Swelling & stiffness

Posted , 13 users are following.

I am just over 4 months post Tkr. Thankful I am able to sleep at night at last & can just about cope with the scar being covered.

My problem now is I still have swelling & terrible , stiffness. My surgeon says it's normal. How much longer will it be till I AM normal.

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  • Posted

    Hi Eileen I'm 19 weeks now and my swelling is going down quite a lot although the longer  you are on it more it swells.  I saw the surgeon on Friday and he told me the stiffness feeling will start to improve from 6 months onwards but will take time it is quite normal to feel as if you have a tight bandage around it.  I'm on the mend now although it has been horrendous keep your chin up x

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    • Posted

      5-6month mark a lot of good things started to happen. Still swells (about 1/2 inch from first getting out of bed), if on it for long periods like 6hrs.

      Tightness is trabsient, swelling is less, flexibility is easier. My right leg is great, sometimes i forget its done til i do too much. The left is taking longer as i had an arthroscopy 3wks ago for a bone spur so the inflammatory,scar tissue, crunch etc was retriggered. But its doing better every day.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris. I'm so glad you are on the mend now. Yes it's certainly a long haul. Thanks for reassurance. Sometimes I feel so positive,then when I've been extra busy & the stiff band seems stiffer I get this feeling, will i ever be normal. I realise after the first 6 months it will feel more normal. Roll on x

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    • Posted

      Aunteg , sounds you've been through the mill, both knees & more, glad it's improving. I know I am too ,since I had surgery 21 January!! But it feels a lifetime away.I have only this week been able to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time in night. So I AM improving . i can't imagine going through it again. Mine was an injury & thankfully my other knee is ok. I walk well, going upstairs is fine . I CAN come down but very awkwardly & painfully. My bend is 115 & the stiffness band drives me mad.looking forward to getting back to "normal " x

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    • Posted

      Karen ,PT signed me off as my rom was almost 120 . I still do the exercises & have just started using the electric bike. I also walk a fair bit. Hoping I'm doing all the right things. As I'm still stiff & bend doesn't always feel good, just keep "plodding " on x

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  • Posted

    Wrap the incision loosely with an ACE stretch bandage or use a loose fitting knee sleeve to prevent contact with sheets or clothes.

    Time???

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-recovery-bell-curve--563756

    Plan on a year...

    PS: You will never be your "old self" again.  You are different now...there will be activity restrictions...period.  You have to find your NEW normal.  It will all come in time...a lot of time...

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  • Posted

    I doubt anyone can begin to guess that Eileen:-(  It just varies so much with everyone.  As you'll remember I didn't have stiffness and swelling is pretty minimal now - knee LOOKS slightly bigger than the other one but doesn't FEEL swollen and I'm coming up to three months post TKR.  But my surgeon did tell me swelling is up to a year. 

    Talking about the scar being covered, today sat in the garden and covered the scar with a white flannel, so went and bought some factor 50 suncream for the scar this evening- that should be OK, shouldn't it?

    I hope you'll notice less swelling and stiffness soon.  Are you using any sort of exercise bike?  I felt that helped me hugely, but then I'm very flexible anyway so that was probably the more important factor.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris, funny you mention an exercise bike. A friend has lent me her electric one I was a bit nervous to use it & only tried it today it is brilliant. Will have to gradually work up to speed & endurance, is that better than walking do you think? We will all get there it's as you say each its time & were

      All different. x

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    • Posted

      I think walking is good, but the bike gets the bend on the knee going much easier, I think, and does build up the muscles you want without weight bearing on the knee, so doesn't wear it out as much.  I don't rush the bike but have gradually increased the resistance.  I've also moved my seat closer and closer to the pedals to get the maximum bend possible.  Even the non-operated knee has benefitted from it a lot!  But enjoy it:-)))

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    • Posted

      Don't overdo it though LOL!  Seriously, I'm still only doing 7 circuits that take me about 10 minutes at level 7 but I built up to that gradually.  It is exciting to find something that you can do that helps though:-)))) 

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    • Posted

      Chris is totally correct.  Even though you may think you can do the recovery faster or want to do the recovery faster, it just doesn't work like that.  It's all slow and steady over many months.  Your knee will hurt and swell when you've pushed it too far.  Track your steps; chart your progress.

      "You've gotta go through hell before you get to heaven." - Steve Miller Band, Jet Airliner

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chris ,I need to know as have no idea .how much to do , I will do short time & work up. Like at physio I felt very ignorant & vulnerable & plod on the best way I can. Am grateful for your suggestions x

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    • Posted

      When I started (admittedly just before three weeks) I was SO chuffed that I did FOUR WHOLE rotations of the pedals LOL!  And I built it up VERY gradually.  I think I got to half a circuit and then increased it by half a circuit a day, so it really was gradual.  A couple of times I've gone up to level 8 but got slight discomfort in operated knee for a couple of hours after and bad pain in the unoperated knee for a day after, so cut it back to level 7 again.  But we are all fumbling through:-))))  Hope it goes well!!!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks again Chris, that is so helpful as I didn't have a clue, my friend had her Tkr 10 years ago & has lost the instructions & cant really remember what she did. I'm looking forward to starting today x

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    • Posted

      I'm already starting to struggle to remember little bits of my op from March Eileen LOL!  But did write lots of bits down in my diary, so hoping that might help.  But even so, the next knee will do things at it's own pace, so don't know if it will follow the same pattern!

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    • Posted

      It is amazing how we do forget, Chris, but I also keep a diary & find it really useful to look back or check things. I've definitely jotted a few things down from my op. Its good as it reminds me how it was & how I've improved, specially when I think I haven't. I'll be looking out for your text as to when your date is for the second knee. Hope it's soon x

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    • Posted

      I 100% would be the same. It will be brilliant when date comes then you can work toward it & at least know. I was like that for my Tkr even though it came roughly when they said 18 weeks from consultation. Fingers crossed for yours it won't be long x

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    • Posted

      I got all excited just now - there was an NHS envelope that arrived, but it turned out to be for a jaw issue at a different hospital that I'm not doing anything about at the moment LOL!  Oh well, patience is a virtue.  Unfortunately, not one of mine LOL!  Now going to cancel that appointment.

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    • Posted

      LOL!  Loast time it came within two weeks, so I sort of assumed it would this time.  I MIGHT just phone on Tuesday if it doesn't come in the post then, in case it's gone astray.  It's a bit difficult making arrangements for anything when I've not got much of a clue when it is!

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    • Posted

      That's a really good idea ,at least they can tell you where you are in the queue or even if it's in the pos already, I remember ringing my surgeons secretary, it's definitely worth it Chris.yhey don't mind st all. It's awful being in limbo as you say your life is on hold till you know. Good thinking & good luck x

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