Post TKR flexion

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi! Today is 3 weeks since I had a left TKR. I'm doing very well pain wise and can bend to a full right angle an slightly more once stretched a few times. I can also walk upstairs normally with a little effort. However, I've noticed that within a short space of time of doing my flexing exercises (which are very uncomfortable /painful) I can feel everything around my knee tightening and "shortening " again. I'm talking literally within 5 minutes or so, even if I continue to walk around afterwards. I do bend my knee and walk as normally as possible but can still feel this tightening. It's as if everything I did had no effect at all. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm just worried about developing scar tissue that'll need dealing with.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    hello, i am under the impression that everyone gets scar tissue some more than others and it does affect the tightening and stiffness. I am 6 weeks in and it does get worse , exercises and ice packs do help. No one really prepares you for this but it is the normal healing process.....

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply. I'm pretty sure that after 6 weeks things are supposed to have got better and not worse. Maybe you should check with your consultant to make sure you dont have excess scar issue which would make it worse? Hoping you improve soon.

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  • Posted

    I am 14 weeks left TKR. While I have no pain in the knee so to speak. This tightness is driving me crazy. But I've come to accept its part of the healing and can last sometimes up to up 12 to 18 months. Everyone's journey is different but at my rate, it seems I'm in for the long haul. I have 126deg flexion and 0 deg extension so I'm happy with my ROM.but man, this trye tube wrapped like a tourniqet artound me knee is not what I sihned up for 😭. When will it end 🤔

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I already have 0 degree extension although not sure about flexion other than I can create a right angle on bending my knee, and after stretching/warming up can get it back a wee bit further. I'm assuming the 100+ degree flexion is measured over the top of the knee? I thought the tightness was supposed to get easier or less as time goes by though? Am hoping so as my right knee needs doing as well and I'm not looking forward to having that one done whilst still having tightness etc with the left one - Gulp..........

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  • Posted

    You seem to have made very rapid progress in terms of going upstairs etc. Do you think maybe you have overdone things?

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    • Posted

      I did check whether or not I should be doing it when I had my first physio appointment and was told it was OK if I felt OK doing it. I discovered I could do it by accident as I forgot to do the good leg bad leg thing and just stepped up normally. Certainly wouldn't try it going down stairs for some time yet!!!

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    • Posted

      I am now over 5 months post right tkr. in my 4th week my home physiotherapist helped me go upstairs properly. It was hard, but i persevered . In my fifth week he helped me go downstairs normally and i have no problem now with stairs. At my five week check-up my surgeon was very happy when i said we gave 17 stairs at home and said i should use them for exercise, not only on a needs basis. i still find some days are easier than others. ,I go up and down at the pace my knee tells me.

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  • Posted

    We all develop scar tissue in the joint right after surgery. PT and the home exercises help break it down. How much scar tissue you form depends on your DNA...some people generate lots and others none or little. There is no way to predict how much you will have to deal with.

    The typical goal is 0-degrees straight and +120-degrees bent. Getting to +130 or more is pretty common as you keep flexing and exercising. I have not heard of a doc or PT suggesting greater than +140 since we don't know the physical limits of the mechanical device. You can as your doc for the make and model number of your implant and its suggested range. Else call the manufacturer. In any case, you might not want to push it and affect the lifespan of the device. Heels to butt as in yoga requires +161 of flexion. Not sure you want to go there, just to be on the safe side.

    Stiffness is endemic to ALL TKRs. It starts to loosen up months down the road and you will most probably still feel some at a year out. Docs will tell you that the stiffness can linger to 18 months. The more active you keep the knee, the less stiffness you will have. The sensation goes away very, very gradually so you can't really measure it. One day you'll realize that you haven't felt it for weeks. Light bulb moment. However...

    Long-term TKRers will tell you that stiffness will definitely return even years down the road if you don't keep the knee active. This is a lifelong recovery...surprise!!!!!

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  • Posted

    I'm 8 weeks post op and feel the same though it does fluctuate during the day. I find a hot bath with epsom salts at the beginning or end of the day is very soothing and helps to loosen everything up.

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