So how are you 6 months after TKR?

Posted , 11 users are following.

I would be interested to know how people are longer term,e.g after 6 months. Most of the accounts are for shorter term recovery issues - so how did it turn out?

For my part it is generally a success  story. I am 66 and had OA for at least 20 years prior to th op following cartilage and other sporting issues. In the end legs were bowed and could only bend to 90 and not fully straighten. Increasing weakness and pain especially standing or walking but could sometimes be pain free when just sitting around.

So after 6 months my leg is both straighter and less bowed. Almost pain free, especially improved standing and walking. So big improvements to lifestyle. The main disappointment is still only able to bend to 90, when it just stops, although not painful unless pushed beyond that. This means that descending stairs properly is not on, can't ride a bike, getting out of chairs still need to push up with hands and difficult to move leg out of the way on trains. My surgeon says that nothing can be done about this downside. Lately it sometimes feels a bit heavy and stiff but nothing that bothering. I should add that I still am hindered by the left knee which I will  have done in the near future and as this is now worse than the operated knee there should be further overall benefits. (This was formerly the better of the two)

In your account can you please say your age (unless you don't want to of course!) and how it was before because we all have different starting points hence expectations.

I look forward to hearing how you are.


1 like, 10 replies

Report / Delete

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I turn 60 in February and had my double knee replacements March 24, 2016. So 10 months out and doing well. I was right on schedule with progress even with both done. have zero straight and 125+ bend both knees. I had osteoarthritis in both knees. Lived with it for 10 years. Became bone on bone, worse in left. Limped towards the end..Almost needed cane to get around. Still get stiff and sore but sooooo much better and the pain is different. I have been lax with excercises and I pay for it. Need to kick myself in the rear and get motivated! Plan to really enjoy coming spring and long walks and motorcycle rides.Will take a few more months for all the other activities that take bending alot but hopefully soon! Good luck all!
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello Dave, just hit 6 months! I am 61, had all my cartileges in one knee removed at age 18 after a skiing accident, so osteo-arthritis for years and years.  Constant pain, knee giving way, certainly for 20 odd years often haven't wanted to walk around the supermarket. Finally considered old enough and healthy enough to have the TKR (having lost 5 stone), and went ahead in July.  Won't go into the awfulness of the whole process - mostly down to tramadol psychosis - but as soon as I stopped the painkillers, everything has been very positive.

    So, where am I now - almost perfect extension, bend still restricted but I can turn an exercise bike around (couldn't hope to do that for 15 years).  Up and down stairs 'normally'.  Get very stiff occasionally, mostly in the night, but I find doing a set of exercises releases it.  Some pain, but not enough to take paracetamol.

    Walking is amazing - I can do it! But not very far, limited by my lack of fitness rather than the knee itself.  So, on to the stage of trying to build up muscles and general fitness - moving countries hasn't helped the establishment of an exercise regime but on the other hand I couldn't have coped with the move before.

    So in summary, masses of room for improvement still, but the best decision I made. Not perfect, but I feel I have my life back.

    Wishing you well and lots more recovery


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Dave!

    I'm 65 and began having pretty bad pain about five years prior to my surgeries.

    I had both knees replaced in 2015 about three and a half months apart.

    Outside of the VERY ANNOYING swelling, having a left leg that weighed 1000 pounds for weeks and weeks, and hating dragging around a walker everywhere, I really felt pretty good even after surgery. Surgical pain FOR ME was so much less than the pain I had prior to surgery.

    I was walking around the house every hour the day I came home from the hospital because it felt better to move than to sit. When I got tired, I rested. Some days I had many aches throughout my body due to arthritis. On those days I took extra Ibuprofen, made hot tea, and iced both knees while I wrapped up in several afghans.

    Steps required a GREAT deal of concentration. Lifting my legs was challenging. PT helped tremendously and gave me so many ideas of how to strengthen my quad muscles, learn to balance well and use stretching to guard myself from the awful stiffness that can set in quickly.

    I was tending my garden at about a month. I was VERY SLOW, but I did it. I took breaks as needed and switched to a cane after I was getting annoyed that I couldn't carry anything while using a walker. The focus on my garden and my yard work distracted me from pain, and I also got a great tan! I kept hydrated and rested when I needed to rest. Putting my legs up every so often helped with swelling.

    All my moving around, PT, bending, stretching, balancing helped me prepare for my second surgery which went better than my first.

    All told I had six months of PT with my two TKRs.

    I felt good by Christmas when my left knee was about six months post surgery and my right knee was two and a half months post surgery. I still thought about my knees a lot, but swelling was under control and I felt MUCH better than I had for a number of Christmases. I was glad that our youngest son hosted Christmas Eve at his place, though. Bringing one casserole sure beat hosting and cooking for 12!

    This past summer when I was a year post-op with #1 knee and 9 months post-op with #2 knee, my husband and I went to four political rallies. For the second one there were no seats from the time we were in line at 3:00pm until the rally was over at 11:00pm. That was EIGHT HOURS of standing! My back was KILLING ME😵, but my KNEES DID NOT HURT! Prior to surgery my ability to stand was about ten minutes. This was a HUGE IMPROVEMENT!

    Wishing you much success as you continue to recover!💗

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Dave,

    Not a TKR but I had a partial knee replacement, right knee, medial compartment on 6 Nov 2015 then aged 71. OA in the medial compartment only.

    ?Prior to that I tore my right knee cartilage in 2000 indirectly from a sporting injury years earlier. Cartilage removed by keyhole surgery at which time they found the onset of OA.

    No other signs of OA.

