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I’m going on seven weeks total knee replacement. Everything seems to be OK or at least it’s getting better. My problem now is spasms in my leg that I had the surgery on. It feels as though my knee is loose and everything stresses out because of it. I have a hard time sitting or laying or anything. Has anyone else had this? And if so, what did you do to relieve it.

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  • Posted

    "Loose" is something you talk to your surgeon about since no one can tell if it's just a "feeling" or there is an actual issue.

    Around 6-8 weeks, you should have an "alignment" x-ray done by the doc. On the image, he/she draws a straight line from your hip to your ankle...that line should pass exactly though the center of your new knee. Alignment confirmed.

    "Spasms" in your leg could be very similar to Restless Leg Syndrome where the muscles tighten up and then relax...over and over again. Although not super common, there are patients who report this. I've been on here for four years and I haven't heard anyone complain about it long term. In the short term, however, your doc might consider a muscle relaxer until you get past it. For me, I take 1mg Xanax 15 minutes before bed...has worked for my RLS for decades.

    The other thing you can do for the legs is to start your muscle rebuild program. This will address all the dead surrounding musculature that supports the knee...quads, glutes, core and more. Patients usually start some PT immediately to address the ROM issue but that work must be followed by a critical exercise program. It will enable you to walk correctly, regain your balance and eventually climb stairs alternately again like you used to do. Can't do that with a dead quadricep. Here's the program...

    Muscle Rebuild

    Also, you might experience pain elsewhere; it's all explainable...

    Other Pain

    Remember... Get rid of all your expectations and time tables...they only screw with your head. This is typically a slow, year-long recovery as you cannot push a knee. When you do, it will swell like a balloon. Don't do that. Get a pedometer and track your steps (not distance or time)...increase gradually. Your recovery is YOURS...don't compare yourself to anyone else. Yes, there are "typical" situations but statistics always apply to populations, not individuals. There will be advances, setbacks and plateaus along the way...all are normal. Good luck...


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  • Posted

    Patt, I had spasms every night Starting at about 5 weeks it would cause my leg to twitch and then involuntarily snap back bending at the knee with the heel of my foot hitting the buttock. Immense pain and my husband would have to gently straighten out my leg (as it would lock in that position) to ease the pain and then in no time it would happen again. Spasms only happened at night. leaving my knee swolen and stiff the next day This occurred every night . Surgeon said he never heard of it. go see your primary care. Physical therapy called the surgeon asking him what to do as they couldn't see progress as long as the spasms were an issue.

    Primary care prescribed ropinerole . He said it was restless leg. syndrome. However It was only the post op. leg . I suspected it had to do with Nerves etc being agitated with the surgery. The ropinerole worked like a charm took a pill as soon as the restlessness started at about 7Pm and bed time at 11 slept through the night. Started out on .25 mlg went up to 1.00 mlg for about 4 weeks and then down to .25 and off the med after 5 months. It is not that common as I found out but it does exist I found more than one site where folks had this issue.


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    • Posted

      Hi Janey, OMGoodness...cant even imagine that, you poor soul...glad it sounds like it worked out okay in the end!! What hell to go through, I hope it was worth it & you have a good knee now!!Thanks for educating us...Best Wishes!!

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  • Posted

    Don't worry I had TKR 8 years ago and i remember having these spasms. I think I was about at the same stage as you are actually. They will go eventually, I think it is fairly normal.

    Take care and keep in touch


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  • Posted

    Hi MLTMI, CHICO_M has some really great info.....yes, the looseness you describe can be a sensation, or actual instability(healing not complete, strengthening exercise required, etc...)Your Dr can tell you which!!My Dad had two TKR surgeries, he had spasms, trouble with swelling & it took an extended period, each knee was different in recovery...he used heat, ice, anti-inflammatories(use caution & ask Dr about any meds)elevation, I think he used muscle relaxant for a short time(during a certain part of physio) not something you want to use regularly, when trying to do physio, constantly relaxing the muscles is kind of counter productive but, it can help with spasm from working the muscle AFTER physio or at night. Even though it was difficult, exercising was the thing that helped the most in the long run, everything gets stretched & its a totally invasive, pretty aggressive surgery on a weight bearing body part, so TIME is a major factor, age, diet(esp. things like calcium,vit D, magnesium & basic good nutrition, also staying hydrated) and many OTHER things can effect healing. Maybe light massage of your leg muscles, even your foot/toes, buttocks, lower back....laying down a lot can cause all kinds of muscle Mom just recovered from falling down the basement stairs, she broke her femur under her kneecap in several places, having an 18in steel bar put in the leg (with a jointed knee) and she was bedridden with laying down exercises for 6mos. She is 80 but, she was so vigilant with her routine, (exercise, diet & supplements)Drs were amazed how well she did will be a year in May & she still has swelling in her knee, she rides her stationary bike and uses topical Diclofinac/Voltaren(which is wonderful, it works great and no side effects like oral meds & if not available OTC, it can be by RX or be compounded in a pharmacy), elevation, heat or ice & aspirin(Aspercreme topical...etc... can be helpful if it is too hard on your stomach)DO NOT USE ON INCISIONS, W/O ASKING DR.....of course her INJURY is totally different from TKR but, you need to be kind to yourself & healing isn't something you can rush, EVERY BODY... AND EVERY BODY PART, IS DIFFERENT....Try treating your symptoms for now...ANYTHING that concerns you should be mentioned to your DR(you aren't nagging or being obsessive, you're a patient until you're totally healed & maybe longer, it's their job) and don't want to do anything to set you back, effect healing or cause issues long term!! Hope you have a speedy & full recovery....BEST WISHES💒🎶🐾🌈🍀☮💞♾

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