Stiffness no easier 4 weeks post TKR

Posted , 9 users are following.

I'm 4 weeks post TKR and would like to ask all you good people out there-: when I do my bending exercises etc at home and holding onto chair back I can bend knee moderately, however I just cannot transfer that bend when I walk outside. It suddenly feels like a peg leg and bends less and with so much pain. Also I've noticed that whilst walking, every once in a while my bad knee suddenly collapses from under me just like it did before my surgery, when i was still walking bone on bone. Thankfully I still use one crutch for outside walking, more for security which keeps me upright when this happens.

Also when I use the static bike for 15-20 mins I seem to be in more pain the next day. Is any of this familiar to TKR sufferers.

I spend approx 15-20 mins 3 times a day doing my rehab exercises. Is this enough or should I be going a lot more. Do you fellow forum friends spend more time on them. I would really love to hear from you.

1 like, 17 replies

Report / Delete

17 Replies

  • Posted

    Before I went back to work I would use the bike every 2hours , suggested by PT. I have been told that I cannot use the bike too much, and soreness is to be expected.

    I have not experienced the knee collapsing though. I suggest you contact your doctor about that.

    I would exaggerate my bend when walking.

    Good luck!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I forgot yo also mention that I did my exercises a minimum of 5x a day.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    At four weeks it sounds like you are doing quite well! I know what you mean about transferring the bend to "real" situations like walking outside!

    Something that helped me a lot was walking A LOT inside the house using my CANE. As I walked, I focused on pushing off with my heel and rolling my foot naturally. Walking with BARE FEET helped me FEEL how I was walking, and I focused on TECHNIQUE more than any length of time walking or any distance.

    At PT I use the bike for just six minutes and then move on to stretching. Try that to see if it helps.

    At home I stretch as I do things around the house and outside. I try to work in various movements naturally as I go on with my day.

    An example of one of my "issues" was not lifting my legs normally as I walked. I was doing a lot of straight-leg walking and shuffling (according to my PT and my family!) I used my walnut-covered back yard as my training facility! I would walk around, pick up sticks in prep for mowing the lawn and later on walk around watering then eventually raking the walnuts. I couldn't walk without lifting my feet a bit to clear the walnuts.

    My walnuts were my helpers in getting me to walk more normally BY NECESSITY!

    Maybe think of more ways to transfer similar exercise movements to natural movements you do throughout the day. I know that helped ME and let me get in more practice ON THE JOB!!!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am no expert so please excuse me BUT I am puzzled as to why people use the exercise bike so vigorously following tkr. Surely this is bound to cause problems. Please do not jump o me. I am geuinely puzzled , not critical honestly. Jean xxx
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am 10 weeks after my op and i was the same but now i can bend it when walking a little bit better some times my knee gives way as well hopefuly things will get better xx
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Sounds like you are doing a good job of exercising.  You might want to get one of those four pronged canes.  It really helps with stability.  The stiffness will be there much longer than one would like, but exercising the way you are will really help you.  Not sure about the time on the bike. 
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    If your knee is collapsing from under you you also need to do straightening exercises as well as bending.

    So you need to be able to bend the knee sufficiently but also straighten it when necessary if that makes sense.?

    4 weeks post op is still really early days.

    Do not give up.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sarah 87162

      Before my op 4 wks ago, I had been walking (for 4 yrs) with a bent knee which made me limp. Therefore I am very worried that I will never be able to undo those 4 years of bad walking and straighten my knee. The physios advised me do bending but to also concentrate more on extension exercises, which I am.

      I do lots of sitting on floor with toes flexed and a band under my foot and pulling band up whilst pulling my quads into the carpet.

      But I still can't improve my straightening. When sat on carpet with legs straight out, I can slide my fingers behind my knee (if you understand me). There's still quite a big gap behind my knee. I don't know what else I can do. Not seeing my Physio for another week. Help!!!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      At 13 weeks post op they could still slide their fingers under my knee! It has just been in THE LAST WEEK that my leg is too flat on the table for fingers to slide under.

