Mental emotion starting to take place due to lack of progress.

Posted , 15 users are following.


I am 7wks post TKR and have a bend that's only 70deg and hasn't moved in a week. I find myself with tight quads and the muscle from the hip down to the shin tight that gives me pain and numbness.

At times I felt the phsyio wasn't addressing this even thou I was telling her it was dismissive until I made a bigger deal of it on Monday so she started a bit more focus on massaging quads plus noticed the knee cap was very tight and not moving freely so she also worked on and focussed on these things rather than the routine exercises..

I went back to work last week as I was going batty at home plus can not waste more leave time as I have the left knee that also requires TKR and need to save my leave for that and now I think I should have eased into work rather than work the full week as I pulled up a bit sore on the weekend..

This afternoon has been emotional for me actually the last couples of days have felt really flat as I seem to have gone nowhere the last week plus I think 7wks post TKR and only 70deg is not much?

I have also found that it's 7wk and there is a lot that I still can't do and I'm having to get somebody to do my lawns, wash and groom the dog and today organise somebody to come detail clean my house once a fortnight. I am separated and have my 2 kids Thur - Sun and whilst mum has come to help she is not young and struggling and don't want her to keep this up as I can see the toll on her she has got sick herself..

I am seeing that my independence has gone and gone quickly and I'm not liking it, I also feel that my right leg is not mine it doesn't feel right it feels like something has just been put there and lack the control I would like to have...

I just came back from my doctor to get more pain killers as I was on my last Endone, plus try sleeping tablets as I haven't slept more than 2hrs straight since the operation.. I spoke to him about this and he told me "I can only sympathise with you Tony and I can only say be patient, it will get there but sorry that's all I can offer is be patient."

He also said there is 2 types of recovery that he finds with people that he sees, there are those that get more bend quickly but have more pain and those that have less pain but less bend and takes longer, he said which one would he prefer..... probably more pain more bend as he could deal with the pain and know it will go soon...

Would love to hear what people's view of this is would you prefer:

- more bend but more pain?


- less bend and less pain?

I have the second the less bend and less pain but would add higher mental emotion of lack of progress..

I know keep working at it and patience is required but it's getting very frustrating..😠

1 like, 20 replies

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tony

    I went down the less bend less pain route, but struggled in the end with getting legs straight.  My second TKR was last Sept, and I had an MUA in March which didn't make an awful lot of difference this just made it more painful again!

    It is very difficult when you live on your Dad had to help me and I had to rely on friends to take me to the hospital and back, or a taxi (which costs over £50 each way).

    my first TKR finally came good a year after its MUA, but I have had a lot more problems with the latest one and still cannot walk comfortably.  Thank God that I can drive.

    I've never really got emotional or cried, as I know some others have, I'm just resigned to the fact that a lot of my normal life has had to be put on hold.  It is hard though and people who haven't had it done (including some doctors) don't realise the full impact on the person).

    All we can do is keep at it and try and keep our spirits up.

    We will get there in the end.


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    • Posted

      Thanks Patsy

      I agree with you we will get there and I would probably want the more bend and more pain route.

      I may end up having to have MUA I see you say it didn't make much difference and was painful, to be honest I am not looking forward to going down that path this is my fear.....hopefully I don't have too..

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    • Posted

      i agree with you ,I am on my third week at home after a second TKR ,I am finding it very painful and the broken sleep at night awful .My lovely daughter as been staying with me but goes home next week ,so i will have to get on with managing alone.So it's positive thinking from now on for me.
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  • Posted

    There are probably many here who can relate exactly to what you are saying, Tony.

    To answer your question...I'd say more bend and (initially) more pain, because that pain doesn't last forever whereas a stiff leg will.

    I asked my Ortho Onc Cons about sleeping tablets and he said that the body wakes itself up every couple of hours to stop it seizing up, and I can see what he means; the time I did sleep for 5 hours solidly (meds washed down with a large gin) I couldn't move the following morning and was back to square one. 

    If you don't do it already, consider hydrotherapy which allows you to bend and push yourself a little bit further while feeling supported and is great for the hamstrings (which also sounds as if they could do with a good deep massage)

    On my own here too, with two kids and no family. It can be very isolating. I'm only 10 weeks post op but the progress made in the last 3 weeks both physically and emotionally has been tremendous and I think the water has had an awful lot to do with that.

    Keep with it!

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    • Posted

      Thanks mattiemouse

      Started Hydro last week had 2 session one before Phsyio and one was after I found doing the hydro before Physio more effective and your right you do tend to be able to do more in the water but you do need to be me mindful of not over doing it as you feel it later.

