TKR 9weeks ago – too late now for regular exercise

Posted , 7 users are following.

I had a total knee replacement a few months ago.  My surgeon was great. I’m ashamed to say that due to pain and “the blues”  on my part my exercise was minimal. I know I should have done more.  As a result of my inactivity I am now reaping the consequences.😢 I have stiffness and I limp  :-(.  If I start  exercising faithfully now, about 11 weeks into the game, is it too late?  Will I be able to gain what I could have had earlier?    I cannot use my operated leg to go up and down the steps  

normally  so I am now slowly working on step ups. 


FYI, to add to my situation, 8 weeks  after surgery  I developed a cyst behind my knee which added to my pain and discomfort.    Thanks. 

0 likes, 6 replies

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Well, gotta see a doc about the cyst but here's the work for your ROM.  Most people are doing PT for this for 8-12 weeks.  That's the first three months...and you're only 9 weeks...

    You can also start the exercises you need to rebuild your dead quads, glutes and core...

    This will take months...and months...and months...  In fact, it's never ending. People who have had TKRs 3 or more years previously report stiffness and some pain when they stopped being active.  That makes this a lifelong recovery.

    Once you start getting your quads back, you'll have the strength to do stairs...

    At 10 weeks, my PT started me on these and I was dragging myself up step by step...dead quad.  By 14 months, I was going up two at a time without holding onto anything.  Put in the work...get the results.

    PS:  That "blues" thingie?  Jedi Mind Trick...

    Oh...and post this on your fridge.  Reality is a b**ch.........


  • Posted

    I am in week 11 and was told by my surgeon that next week he wants to do a manipulation if I still haven't made progress in my range of motion (ROM).  I am at 0/100 and have been their since the second week after my surgery (19 Jan 2018).  Because of several other surgeries I had on the same knee in the same place my incision as not completely healed and I have lots of swelling.  I have done all my exercises but am still having issues.   And like you can't go down stairs.  

    "the blues"  or what call depression does happen at what I think is the weirdest times.  But major surgery such as having a knee replaced or heart surgery will trigger these emotions.    I became very depressed after I had a heart attack over a year ago.  And even though according to my engineering brain, this depression was totally illogical and I should just "think my way out of it"  but I couldn't.   I am dealing with the same feelings after my TKR but thankfully not as bad. 

    So like so many before me have said, we all heal at different rates and for different reasons.  

    I would talk with the doctor and explain everything that is going on with you.  Type up your talking points and if nothing else give it to the nurse staff and ask that get back with you with the answers.  

    Good luck, I though having heart surgery was tough but this knee replacement  is a much tougher journey at least for me.  

    Is it too late to get your knee ROM, no I don't think so, but talk with the doctor.  He might want to go ahead and do a manipulation now.  




  • Posted

    Hello there, no it isn't too late to start your exercise regime, but you will have to stick to it diligently. Don't forget to to ice & elevate also. It will be harder but you can do it. Maybe you can get referred to physiotherapy too. A physiotherapist will give you guided exercises to do which will be for your specific needs rather than the one size fits all approach on the hospital leaflet. Follow Chico's advice, he's a knowledgable fellow & he knows from experience (unlike your average physio!).

    Do you massage your incision scar & general knee area? This will help try to break down scar tissue inside the operated area & keep the incision scar flat. As long as the scar has healed, use something like E45 cream or BioOil, but you will need to really get in there with your fingers. If you press in with fingertips you will feel any near surface scar tissue which you can then work on, you'll know when you find it as it is lumpy & swollen inside. Alternatively see a sports injury masseur/masseuse who will, at a cost, do it for you.

    None of this is a quick fix, it will take time & effort but the rewards are great & tbh in a recovery that can take up to 2 years, you are still at the start of your journey.

    Please keep in touch.

    I wish you all the best.



  • Posted

    Chico has some great advice and insights. But I have to say as far as "the blues" go, the idea of just banishing the depression might work with those who've never suffered true depression, but for people (like me) who are prone to it, it's not that simple. But time, activity and medication can certainly help.

    • Posted

      Absolutely right.  People who have a history of depression can get hit harder by this post-op kind than others.  Yes, it could make their lives more difficult.  I have had encounters with this throughout my life, especially when my first wife died of cancer at age 34, but I have had to make peace with it and move on.  Not easy.

      For the TKR recovery, I'm a big advocate of "taking your mind off of it"...  Read an engrossing novel, concentrate of your ROM work, exercise and walking, kill zombies on your x-box.  Maybe try some of these...

      The worst thing is to sit around wallowing in the pain.  Get up, change your life, get stronger.  The exercising helps release endorphins...the "happiness" chemicals in your brain.  Give it a shot...just never give up!!!

  • Posted

    you’re not too late

    i am 14 week post op and i started my PT late, two months late! Now i’ve going to PT since March, I faithfully excercise everyday and I graduated to a cane this week and at a 90 degree bend. The guy in charge at PT thought he’d have to do a MUA but I’m working hard not to have that procedure. 

    My heart goes out to you, don’t lose hope, you will make progress every week if you do the work. 

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