My leg extension is getting worse

Posted , 5 users are following.

Some of you are aware that I have been having problems getting a good bend and I have been working my socks off to improve this over the past few weeks. I have managed to increase the bend from 41° at six weeks to 77° at just over nine weeks, problem is that I am now having problems getting my leg straight and experiencing pain behind my knee when doing the extension exercises.

I am doing all exercises on my sheet plus I am using my mini cycle and skateboard three times a day. Any suggestions please?

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  • Posted

    I have the same problem. My leg is 30 for extension and 80 for bend. I may need surgery to straighten my leg as I have muscle adhesions apparently. I have been told several times that if you improve one the other tends to suffer.

    The exercises you've noted all tend to help the bend more as far as I'm aware.

    The pain behind the knee is the muscle, or at least it is in my case. Try massaging the area quite hard. The more you massage, the more it will help loosen up the muscles. Also try heat to loosen muscles.

    For exercises try hanging the leg off the bed. Push down with muscles to try to straighten. Also lie fully on the bed and push leg down into a pillow. If you can get someone to help you, get them to push the foot towards the bed and hold for a count of ten. Repeat several times.

    Ice and take ibuprofen afterwards to relieve any pain.

    Good luck x

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  • Posted

    Maybe you could back off a bit, put a little more rest in your daily routine. Give the leg (all of it, not just the knee) a good massage a couple times a day. Put some moist heat ( i use a hot towel inside of large dry towel . this keeps the heat on longer and prevents burning the 'skin) for 20 mins before massaging. Use a good oil. Be sure and hydrate before , during and after excercises. A dried out body just wont stretch.
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    • Posted

      It is probably an age thing, turning into an old prune. I have some heat packs and will try wrapping in damp towel and I will definitely do some more massage, I normally just do the knee area.
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  • Posted

    Luckily I was always OK on the straightening but I couldn't get the bend - though I did get more than you because I was up to 90. All the exercises in the world are not going to do it if the adhesions are really strong. My therapist knew this and told me not to waste anymore visits (I had a limited number available with my insurance). The surgeon knew it also and told me I would have to wait for 12 weeks and then he would manipulate it (so that the scar tissue was fully formed and would not bleed). It really did the trick. It was very unpleasant, but what about a TKR isn't very unpleasant. I was worried that it hadn't worked. But it did work, and now, at 6 months, it's just fine, though not tolly pain free yet.

    So I would say, stop killing yourself with the exercises and ask about a manipulation. I actually didn't do any exercises between 9 and 12 weeks while I was waiting for mine. Still had to take the pain pills though.

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    • Posted

      Hi Joan, I have already spoken to my surgeon regarding this which prompted the push in exercise. I am waiting for an appointment for 2 weeks of intense physio to try to increase the bend further before they make a decision on a manipulation. It all gets very confusing when reading the posts on here, I hear of patients with over 90 bend being threatened with manipulation at 6/7 weeks and my surgeon is telling me that they would be happy with 90° at a year! I am not happy with that kind of result as I am still only 56, work full time and want to be as fit as possible. On the plus side, I rarely have to take any pain meds.
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    • Posted

      Well we are certainly different, but that's no surprise. Most people on this forum seem to react differently to things. I was in horrible pain until the scar tissue got broken. My surgeon said that a manipulation before 12 weeks would cause more bleeding which would lead to more scarring, which is why I had to wait. 

      In my opinion a 90 degree bend is just not adequate to lead a normal life. You certainly can't go downstairs properly, and it's even a trial to get dressed. I think it's also fairly well established that if you don't get the bend in the first few months, you will never get it. 

      It seems though that what the surgeons believe depends on which country you are in and where they went to medical school. I doubt that any of them though, faced with a lifetime of 90 degrees bend, would tolerate that.

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