      I agree with the deep tissue massage but the physio couldn't recommend one but did say be careful you need someone who can adapt to your needs and doesn't go to deep..

      I'm now trying to find one through word of mouth my private health insurer and my doctor..

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  • Posted

    ohhhhh YNot ur only 7 weeks??? I think your expecting too much of yourself. I had my op 5.3.15 and im still not driving or gardening etc??? Can just this week get up and down stairs in a fashion but with a handrail but I cannot get rid of the stiffness its AWFULL!!!!! ive now got a blister on the same foot with limping and theres NO way I could go back to work cos im ab shattered! Ive had NO physio they dont offer it in West Yorkshire so im having to muddle along without but im getting there!!!! I dont no how good my knee will get but il have to do the best I can? ?? Hang in there its normal to be depressed just keep on with the fluids and the ice and ul get there! !!!!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks Andrea for the advice,

      I had mine 31-3-15 I can feel your frustration not being able to not do the things you love and then not having Physio available that's even tougher, keep up the exercises yourself at least and the positive spirit..👍👍

      I only have just been able to drive as I could only just get myself in the car and then the physio bailed me up Wednesday as I didn't have clearance to drive but now have but only short distances.

      This has helped me but I only drive limited to work and some days able to work from home with admin on the PC luckily I can dial into the office.

      That's a milestone getting up stairs and can only just bit like you with rails, but I'm still on 2 crutches.

      Keep up that positive spirit, I'm sure you will get there also and after your right we can only do the best we can and you sound like you're giving it a good red hot go at it..😃

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  • Posted

    Hello Tony.

    I had TKR 3 years ago so thinking back to what it was like.

    I like you had trouble with the bend.

    I saw consultant at 6 weeks and he wanted me to be at 90 by then. I just made it but it ws an only just.

    I only made it because physio rang my GP and said I needed to be on stronger pain killers, my physio was not the kind of woman you want to mess aout with, what she says goes!!

    So I was then on more bend and more pain.

    Personally that was OK for me.

    It does get better I promise.

    Now 3 years down the line it is like having my life back.

    Hope you get on OK and that the second TKR works for you

    Regarding sleeping that was a huge problem for me to begin with. It came as a big shock because I have always been a good sleeper.

    Even now 3 years on I still wake up in the night (though not in pain anymore) which i never used to do, it seems to have altered my whole sleeping pattern.

    I do not know how you are back at work if you are not sleeping.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Praying for you

    Love Sarah xx

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  • Posted

    Sounds like you need to take the proverbial "step back" and look at the big picture. I recall from some of your earlier posts things were going pretty good early on and then really slowed down. Everybody is so very different that you have to become your own person and do what's best for you. Some things in order of importance as a general rule.

    1) are you getting proper pain relief? If not ask the Dr to review. Are you taking meds in a reg basis as prescribed or hit and miss when the pain gets worse. It is impossible to excercise properly when you are in pain. Get pain under control. SLOW DOWN the excercise routine and make sure every step is done correctly. Poor routine is almost as bad as not doing them at all.

    2) hydration. Are you drinking plenty of WATER every day. Dried out system will not stretch and the pain is always much worse in a dehydrated body. Just keep a bottle or pitcher handy and sip along all day. Limit caffine and carbonation. Along with this, eat healthy.....fruit and veggies. Stay away from sweet and overly salty foods.

    3) Rest. You have gone through a traumatic surgery and generally speaking, without much advice from the medical profession. Most surgeons whack and run, leaving you in the dark about the rest of the vprogram. A tired body won't heal. Like it or not, you may have to back off your work schedule. The absolute #1 thing is to get healed from this surgery so you can get your strength back. You can't be worrying about the other knee When this one is still bringing you down. Talk to your Dr and employer. Be candid about your situation and see what, as a team, can be done to resolve your problems.

    3) Excercise. Back off and start all over. Get the routine reassessed by the therapist. Again, make sure every motion is slow, smooth and not putting you into a "I'm going to either scream or cry" mode. Up to, but not into pain.

    Try this for a couple of weeks and see if strength and healing aren't improving the bend and straight.

    Good luck and I'm sure others on here will be very supportive to your issues. Wish I would of had this sort of forum when I started my journey over 12 years ago.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony,

    Your Doctor wouldn't know what to do with me then as I still have a lot of pain at 12 weeks post op. I have 80 degrees of bend and -30 degrees on the extension. Apparently it's unusual to struggle so much with both & at 36 years old I have lost count of how many times prior to surgery I was told 'that is the worst knee I've ever seen'....I still don't understand why a radiologist or various specialists think that's a good thing to say to someone.

