Recovery and progress following a total knee replacement

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4 weeks today since TKR surgery. The knee can be very 'tight' at times (almost all the time) even after flexing & straightening exercises. Flexibility is improving week by week, little by little. Pain relief is now 500mg Naproxin after breakfast & evening meal and 500mg Paracetamol, sometimes 2, sometimes just 1 - depending what's planned and what I need to get up to.

For at least couple weeks almost every time I wake-up my leg goes very tight (from calf to groin) just like a cramp and can be very painful, specially the knee, typically lasting few seconds up to couple of minutes. At first I assumed it's the pain waking me up although feels like pain hits immediately after waking. No difference how I lay, which is mostly on my back. Leg doesn't feel cool in any way so I guess blood circulation is OK. If there is a known remedy to avert waking up with this pain I will appreciate knowing, please? Thank you.

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  • Posted

    At only 4 weeks. TKR is always subject to a personal healing experience. Taking pain meds helps and get thru Pt especially.m

    take your time let the muscles and tendons heal. We all heal at different relates. It you have any severe swelling or reddness r warning the dr has given then see him immietely. 

    Get eat well soon.

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  • Posted

    Early days. Baby steps. 13 weeks post op. In retrospect I know now that at 4 weeks I should have just manage the pain - take pain meds religiously and ice every 2 hours (also religiously). And follow home excercises no matter how painful.

    Do you set your alarm clock for pain meds at night? That was the only way I could avoid waking up in pain and even then I did a lot of the time because typically the pain is still pretty severe at 4 weeks.

    The stiffness- still have it every single morning and if I don't move enough. That will also get better but from what I have seen from other patients it can last to a certain extent for the first year.

    Don't worry too much about anything else right now than managing your pain, ice and exercise. This will be the core rules to follow your entire recovery,

    Hope you get relief soon and feel better. No better place than to vent on here- we know what you are going through. Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Good info. Thanks for sharing your experience. Must admit towards end of week 5 the 'cramps' are becoming less strong and starting to achieve better results with the PT exercises. I also believe switching from 3 x 400mg Ibuprofen/day to 2 x 500mg Naproxin/day seems to have helped. (I made change during week 4 when experiencing nasty abdominal & back pains -  OK since). 500g (1 or 2) Paracetamol is 'on demand' depending what's planned for the day. I quit taking Codeine soon as I could (for obvious reasons) and Lactulose soon began tasting progressively 'orrible!

      The realisation is "My expectations to achieve a more prompt recovery were too high" so TKN no.2 leg is going to have to wait several months/back-end of the year, to give me enough time next winter to recover. Something to look forward to! At least I'll know what to expect next time (without looking forward to it).

      Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Amen. I thought I'd be back at work in 6 weeks. Crazy. Recovery Bell Curve is astounding. Some folks salsa at 6 weeks and others like me still on a walker at 13 weeks. But one day at a time does it. !

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  • Posted

    I am 11weeks post op and only this last week have felt a little better. Keep doing the exercise work through the pain. The stiffness drives you mad i know. Hope you feel better soon. Take care.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing your experience. My reply to Milla2017 is also for you. Whilst I am not wanting to wish quality time away I am looking forward to getting through the next few weeks.
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    • Posted

      You will i use to feel the same. I have to have my other one done, at the beginning i did say that iwas not going to have it done. But now I am looking at having it done. Chin up
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  • Posted

    Hi I'm 7 weeks post TKR and got my follow up appointment with consultant later today.

    After week 6 for me the pain got a lot better but the stiffness still drives me crazy. My ROM isn't as I'd like it so I know I need to crack on with my physio as much as possible. At times it just feels like there's no way this knee is going to bend any more as it's so stiff and tight. Hope my consultant says everything is as it should be by my stage.

    The pain does get easier I prmomise. 3 days ago I stopped taking my Tramadol and just take Paracetamol now whenever I need to. Some days it's more than others.

    Get well vibes coming your way

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  • Posted

    Gentle stretching will help. Legs out in front, lean in. Leg hang over bed will stretch quad and hip flexors. Google stretches. Find ones that work for you. Dont rush the stretch. 10sec or 2min whatever feels good- and it will! My body now craves the stretches. Feels like the muscles get to "breathe". Maybe i get to breathe. I never realized how tight i was and not taking deep slow breaths because of all the pain. Laying on top of covers of bed, just breathe, the stretch. Like a cat! Lol. You'll see. (Nov 16 bilateral pkr was my surgrry)

    :D

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