TKR 9 wks post op

Posted , 7 users are following.

This is my second knee, the better of the two until replacement that is.

I have two questions .

My PT says I'm 5 degrees from straight . Yet when I do the exercise it hurts majority behind my knee. To the point of tears. Is that normal.??

My second question is stiffness when walking and gets worse the more I walk. My PT said I shouldn't be walking for the first 2 months this but with my first knee replacement they said walk, ice , exercise, ice, ice,ice,.

I had stopped icing but when back to it cause it helped the pain. I'm not on as much pain .meds.

Should I be concerned ?

This PT is not like my first one , he's to soft and barely does much with me., last visit he was more concerned about my scar and it being tender to touch then exercising me.

I do what I can at home , I'm just frustrated from the stiffness and behind knee pain.

Any suggestion would be appreciated

Thank you

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    Boy, it sounds like all physical therapists have different rules??!! I'm 5 weeks post bilateral TKR and I'm walking. I'm okay when my PT straightens; it's when she bends my knees and the pain is horrible!

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    • Posted

      I was slightly contracted on my first one. My PT back then was golden. He moved up the ladder so I couldn't get him back this time. I had pain for both straighten and bending on my first one ... this one I was bending 130 at 6wks. But not straight. It is extremely painful to do straightening exercise . I'm to use a roll and apply 4-5lb weight on knee. I tolerate it up to 5 mins . Which is more then it was. Underside ( back) of knee hurt like ... ( well you get the idea) . My surgeon says I'm straight. I feel straight but yet my aspergers PT say no. Your 5 degrees. He's by the book. Ill just doing what I'm doing and pray it turns out right.

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    • Posted

      I did the same exercise you are describing with the weight . .used a 2 kilo bal of flour! . .after about thirty seconds the pain kicks in and is pretty bad. . .I did a lot of resting and returning to the exercise.  I can't see that extreme agony is necessary in this road to perfection!  Also lying on the bed face down, with the leg overhanding the end of the bed. . more relaxing, less painful, and graually lengthens the muscles or whatever at the back of the knee . . However, getting it dead straight is very necessary . . I used to check by laying my leg on the coffee table. if there was a little gap under the knee. . .not straight!  My right leg, however, (the good one) is actually negative  .eg. bends backwards too much, which apparently is not a good thing either!  Don't beat yourself up too much!!!

       

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  • Posted

    Any exercise that brings you to the point of tears is not good. No pain no gain is a load of crap if you ask me. I have been told it takes a long time to fully recover from TKR. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Your knees didn't fail you over night, so your knee recovery isn't going to happen overnight. You can do the exercises the therapist gave you at home. Invest in an exercise bike for home and ride it whenever you're stiff. It works and in time you won't be as stiff. Only do enough to get a good stretch not until you're about to cry. I hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    There are so many people on the forum who have had two knees done at different times and report completely different experiences with each knee.  Guess you're not alone.

    At 2+ months post op, we ALL expect stiffness...even up to a year...or more.  There's nothing unusual in that...except, for you, the experience was different the first time.  Gotta do all the usual stuff and keep working at it.  Sorry...I'm out of magic bullets...wish I had one for each of us...

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  • Posted

    Tight hamstrings cause a lot of pain behind knees. Its one reason why people cant straighten.

    Your PT telling you not to walk?!??! Id ask for a new one. Unless your physically disabled,not your knees, i dont know of any country that would say dont walk for 2months. Hold exercises for 48hrs maybe but your risks and poorer recovery exponentially increase with waiting on exercising, icing and anti-inflammatory meds.

    A lot of times people get stiff after exercising because you get swelling in and around joint/leg. It leads to a tight feeling and reduced range of motion. Thats normal. Thats why you cant overdo. Do, rest, ice ...do,rest,ice and it improves over time. Sometimes when you break up scar tissue it is awful and painful ie tears. BUT, motion improves AND once that area is free you dont have to break it again, just keep moving.

    Good luck smile

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  • Posted

    Oh I missed the bit about not walking. Is this man real???  I was walking late. . around 12 days . . and PT and surgeon were really getting at me about it . . by six weeks, I was walking two kms. a day . . Nevewr,m ever heard of a PT who says don't walk, unless there is something about your condition we don't know!!!  Can't you change to another PT???

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    • Posted

      I wish I could , but it's a bit late in the game now. He has aspergers. So he's by the book. I don't any other condition concerning my knees. I have been icing more. I kept thinking what did I do different this time versus first knee. It was icing close to 24/7. Hospital gave me an " ice man". I hate the thing. I prefer hood old fashion ice bags . It gets colder that that machine. The other reason I hate it is they gave only a partial wrap . We all know the whole knee needs icing not just the top. I could buy a full wrap ,I just choose not to spend $40 on something I'm not going to use much longer. I'm going to start my walking longer distances again cause I'm going stir crazy.

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    • Posted

      Good thinking.  It's your body, it's your knee. . .and I'm sure as you are an old hand at this TKR usiness you know what you can and can't do!  Good luck . . just build up the length of the walk gradually!

