Problems going upstairs

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi everybody

I am a 71 year old lady, having had a left knee TKR just over five months ago.  I am able to walk well, drive, use my static exericise bike and generally, I am very pleased with the way everything has gone.  It is lovely to be able to walk without limping!  However, although I can manage walking downstairs using alternate steps reasonably OK, I find that going upstairs is far more of a problem.   I have tried using a crutch on the opposite side to my operated knee to help but I still feel that I am struggling.  I can go upstairs one step at a time (leading with my good leg)  absolutely no problem.  I tried one day a few weeks back working through the pain and going up and down stairs all day using alternate steps but I then ended up with a sore knee which troubled me when I was simpy walking and so, I obviously did too much.  I am trying to do two or three steps every time I go upstairs now but I still feel that I am not progressing with this. Has anybody had the same problem or can give any advice or is it simply a question of  time?  I know that somebody has posted on here that we reach a 'plateau' and then progress after a while without realising it.  I think I may have reached a 'plateau' with going upstairs!

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    hi dot wow how well are you doing? ?? I am 56 8 weeks post op and how strange is this??? I can go slowly upstairs in a normal fashion but NO way could I go downstairs normally lol so good on you. we all do things in our own pace at diff stages so dont worry im sure ul get there. x
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  • Posted

    My problem with stairs came down to confidence. I went back to the beginning of exercises and stepped up one step and down again & did this everytime I went past the stairs then it was 2 steps. Im now 7mths + 2 days and going well
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  • Posted

    Sounds like you are really ahead in the game overall. Its always amazing how there seems to be one hiccup in the journey. Are yo leading with the good leg going down as well as up? Do you have a railing or Bannister? If so, you that as your stabilizing method instead of the crutch. One other thing, try leading with the bad leg going down with the crutch on the good.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your advice.  I have a stair rail on the left hand side going upstairs.  My TKR was left knee so the stair rail is on the same side as my operated knee - that is why I was attempting to use the crutch at the other side to give extra stability(as well as using the strair rail at the left hand side).  I am managing to come downstairs OK - it still does not feel perfectly normal but I am using alternate steps instead of one step at a time.  I did manage to go up some outside steps when I visited my daughter a couple of weeks ago, the difference being that they were far more shallow than the stairs at home.  There was also a rail in the middle which I could use with my right hand to help support my ascent.  I was quite pleased that I had managed them though. Just need to get the extra leverage at home. 
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    • Posted

      Just like to say how brave you are having this done and coping so well. I only had key hole surgery and find it painful and stiff. Good luck to you for the future Bev
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  • Posted

    Hey Dot.  Sounds like all in all things are going well.  I am 57 13 wks and doing pretty well.  Stairs are still a bit of an issue going down.  I too have a place with a good handrail where I can practice and that is helping me.  I think it has a lot to do with loss of quad strength and that needs a lot of work. How is your bend?  I know if I step down and it is a little further than I thought I may get some pain and then get a little gun shy.
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    • Posted

      I had not thought about loss of quad strength!  My bend is not brilliant - it is just over 110 degrees.  I can straighten my knee OK, athough I had a lot of work to do on this, especially at night time, as my knee would stiffen up in a bent position when lying down and then I would have to lie on my back and straighten my leg before being able to go back to sleep again.  I am still doing the exerices to try and improve my bend but it does not seem to be improving.  However, it was poor before the operation so no change there!  It is easy to lose confidence when any pain returns isn't it?  I shall work on the quads!
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    • Posted

      I was about to post that I thought quad strength might be an issue when I read down to this post. It is the quad that takes all the weight when you step up. I can go up (I'm 6 months TKR and 68) without problems but I feel it in the quad on every step.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments.  I am doing extra quad exercises at the moment to try and help with going upstairs.   I do feel that the operation was well worth going through as I struggled for eight years limping long and trying different painkillers, knee braces, creams, etc.  I can now feel that things will only improve rather than the other way round! It will be interesting to see how we all are in another six months. 
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