      I think with gentle care and persistence things happen when all things are a go.

      I am more bendable some days than others. My legs are straighter on some days than others. My balance is awesome on some days, and some days, well, not so stable!

      Four week is about when I was STARTING to see the light at the end of the tunnel! You are doing great.

      Be kind and patient with yourself. You (and the rest of us!) have been through A LOT!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi cheryl190571

      Thanks for your encouraging advice. I shall try to stop obsessing on the gap behind my knee quite so much, and just do the best I can.

      You sound like your in a very good place. Good for you and I wish you continued recovery.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks so much!

      Surgery on my RIGHT KNEE is on Friday. I have a June knee, and I will have an October knee.

      I am very anxious to get rid of my right knee pain. My left works like a champ 13 weeks post op.

      I know I will be back to square one for recovery, but the payoff is definitely worth it!

      I am READY!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      OK. How difficult is it to lift your leg up off the bed? Really tighten those muscles in your knee and keep your leg as straight as possible.

      Doing this also as you sit on a chair lifting your leg up . Do this with a sports weight on your ankle. This is the only thing that is going to strengthen those muscles and keep the knee straight. Sorry if this sounds harsh but better to be honest.

      Keep at it

      Love Sarah xxx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, it will come. Relax and just listen to your body. Work stretching into your day as you do your normal things. You will feel more positive about it because you will see progress doing things you normally do and will see yourself getting better at them.

      When you start upstairs, at the first step lean into it to stretch. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds. You can do this a couple more times then just go upstairs as you planned to do.

      When you are getting ready to sit, use a chair with arms and put you feet together easing into the sit gently. Get up again, and put your surgical leg back about an inch. Ease into your sit. This can be done several times then REST and do whatever you had planned to do as you were sitting.

      To help get you leg straight, lift up on your toes while at the sink. Hold on for balance. Then brush your teeth or start the dishes. Do it again and again as you are doing what you had planned to do.

      While on the couch straighten you leg and squeeze the quad muscle. I do this while I am watching TV. It also is good to ICE your knee which takes down inflammation and helps with bending AND straightening!

      Almost everything we do throughout the day lends opportunities to straighten and practice bends.

      I get bored with routine, so finding NEW WAYS to incorporate exercise is a lot more interesting, and the payoffs are GREAT!

      HAPPY STRETCHING!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Sounds like you're doing too much to me!  I did the exercises 3 times a day, but probably 10 or 15 mins max. I used the exercise bike too but only 5 mins at a time and with hardly any resistance.

    my knee used to feel like it gave way too but it is doing it less and less now (I'm 18 weeks) - I started going to a pool 3 times a week to do my exercises under water and a little bit of swimming and its strengthened mine SO much (I only do about 20-25 minutes).  I can't recommend it enough!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Susan 33930

      I shall continue with the bike but for shorter periods as you suggest. At what stage were you when you began exercising in the pool. I have membership at a local leisure club/pool where I used to swim every other day. Do I can't wait to get back into the water, even just to walk back/forth etc until I'm able to try swimming again. (What kind of exercises do you actually do) am really interested.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Margaret. I went in the pool at about 3 months - I felt abandoned by the physios and felt I had to do something myself.  I do all the exercises I was given but in the water - and then I make some up myself - I balance on my bad leg whilst kicking my good one forwards and back and then to the side, then I swap over to the other leg. I walk in straight lines (like a model) forwards, backwards, sidewards; I get one of those long tube floats and bend it round so I sit on to and pedal as if on a bike and going round the pool like a sea horse!  And I do a bit of swimming - kicking my legs up and down or a sort of butterfly kick but extremely slow and gently.

      the ladies who run the gym to,d me they can't believe the difference in my walking in the 6 weeks I've been going.  It really has been the making of me and if I have the other one done, I would go as soon as my scar is healed!

      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