       

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  • Posted

    Dear Cntrywolf. Your present physio is the right one. I too am 9 weeks on knee 2. Much better and about 6 weeks ahead of the last knee. This time i had an aggressive physio at the hospital . At 6 weeks my surgeon told me my leg was too swollen, demanded i cut back on physio and sent me to bed for 3 days. I too am fighting with my own head and trying to go too fast...ok the pain is better but it still takes as long to heal. If exercise causes pain..stop.. if exercise causes swelling especially that night, you are doing too much. Do NOT stop icing, elevating your leg and resting. The night sleeping goes between passing out and not being able to sleep.

    My physio pushed me so hard my back went into spasm, causing huge pain and set me back 10 days more..

    If you have questions about pain meds ask your dr..if you can. You need to take enough so you can exercise and rest WITHOUT pain. If your painkillers are not keeping you comfortable then you wont exercise and then you won't get movement. It is a progression. It doesn't matter if you are on them an extra 2 weeks. DONT listen to friends who haven't had this operation. Today i was told i was depressed and that was why i was tired.. they don't understand.

    Could you straighten the knee before the op? It will come in time. Use the ice behind the knee too and do little exercises, like bending up yout toes while lying down. Do little bits and remember it is your body.

    I have walked out on the agressive physio.

    I hope this helps.

    Where do you live.. I am in Australia.

    I will watch for your reply. Cheers Cushla

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    • Posted

      Hi Cushla

      I'm in USA.

      I didn't have an aggressive PT this time around. I wish I did. I wasn't contracted going prior to surgery like my first TKR. So imagine my shock hearing I was 10 degrees ( 4 wks post op), then 6wks post op I was 5. At 8 wks post op I was still 5, when he did work it he did what I call a " bounce" . My ankle on bolster and him pressing Down on my knee bouncing it. I was under the influence that bouncing isn't good. Should be a slow stretch and relax then again slow stretch , relax ... until at least 20 x3 a day or up to 1 hrs a day. However his " bouncing " caused me a great deal of pain . At home I am using a bolster and adding 4!5 lb weights. I can tolerate it 5-10 mins before I need a break. As of this morning no need a break except foot falling asleep lol. I am back to icing at least every couple hours. Especially at night being that's when I feel the most uncomfortable. I was bending @ 130 by 6 wks . He says with these new prosthetics they can go up to 150-155 bend. I was told first time 130 only. As for pain meds well I'm on them for my knee and other arthritic areas that can't be replaced. So that's not a problem. I am ahead of schedule on bend just not straight. As if right now I have my knee up with 4lb weight and it's not hurting. When I get up to walk it had been hurting behind the knee. Guess I'm just anxious to be walking normal . Yesterday it buckled on me. That was scary , but it was in pain too so I rack that up for the buckling. Thank you for your input . It's nice to read about others experiences. Best of luck to you.

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  • Posted

    Update:

    Today hits 10 wks post op.

    My PT took me to rec room and showed me a couple weight exercises I could do. Great if you have a gym. Living in apt no room for things like that. But ill compromise and figure something out. He measured me again and still -5. Told him to work me . He did something today different . Keeping pressure behind my knee ( where my pain is ) then pressing Down on thigh. Measured me again and said almost zero. I wasn't leaving til I was zero and told him so. He had me at zero in 5 mins. So now I am 0/135. Totally excited !! Of course I over did it today. Went grocery shopping right after PT. Knee is screaming at me. So I'm down for the day on ice. I'm jazzed I finally got to zero. Now just keeping it there. I wish to thank everyone for l your encouraging words and advice. I am really glad I found this group. For those of you still in early stages ( I hit 10wks post op today ) just keep positive. Keep working and talking to those who have been through this . Patience is a must with TKR. Wish everyone well and good luck on your recovery.

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    • Posted

      Get a set of exercise bands (see picture).  One of the pieces is a "door stop".  Put it in the door hinge side...close the door.  Any height.  Now attach a band (lighter first then get heavier over time) and then a handle or ankle strap.  Exercise.

      I've seen these sets for $30 or so on-line and in sports stores.  Gym at home... 

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    • Posted

      Hi there. Looks like we were operated on at nearly the same time. I am pleased you are at 0 without so much pain. Keep it up.

      I am lucky to have my own, old, exercise bike. We also use a small skateboard to put foot on and slide back and forward, all while sitting down. This loosens up the knee before walking or exercising and is quite helpful. My leg, especially above the knee, is still very swollen, and i am a large lady, so will probably never get to 135..but i can live with 115 for the moment. I am not sure if i mentioned that we had a disaster during the operation, when a drill bit broke off inside the bone above my knee..it took over an hour to get out and an extra hole drilled in the bone. Apparently that explains the swelling. But.. we will all get back to normal living with the help of exercise, sleep and understanding family. Love to you and keep safe...wish i could have some of your cold weather...we are 3 months now over 30 degrees. Xx

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