Straight leg lifts

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I am a 57 year old Chef and i have just had a TKR done 5 days ago .

My frustration is the fact i cant do the straight leg lift on the excercise plan .

Is it normal to still be struggling to lift your leg up off the bed ?

Or am i just being impatient and it will come . I dont want to miss out these excercises too long as i worry it will hinder my recovery

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Firstly scotty,five days ago your leg was pretty well destroyed,your muscles were cut into and your leg strength taken away.Its a slow process to regain that strength and not being able to lift your straight leg whilst lying down is normal at your stage and to be honest I would consenteate more on the knee bend and keeping the scar tissue at bay patience, it’s not a quick fix but it’s all so do able,as that saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.

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  • Posted

    Perfectly normal. All your leg strength was pretty much cut apart during the surgery. I was just as frustrated as you but keep at it, your strength will come back. Just make sure when you are doing the leg lifts you are tightening the quadricep muscles and lifting from the quadricep muscles and not from your knee. That was my first mistake and it hurt my knee a lot. Once I started focusing on using the quad muscles (actually staring at them to make sure there was movement in that muscle and not so much the knee) it started getting easier to do. Good luck and be patient. I know it's frustrating but it will come in time.

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    • Posted

      They always do lol. Brent is right, focus more on the bending then strengthining. I actually had to get a manipulation at 8 weeks post op because I wasnt able to bend my knee more then 90 degrees because of adhesions from scar tissue. I'm 11 weeks post op now and still haven't started strengthening excercises. That's the last thing they focus on.

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  • Posted

    Welcome to the other side!

    Best wishes to you for your healing...

    It really does get better, a lot better than it is possible to imagine right now I am sure!

    I am now 8 months. It's amazing, well worth the effort.

    It's a bit of a rollercoaster ride, so hang on tight and decide to enjoy it...

    Crazy but true...a positive mindset is everything!

    I finally managed to lift my leg off the bed, from a horizontal position, at four weeks but it was very hard and it took a few more weeks for it to be done with ease and more consistently. It was rather hit and miss!

    I had managed to lift my operated leg up in a straight leg raise at 18 days post op, just once, but not from a horizontal position. I was icing and elevating it, and doing a few quad sets while surfing the net on my tablet and I thought I would have an attempt at lift off, but I wasn’t expecting any result.

    I had been trying to do the straight leg lift on and off, mostly when the leg was already elevated on a couple of pillows, as the angle made it feel a bit easier to move. It would only lift a fraction! LITERALLY a bit of pillow movement! But no gap between the pillow and heel!

    So it might be easier to try it from an angle?

    Any movement is good even if tiny!

    How surprised I was when I managed to lift it a few inches up from the (45 degree angle) pillows as i was elevating!

    It is very hard to keep on trying something and I do remember feeling anxious about it. Try not to worry!

    My physio told me not to worry and that it would come, and also that it is not that uncommon.

    Are you in UK and are you getting weekly physio?

    Keep on doing your exercises and try not to be discouraged.

    There are lots of super people on here at different stages, so do hang around!

    I figure its a better use of my time than go in on Facebook!

    You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It has a lot of useful suggestions and information. Hopefully it might be useful to you.

    Everyone has their own unique experience, but there is a good pool of different ones on here! All the best to you!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jenny

      I did skim through your blog .

      Well done on getting through your own war on the leg .

      Yes of course i will persevere .I need to get back offshore in 4 months at least.

      I got my TKR done in the Golden jubilee hospital Clydebank by Glasqow ..a great team of people

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  • Posted

    Hey Scotty....tell them to stick a fork in you and yell "you're done".

    Seriously at 5 days you are just trying to remember your name, let alone do exercises. Take a large towel or one of those belts the therapist put around your waist when they have you up, anything long that you can wrap around your foot and still hold on each hand. Now gently pull back and you'll feel your leg lifting off the bed. Gradually tighten all the muscles in your leg as you pull. Don't beat up on yourself as it won't be but a few days and you'll be doing it on your own. This takes a lot of time and patience to get the basics of this rehab game. I've been through 5 complete rehab and still had trouble getting body and brain to work in unison. Of course I've always had a little trouble with that, even when I was at my best.

    Be very patient and take your pain meds on schedule so you can do the work. Ice will be your best ally. Use your ice bag to keep the swelling down so the body will move. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    You are just been impatient. 5 days is less than a week.

    You need to start being realistic.

    A TKR is a big operation.

    I had TKR 5 years ago and was told it would be about a year before I began to feel the benefits and I think that was about right.

    Sorry if this is not what you want to hear and it seems a long way off at the moment but better to be honest now than set your goals too high and then be disappointed.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah xx

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  • Posted

    Time and work...that's it.  There's no timetable as everyone recovers at their own their own time.  All you can do is stay strong, do the work and be patient.  The one thing you cannot do is push the will bite you back. (pain, swelling, etc.).  This is a slow recovery.  I would suggest a pedometer to track your steps every day.  When the knee swells, it means you overdid it that day.  Back off, recover, resume gradually.  Do a lot of reading on the Forum...lots of great discussions on here.

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    • Posted

      That's potentially doable.  We have found on the Forum that people get back to work in the 4-6 month range.  Three is early for most; those people report a lot of pain and swelling because the knee isn't really healed yet.  The problem is that you have no idea how long it will take for YOUR knee.  All you can do is all the ROM work and then start exercising to get your dead quads, glutes and core strong again.  Here's the program...

      Swelling is normal early on, but as you p[rogress, you will know when you overdid it on a particular day.  Avoid that scenario.

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  • Posted

    Scotty I have not had a knee replacement yet, staving that off, however many years ago aged 20 I had my knee cap realigned and the fat pad removed. I was kept bandaged whole leg for two weeks with leg straight and as hard as I tried I could not get the leg to lift, which was very frustrating for a 20 yr old. A doctor seeing me crying after an awful physio told me I wasn't trying hard enough. told me to get to the end of the bed and hold on. Lean to the side ( non operated side) and then try swinging the leg, it worked, within a few days of doing this every day. I could so the straight leg lift sitting down. Might work if you can use a worktop to hold onto.

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