    I was given 3 more weeks to try to improve the extension (that's more of a concern to them for me) before they considered surgery. I went to physio yesterday (saw a different one as mine on holiday) and was told there was nothing else they could do for me as I clearly needed not only an operation to straighten but also a manipulation. He all but told me I was wasting his time....I can cry at the drop of a hat at the moment so that's how I spent yesterday afternoon.

    I see my consultant next week so will know the plan then. They think I have muscle adhesions preventing the extension (I was told that previously so was expecting it but my normal physio has been so positive that any improvement is good, I was so shocked for this other one to tell me that it couldn't be improved). I've found if I work on the bend, this just worsens but my bend definitely has more give in it.

    I totally understand what you are going through though. I'm living with my mum as for the past year I couldn't cope on my own (a whole new chat site would be needed for my disastrous love life Lol). The loss of independence is the worst part for me. Luckily I have the most understanding bosses so prior to surgery I was able to work the odd day from home when I couldn't make it in (I live 45 mins drive away) so I've been working from home since week 6. It's been a good chance for me to get caught up on things I've been avoiding for years but I'm desperate to get back to the office.

    However, it still looks like that could be a while off for me yet as I need the other operation. At least I know it can't be as bad as the TKR.

    Even with all my additional pain though, I would take even more if it meant I could have a 'normal' leg. I think the mental battle is harder to cope with. I even had a panic attack for the first time in my life the other week when trying to get on a busy train.

    If only I'd known this would all happen back when I had my drunken fall at 18, I might of drank less....who am I kidding!! 😂

    I know I'll get there in the just feels quite far away some days x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathryn

      Who thinks about consequences at 18...the alcohol was the pain

      Seems like you have had a tough 12wks I am at -15c with extension with the 70c bend but your right you would still go through it knowing that you will have a better knee at the end and a better quality of life.

      i am 46 but mine was due to playing professional soccer (football) in my earlier years, and I think because I'm still active is what makes it tuff..

      my physio is positive which is a good sign and ubderstand what you mean by changing physio and that one pretty much giving up that's not very professional I wouldn't have thought. 

      I to have heard them say muscle adhesion when talking to my physio but she hasn't given up and is working on deep tissue massaging now. 

      Its ts really good to hear you have an understanding boss that makes the world of difference especially if you can do something's at home and keep the mind active.

      Good luck with your consultant next week you sound very strong and know what to do and I have no doubt will be better for it in the end, keep us updated.👍🏻


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    • Posted

      I know I am not as young as you (56) but my surgeon told me the reason why it is more difficult for younger patients is because of the bone density. I too have been struggling with the bend, at six weeks my bend was 41° now at week 11 I have managed to increase to 78°. Here in N. Ireland we do not have access to physio after the op so it is DIY. I panicked at six weeks and am trying everything to improve. I use a child's skateboard to help me with the flexion and the extension, using my other leg to push me back a bit further, I also push against the leg section of my recliner to help build up the muscle plus I use a mini cycle for general exercise. I am back driving and things are starting to look up.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Carol re the information around bone density I hadn't heard that but will defiantly ask my surgeon re this..

      I can't imagine not having support of a phsyio and having to do it alone that's an attribute to your self motivation well done..

      I can tell you something that will make you laugh I go to a physio who gives me a skateboard to use and you just got one from a child...well done... 😃

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    • Posted

      It's funny to hear about the skateboard for you both Tony & Carol. My consultant suggested that when he was discharging me, I thought he'd gone mental at the time but I've started using one too now. It takes a huge amount of concentration on a wooden floor!!!

      My consultant also warned me about the difficulty for younger patients (under 60) with the bone density. He also said that as muscles are naturally thicker and stronger when younger, they are more difficult to get them back to the way they should be as they adapt quicker to support the bad leg.

      The exercise I've found works well on the bend for me is to sit on an exercise bike with the seat really high. I can't get my leg to do a full revolution but I just take it as far round as it will go and push gently. It really improved this the other day so I was almost at 90 degrees for a short time at least. This made my extension decrease though so I haven't done it since.

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  • Posted

    My MUA on my 1st TKR straightened it perfectly and that's when I started to make progress.  Unfortunately, my MUA on my 2nd TKR didn't straighten it. I didn't have any pain immediately after, but I have now and walking is very difficult.  This was a bespoke knee too, whereas the other one wasn't.  My consultant thinks that the problem is excess scar tissue, so I could be facing having the knee opened up again later in the year.  I somehow think that the insurers won't be happy about funding it though.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Patsy

      You have enlighten me more with this as i have bad excess scar tissue in my quads I will be mindful if my surgeon goes down that path I will ask the question on the result knowing I have this.. I don't want it open up again no thanks.

      stay positive..👍🏻


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