    ?Surgery for partial was akin to butchery but I just got on with it, did my exercises as demanded. Also had a massage therapist work on the knee and leg prior to surgery and also working on the incision line to prevent scar tissue forming. Driving my car at 8 weeks, back at work driving a bus at 11 weeks. No pain from either OA or from surgery.

    Surgeon doesn't want to see me now for another 4 years.

    ?Knee doesn't feel same as the original, bit of tightness just under knee cap but can still do all that I could before. Kneeling is very uncomfortable. So I don't kneel. I can walk the South West Coastal path down here in Cornwall, no sweat, up hills and down and can handle the rugged uneven paths.



    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Forgot to say prior to surgery I had constant lower back pain and pain from right sacroilliac joint ..... thanks to the skill of the surgeon realigning my skeletel geometry I have no pain from there at all. A bonus.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Dave, 7 months have past since my left TKR. I'm 41 years old. My history is I have had brittle bones disease since birth. Multiple fractures throughout life. Was in car accident in 1997, which resulted in serious injury to left knee, multiple fractures to that knee and leg. Which left me with a serious disfigured leg, pain and walking with a limp. I then was in another car accident in 2000, (I was not driving either time, just extremely unlucky). And again suffered multiple fractures throughout my whole body. Died several times and in a coma. Lucky to be here today. Finally at the age of 40, was referred to a specialist hospital here in the UK, after being told I have bone on bone arthritis in my left knee. Finally given a total knee replacement. Unfortunately, was at hospital in december for check up. I now need scans on knee and tibia, there is a suspected fracture in my tibia at the tip of implant, I have loads of pain there weight baring. After ultra scan yesterday was told I have something called vasculitis around the knee. I have a nuclear medicine bone scan on Tuesday. Then I finally see my consultant on 6th March to discuss results. I can bend my knee to 105 degrees, fully straighten, walk a short distance . I can not do stairs properly, still one foot at a time. However I only had 4 half hour sessions of physio after my knee replacement, which I believe was not enough. My tissue around the knee grinds and pops and is sore at times. Not painful a bit sore and uncomfortable. My tibia is painful. I don't regret have it done at all, as it's still early days. I still walk with a slight limp I think that's habit though. As no one has recently educated me on walking correctly. I hopefully will get there in time. I hope this has helped. All the best to you with recovery. Michelle

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Dave, i i   Am now 61/2 months post TKR and I feel that i am doing Ok . I can walk quite a distance without any problems and can go up and down stairs without too much problem, depending on the steepness or depth of the stairs. As regards riding a bike I don't know as I haven't had a go since operation. I have had trouble with both my knees since being about 5 years old ( I am now 67) as the both used to dislocate with my knee cap swinging round too the side of my leg. Very painful. This happened quite regularly mostly my right knee, so at the age of 17 I had an operation where the Surgeon screwed with 3 nails my knee cap in place. That has worked (touch wood) ever since. My left knee has just generally disintegrated over the years till I just couldn't walk with it any more, so hence the knee replacement. At first I thought it was sheer hell !!!! and wished I hadn't had it done but I can honestly say from the last couple months I now think I am glad I have had it done and can hopefully do most of everything I want or need to do, so I would recommend it to anyone that needs it .

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Dave. I had LTKR on 29th April 2016. So almost 9 months out. My knee trouble began in Jan 2014. I had a hysterectomy in Nov. 2013 along with other procedures in that area. Recovery was slow but I couldn't wait to go out and move about. In Jan 2014 I spent 4 hours in a large shopping centre and noticed pain in my knee coming on. Attended Ortho surgeon who did arthroscopy that May and a cortisone injection later that year but still in pain. I was bone on bone and had no choice but to have a replacement. Recovery has been good and aim reasonably fit. Not as fit as I was pre surgeries though. I'm 67 and have now got heel pain which is from dropped arch as a result of change in my gait (same leg). With gel and and physio hopefully this will improve. Can't kneel or do yoga due to floor exercises. Alas the ups and downs of knee replacement. Everyone has a different experience though. The knee is numb on the left outside area but surgeon said feeling will come back and recovery is 6 to 12 months from the surgery. I see him again in 2 years. Take care

    Nuala from Dublin, Ireland

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted


    im 58 and going on 5 months post op i am walking well and have no problem getting upstairs or down

    like yourself i suffered from sports injuries and after a couple of months i was worried if i had done the right thing but as time goes on i feel better every day.

    good luck with your recovery.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hey Dave, had Tkr in March 2016. I am a slow healer. By day's end my knee is pretty much done and ready to rest. My bend is only 105/0. Which is much better then several months ago. I've been told should go get 2nd opinions, soooo tired of doctors, I'll get there. This surgery is brutal for those of us who don't do so well. But I still have great hope. It has affects many people not only physically but mentally as well, pain has a funny way of messing with your head, u can head that off at the pass.  

    I'm now am dealing with back n neck problems n some siiatica. Goin to neurologist to see what's up with that??? I'm just praying 2017 will give me a little less pain n a little more stamina.

    I'm 61 year old female. Also had lower back fusion about 12 years ago and both hips replaced 10 yrs ago, probably ties all together??🤔🤔 .

    There is a very wise man on this forum by the name of Chico Marx. Has his own blog on Tkr experiences, maybe he can reassure you. Remember we all heal differently n in our own time. Best of good health to u, good🍀🍀 prayers blowing your way 🌬🌬🌬 n keep up the exercises very important to get those quads strong when it's time to work on 🏊🏊🏊 🚴🚴🚴 👼👼👼

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up