Tightness and pain in knee 12 weeks after tkr

Posted , 6 users are following.

I'm at 12 weeks post op on a tkr. I am sitting around 90 degrees with excellent extention. Problem i have is at 90 its like hitting a concrete wall, no more bend . I have a tight feeling around the knee that loosens with excersize then returns instantly after i stop. I had an mua at 6 weeks. Finally got swelling down to where it almost looks like a leg,sleep is almost non existant, pain spikes all night. Hope somebody can give me reassurance that this is all normal. My firstmajor sergury and am anxious to get back to work. Any help or advice is appreciated.

0 likes, 6 replies

Report / Delete

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes...all very typical. Gotta work to get that bend to 120-degrees. Then it will be soooo much easier to walk correctly and do stairs again normally. You can get a leg slide that many people use to get that bend. But all you really need to do is tie a plastic bag around your foot (eliminate friction), lay on your back and then use a belt or strap to pull your heel towards your butt...hold...relax...again... The good thing on the device is that you can mark your progress on the side.

    The first three months are the hardest. During that time you will need to start the muscle rebuild since all the supporting musculature is most likely dead. Again, very typical...

    Muscle Rebuild

    It takes time, determination and a big dose of patience. The sleep problems, pain, stiffness, clunking sounds and more all go away in time...usually at the one year mark. Remember that there are advances, setbacks and plateaus...all to be expected. Some stiffness may linger to 18 months and be gone as long as you keep the knee active. Even years later, you must keep it active or it will start to stiffen up again.

    Going to work may or may not be problematic. A lot depends on how quickly the knee has healed internally (you have zero control over this), age, profession, standing/walking job requirements, etc. I've been on the Forum for 4 years and I can say that I've read way too many posts about people going back to work too soon...like at the 3 month mark. Pain, swelling, no sleep...and then you have to do it again...and again... Four to six months is more typical of a return to work time frame with a lot less suffering. But everyone is different in how much scar tissue their DNA generates and how quickly you get past it. That's why everyone needs to be prepared for a full year recovery...you actually start feeling more "like yourself" generally around nine months and dance at your one-year an-knee-versary party.

    Click on my name, Discussions and then See All. About 30 out there on a lot of topics...including sleep. Get rid of all expectations and time frames...the knee dictates all. Go head to head against it and you will be greeted with a "balloon knee". Once should be enough for that lesson to take hold...and yes, we all have experienced it sooner or later. Remember...time, work and patience are your tools...

    image

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi

    I'm 9 months post RTKR and I can tell you it does get easier. You are doing well and the tightness you are feeling is normal and will go away. I can't say when mine went away just one day around 5 months I noticed it wasn't there. Sleeping is hard but that too with time improves. I continued to sleep on my back with 2 pillows under my leg.. I also went to bed with my Ice cuff on.Also would read kindle when I couldn't sleep just to distract myself. On ocassion I found it easier to sleep in recliner. This wasy first major surgery to and found this forum a great source of information and comfort. I found when I felt dispondant looking back over the weeks that had past at all the little things I'd achieved getting up and walking, getting in Bath, getting in/out car made me realise I was getting there. 9 months later sleep is normal, I'mwalking the dog, driving and back to work so life is returning to normal. Pain is gone just stiffness but some days it's a lot less then others and should go by 12 - 18monthsVery ocassionly my knee will swell I ice it and elevate it for a while then I'm good to go. At 12 weeks your doing well. Just ice, elevate and do your exercises be patientthis is a long journey and everyone's journey will be different. IGood luck.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing, my doctor expects me to be beyond where i'm at now, so i've been going hard an vigalant with the excersizes. It just gets frustrating when therr is not much showing for all the work i do. I see the doctor tomorrow for xrays and check up. Hope the news is good and my implant is fine.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Kim, I found that when i tried to exercise hard that most of the time my progress would go ** backwards**!! I found that i made most progress when i started to listen to my body rather than trying to do a number of fixed reps either set by a physiotherapists or some other source. Suggest you listen to your body and exercise accordingly. I wish you the best of luck in your progress

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Sorry it took so long to get back to everybody(forgot my password). Anyways my implant is fine,doing what its suposed to. I have a perfectly flat extention,doctors and physio deeply impressed.I still hit between 85 and 95 degree bend.But you are all right,it will go away.I'm hoping it is soon(very annoying). My biggest obstacle now is the muscle rebuild. I do have 1 more question for all you veteran tkr soldiers. I'm thinking of a knee brace,just to give me axtra support,maybe even use it for short periods of time at work. Is this something i should do or is it a bad idea? Sometimes when i walk without an aid my knee sorta buckles,i know the muscles are weak,but my leg can and does support my weight. Just don't want to do something i shouldn't.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    If your leg is swollen it won't bend much. It's like a hosepipe full of water, think how hard that is to bend. I had trouble with bending mine first time round and found it stiffened so quickly that by the time I tried my next set of heel slides it was like starting from scratch again. I found it better to do a few, 2 or 3 every hour rather than 10 x 3 times through the day. I would also use my other foot to push my operated leg back until it was uncomfortable, but not painful, and try to hold it in place for 20 seconds.

    With my second knee bending has been easier, but I'm finding extension harder this time. In hospital the physio said it's often one or the other. You'll get there, just keep trying to move the knee gently. Remember you're only a quarter of the way through this year of recovery and it can take up to two years for all the soft tissues to adjust. Have you tried putting pillows under the whole leg at night? That helps me sleep and wrapping the knee in clingfilm/saranwrap works for some weird reason.

    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