Swelling/Bruising/Stiffness getting worse 2 weeks on

Posted , 8 users are following.

Good evening everyone.

Had my knee replaced 13th September swelling and bruising was pretty bad but more or less what I expected.

Had appointment to have clips removed but unfortunately they are not ready to be removed yet so got to wait another 4 days then go back.

More bruising seems to be coming out around the clips and more swelling. Skin feels so tight and a sort of a burning pain. Is this normal for this stage of the recovery?

Sleep is impossible as I feel I need to move my leg every 5-10 minutes to try and relieve what I can only describe as a cramp type feeling.

I don't want to bother the Dr if others of you on this forumhave had similar experience but I don't really know what's to be expected.

So tired I could sit and cry plus I've now come down with a streaming cold to add to it all.

Any advice?

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I'm nearly 5weeks into my recovery from TKR,and everything you say is totally normal and expected,when u get the clips out you will feel a big difference the tightness eases and you can also bend your knee easier,as for sleep if I get 2-3 hours split sleep a night I've had a good night,it not a pain issue just discomfort as you described,I now just got some prescription sleeping tablets to help  as I was concerned the lack of sleep was turning into a psychological thing,I take a tablet now every other night because I don't want to get to rely on them and I thing in a couple of weeks my sleep pattern will return as the discomfort eases,so yes everything you describe is totally expected hang in there.

  • Posted

    Good evening, I too had my surgery on 13th September but have no clips ..I have stitches that self absorb .. yes my whole calf feels tight, throbbing and as you discribe feels like I'm about to get cramp. Went onto this forum last week for advise as was concerned..I've been using people's advise. Elevate the leg, lots of ice packs throughout the day and do the stretching as per leaflet / physio in hospital said ...also I get my husband to gently massage my calf b4 bed and rub on voltarol gel which slightly helps with the pain and bruising...I'm taking tramadol and paracetamol when needed which is throughout the day... Have been sleeping better over the last week...I have my 1st physiotherapy session tomorrow morning so will no doubt be giving advise on this ... Hope this helps a bit

  • Posted

    Thank you for your comments. It really helps to know it's mostly normal for this stage of the process

  • Posted


    What you're feeling is normal!  I am 5 weeks post op and still have swelling and numbness in trouble knee.  I was fortunate enough to walk unassisted at 2 weeks and driving at 3.  My doctor was fabulous  but a month before surgery I was preparing with exercises he told me to do.  I also had a machine post op at home that stretched my knee.  In home therapy at 3 days post op is what really helped.  You will get there with s lot of hard work and remember everyone heals at their own pace.  Elevate, rest, heat and ice packs are what's going to help you!  And patience! Good luck to you!

  • Posted

    Oh one more point after the staples are out and if there's no weeping try using bio oil on the scar it works really well,your scar mind will be very sensitive to even the lightest bed sheet and this will keep you awake,so use an elasticated bandage over the knee on a night (only)as it stays in the same position and doesn't adgitate the very sensitive scar.

  • Posted

    Hi Dalmation ,

    Welcome aboard...I'm 7 weeks post/op rtkr.  Everything you describe is exactly what most of us have and are experiencing.  The tightness, swelling, and bruising are all part of the package.  Believe it or not, my bruises colored my leg for close to 6 weeks!  I still have tightness, which I gathered can last for months. 

    Sleep...once I got off of those big meds, finally I could sleep.  But prior to that I only got about 2-3 hrs. each night.  Make sure you grab every chance you can to nap, they help!

    Check out Oldfatguy and Chico Marx in this forum...they have great advise for most of your questions.  Hang in there, it will get better....patience will be your new best friend.

    Many blessings,


  • Posted

    At two weeks, you're right in the middle of "I-want-to-shoot-myself-in-the-head" time.  The first 30 days are usually a nightmare.  Welcome to the club..."Kneebie".  Take your meds ON SCHEDULE!!!  If they're not working well, talk to your doc about better meds.  You'll need the "hard stuff" for the first 30-60 days...usually.  

    If you want to know what's ahead, start with these...



    Click on my picture or name and then "See All Discussions"...I have over 20 out there.  Hope some of them help.  Just remember...this is probably going to take a year.  Give up all your expectations, timetables and the thought that you'll be back to normal in a month.  Delusional.  This is the most brutal operation on the planet and it takes a lot of recovery time, a strength of will and a committed effort.  Lots of help on the Forum...you're not alone.

    Your recovery is your INDIVIDUAL journey...do NOT compare yours to that of anyone else...we're all different!!!  In this world, the word "should" does not exist.  Woof woof...

  • Posted

    Lots of people with advice but I'll give you my take on it... had my operation on 11th September, first 2 weeks hell - heavy bruising, swelling where it feels my knee down to toes will explode and worst of all the searing pain/cramp at night that had me crying regularly as no pain killers helped at all, not even liquid morphine. I was up every hour walking up and down, massaging leg etc with voltarol.  Into week 3 now and sleep is better but not perfect. Still massaging leg and taking pain killers on regular basis. My main battle now is that my leg won't bend, so working hard on physio exercises and fortunately I have a few sessions in hydrotherapy pool booked.  Advice is ice, massage, do exercises and don't do too much, elevate leg when swollen.  Night time WILL get better but definitely massage with voltarol regularly. Hope you get better soon. 

  • Posted

    HI dalmation,

    ?Oh my god reading your experience brings it all back to me.I had me knee replacement done 12 months ago and I had exactly the same thing.I had a blood transfusion twice whilst in hospital and I had swelling like you don't know what,and the painkillers were knocking me sideways,so I had exactly the same. My stitches didn't come out when they should have because the swelling and bruising was so bad, that the staples had embedded in my leg.

    I had to have half out and the rest the next day.It was horrible!!

    ?Once they are out and you can leave the stockings off though it feels a bit better,it might be just in the mind but it wasn't until then I could actually start to try to bend a bit more.

    ?Try not to cry, things will improve, I know its a real misery,but try not to get down,keep moving as best you can.

    ?Ice and ibobrufen was all that I had to come out of the hospital with. The other painkillers that would have eased the pain better were not good. for me at all.

    ?Keep positive though I know its hard and some days you will feel like you are taking a step backwards.My physio said that 95% of patients end up crying whilst going for their session, so your not on your own believe me!!

    ?Keep looking forward though, its the only way!!


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