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The numbers in the bend and straight leg are driving me nuts. 

I started Therpy in Utah for three weeks with being told I need a bend of 100 before I left for Arizona for the winter. I got to 104 and was pushing hard to get to 120, what they want. My straight was good from the hospital so they didn't worry about it. When we measure I would pull back with the green straps and they would give the last push with their hand, and it would hurt. I get to Therpy in Arizona and my straight was at 8 they say and want it to be the most important to get to 0. We measured and I was 8 and bend of 99 but they don't want me to pull with the strap and they don't push its all my foot and leg. I am three weeks here and am now 2 and 111 and he tells me today that my bend may be all I will get. I am so confused. All I have heard is I need to be at 120 to play tennis or pickleball so 111 is not going to cut it yet he also said the average bend is 114 and the sports thing would be how much strength I build in my legs together. iM at the point I don't know who to believe or what to believe, or how to get to the 120.

I stretch several times a day and exercise twice a day with a walk or pool time added.

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  • Posted

    Hi Shirley!

    Try the stationary bike. With it you get lots of good leg strengthening, AND it is VERY HELPFUL in developing a good bend.

    My physical therapist has me do six minutes on the bike to start my session, and then we are on to stretching, balance, more stretching, deep knee bends using the Total Gym, straight leg lifts with weights on my ankle, sitting on the edge of the table and using my left leg to gently bend my right surgical leg into a bend while gravity helps, more stretching, side leg lifts, and then lateral "inchworms" across the floor and back several times.

    I am five weeks post op with KNEE #2 and 20 weeks post op with knee#1.

    I do a lot of hamstring work when I am on the couch or in bed. Tightening the quad muscle of the thigh is especially helpful to strengthen the leg and helps with straightening, too.

    Another good bending exercise is stepping up on the first step with your surgical leg, holding onto the railing and leaning into the stretch. I hold the stretch for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat three times, trying to deepen the stretch each time. Then I move on about my day. Doing these exercises throughout the day makes it easier than trying to cram them all in at once.

    If you have swelling it will be harder to get the bend you want. An anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen helps with inflammation as does ELEVATING your legs and also icing them. Rest is important, as is keeping yourself hydrated and eating well.

    You will arrive at the level of bend and straightening that your body is ready for WHEN YOUR BODY IS READY! There are MANY variables with knee surgery!

    Stay positive!

    It will happen!

    Don't overdo it and hurt yourself! That is not fun!

    Let us know how it goes, OK?

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  • Posted

    Hi Shirley,

    It does sound like you are getting conflicting information. I think you should contact your surgeon and ask him. Hopefully you should get a definitive answer. It seems you have been doing a lot of travelling about. I'm in the UK so I am not aware of the mileage entailed. Also query with him playing tennis, the new joint isn't as robust as the one you had....if you fell or landed on the knee.sad

    I am 10 weeks post TKR and have the full bend 0-120 but knee is sore but not painful. Keep up with the exercises especially the hydro pool, I found that magic. Good luck.


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  • Posted

    This is a difficult one. The point is you need to be able to bend but also to straighten as well. If you can just bend, your knee will let you down when you are walking.

    I had TKR 3 years ago and just managed to get to 90 for my 6 weeks appointment with consultant. Not sure what the bend is now, but it feels OK.

    Keep in touch


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  • Posted

    Unless there is some special reason why they say that 111 is all the bend you are likely to get, it seems a very strange thing to tell you.  I kept improving my bend for at least six months. . .once the swelling went down, I got a sudden improvement and have ended up at 120. I would have liked more, but not prepared for the amount of pain it would entail!  I agree that pulling with the strap is not necessarily the best way to go, although I think it also has its use.  Mostly I believe the important thing is to use the muscles to pull the leg back to improve the bend, but that extra little push at the end is also useful for forcing it a bit.   I would doubt that the averge bend is 114 . . I would think most people make it to a better bend. I don't consider mine to be that good at 120, but at my age and level of activity it's fine for me.  The only other thing I would say is that twice a day is not very often to exercise.  I was doing it many times a day . .a little, and often, when watching the tv, when on the computer . . .Don't despair. . . if you work hard at it, unless there is a special reason, you should be able to reach 120 .


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