losing ground at 4 months

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I am going in 4 months post op and am in the same boat....hurts to walk, hurts when I sleep, using a extension board to try and help with extending, but it isn't helping, just causes more pain, faithfully going to physical therapy, but it's getting worse. Can only bend to 110-115 and extension is 10-11 . They say its scar tissue and I need a manipulation to break it up, but it may not help with straightening and I need to keep doing the board. I am so frustrated and depressed....I was doing well and then started going backwards. It just aches all the time and I am limping worse than before I had the surgery........

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  • Posted

    Advances, setbacks, plateaus...all part of the recovery. Your ROM work might be taking a bit longer but everyone is different. Yes, an MUA is offered to people who have a lot of scar tissue buildup and it's an option you should discuss with your surgeon after your PT has done as much as possible. Meanwhile, try #3...it's your best chance of getting you to zero degrees on your own...


    Good luck...

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    • Posted

      You have some options with the board...

      • You can have someone gently push down on your knee when at full extension. Gently. The PTs usually put a lot more pressure on but they're trained on how to do that.
      • Push down on the knee yourself when at full extension. Do as much as you can.
      • Put a weight on your knee to give the exercise some vertical pressure. A 5# ankle weight strapped on may be of benefit.

      However, I found that the bed exercise (gravity) works way better than the board which provides no vertical force to get the knee straight. However, the board is GREAT to achieve the flexion. Remember to put a belt around your ankle and pull with both hands. When you get to your current max, just give it an extra tug. Mark the board to see your progress. Those extra tugs really pay off in time. Tug and HOLD is even better.

      I know this takes a lot of work but we all went (or are going) through it. It's really, really hard for almost everyone to get their ROM back but it is absolutely necessary to then move to the muscle rebuild step so you can walk correctly, regain your balance and start doing stairs alternately like a normal person again. Time, work and patience...

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  • Posted

    Hi! For the extension my PT does this wonderful exercise. He faces me as I'm laying down and I put my foot of the surgical leg on his shoulder. He pushes my leg as high up as it can go and he pulls towards him on my knee.So basically I'm laying on my back with my bad leg strait up and he pulls the knee in the opposite direction. Does wonders on the extension, has been getting me down to -2 or -3. Maybe see if they can do that to straighten the leg more.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    yes,the pain is unreal sometimes,im 8 months out& I'm still in pain bc my implant is lose& scar tissue so now I'm scheduled for manipulation dec 4! the first thing I thought about was the pain!! my dr said that it's having the surgery all over again!! u just have to find clever ways to help u during ur recovery!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathleen,

    Bangkok-Johnny here. I am two months post op. Complicated TKA revision due to deep infection from the primary TKA in 2014. Pain and stiffness every morning before I do my "Ankle Pump" and "Heel Slide".

    The swelling is down but the knee is still warm. At home I hop downstairs "sideways". Upstairs no problem. Apart from "downstairs " I move around OK at home. But going out always with crutches, my fore arm sticks. Without crutches I'll pay the following day with extra pain including hip pain. I am allowed put weight on my new implant, TKA.

    Yes, I do agree with Chico. The road to recovery is long and winding. PT is important and home PT as well.

    In my case the swimming pool (which I could not use for three years due to the TKA infection) helps me

    to increase the muscle strength and also improve my gait by simply walking in the pool - 20 laps minimum per session and backstroke 10 laps. My atrophied quadriceps has already increased, says my Physio Therapist due the water therapy exercise. And and I sleep better thanks to my weekly two sessions PT at the hospital almost every day "walking in the pool" exercise.

    Best regards, Johnny

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