 pounds in a month.  Some people take Lyrica...did nothing for me.  Check ALL side effects and drug interactions.

      Here's more on sleep...


      I can't take the sleep meds Ambien and Lunesta.  Woke up at 3 am from the smoke alarm...I was totally asleep cooking bacon at the stove.  I knew it was 3 am because I was staring right at the clock on the microwave!!!  Never again.  My wife takes Trazodone 150 mg for sleep and seems to work well for her.

      The walking is a different issue.  Look at this...


      My first thought is to see a chiropractor.  No drugs, non-invasive.  It could be as simple as your hips and back being misaligned making one leg longer/shorter than the other.  That can be fixed in a few weeks.  Happened to me at 5-weeks post-op and gave me sciatica.  Easy fix.

      If everything is aligned but there is still a discrepancy in leg length, maybe PT can belp.  Otherwise then you would see a doc for a custom orthotic in your shoe.  That would balance the legs and take away the pain. 

      Okey dokey????  How did you know it was me?  Am I that predictable???

    • Posted

      Is Xanax a prescription drug also diphenhydramine? Can you  apply Voltaren Gel to a Prosthetic? I’m seeing a physio soon. 

      But maybe a chiropractor would be better for my walking.

      It’s like I can’t lift my feet off the ground anymore.

      I always know it’s you without even looking at your name-virtual reality I suppose x

    • Posted

      Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazapine like Valium...definitely RX.  Diphenhydramine is generic OTC Benadryl, although a lot cheaper.  You can use the gel AFTER the incision is healed but can be applied away from the incision line...NOT CLOSE!!!  A PT can also test to see if the legs are different lengths and will do exercises with you.  A chiro actually manipulates your hips and spine if they are out of line.
  • Posted

    Afternoon, I had a RTKR and kneecap in October 2017. I was fit and active before and am in my late 50s. I was given an attuned knee as my consultant thought it would be best for my active lifestyle. I wish I hadn't had it done. I am in more pain now than before. I am still -5 and about 100 -110 bend. I raise leg with weights on knee to help straighten and go to the gym 5 x a week and horse ride every day. I cycle at home on a stationery bike. What more can I Do? I see my consultant next month so I will see what he says. However Chico always says things can improve at least up to a year so I hope he is right!

    • Posted

      Yeah but this is 5 months post-op.  One would think you'd have your full ROM back by now.  I have no experience with a kneecap replacement or this type of implant.  I'd go back to the doc and see what's going on.  Or...

      Other...  Try #3 at home...


      It's not easy at first...scream into a pillow.

      Also...  Maybe you're doing too much.  Typically, you exercise a muscle group and then NOT the same group the next day.  Trainers talk about doing lower body one day and upper body the next.  That gives each muscle group a chance to recover and rebuild on the off day.  My daughter is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.  Here's her recommendation...


      Just maybe, you're not giving the muscles a chance to breakdown and rebuild.  The constant stress may be working against you.  Try the "At Home" stuff for the ROM.  Let us know...

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