Muscle weaknesz

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I'm nearly 16 weeks po from patellafemoral replacement (new plastic knee cap and metal trochlea). For 11 years prior to op (and because I was considered too young, I'm 56 now) I wore a knee support, which essentially did the job of my muscles.

My knee on the outside is healing nicely, and I understand inside it can take longer, but I do have lots of muscle massage. I cycle on my exercise bike, use my stepper and try to walk normally (easier said than done when all I can think about is the lump of metal/dead weight in the middle of my leg!). I'm also attending weekly physio sessions.

My question anyone else out there suffering muscle wastage, what exercices are you doing to "wake up" the muscles, how many weeks are you post op. At 16 weeks is it normal to be struggling like I am?

I was told my recovery period would be shorter than PKR or TKR......not sure I should have believed them!

Some days my knee feels much stronger, better than before op, but on other days its very "wobbly"........and the tightness that usually returns every evening is horrendous. Anyone got any tips? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam,

    I'm 36 and had a complex TKR approx 21 weeks ago. I am scheduled to have an adesiolysis to remove muscle adhesions in just over 2 weeks. One of the main problems I've had is that my muscle mass has deteriorated considerably over the last few years. My leg has been in a fixed bent position so my muscles haven't had to work.

    Although I'm not able to recover fully until my next surgery, I have been able to work on the muscle strength and can noticeably see and feel the difference.

    I obviously make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water a day so that the muscles are hydrated. If not, they will never recover.

    I make sure to stretch out the muscles before starting my exercises. I then use the exercise bike, massage and use a resistance band and some ankle weights. I repeat all of this three times a day. I also make sure that I spend time contracting the muscles each day to feel them moving.

    Unfortunately I don't think there is a quick fix. I was told that younger muscles are more difficult to cut during surgery as they're thicker and stronger. It is generally more painful as they heal.

    You have deteriorated over years like me, 11 years worth of wasting will not mend in weeks.

    Just keep going and build up each day. Be careful that you don't push yourself too far as you don't want to tear anything. It will improve.


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    • Posted

      Kathryn, thank you for this. Only thing I don't do at home is the resistance band, although I did do this for first time at physio last week. It's very disheartening to have days when you can feel some improvement, followed by days when you feel like you've gone backwards in your progress. Blimey, this is some journey!

      Good luck with your adesiolysis procedure, hope it's successful.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam,

    I am 18 weeks post op bilateral TKR. I was also bow legged, now they are both straight as an arrow. All good. I've quickly learned no two knee recoveries are the same. My right us like nothing happened. My left which had more damage including more muscle atrophy is healing much slower. Apparently muscle has memory, and they don't like being mucked around. The result is pain from muscles and tendons. It is getting better but a lot of rehab and time are required. I understand you had a partial, but I don't think these surgeons always give us realistic expectations. Just keep doing your exercises and give it time.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam, have a look at the discussion "Excercise after TKR". It might be of help to you.

    Best of luck, Denise from Oz

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