TKR - Advice on new clicking and popping

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hi,

I've had bilateral TKA 10 weeks ago, and recovery has had it's up and downs, but finally as many on this forum have mentioned as you approach 3 months it starts getting better.

I took another forum members advice (thanks Chico!) seriously and got off opioid pain meds (Oxycodone) this past week. And instead have iced-iced-iced. Getting off opioids really change my mental state for the better. I think I was teary and feeling sorry for myself on the pain meds. Remember to slowly wean yourself otherwise you get shakey.

Another member mentioned daily stationary bike. Absolutely great advice, and I'm lucky to have a stationary bike at home. I think that's why I was able to increase my ROM fairly quickly. My ROM is miraculously at 140 and 135, and extension 0.

I started riding my mountain bike around 7 weeks post-surgery on some flat trails near my house. Great for my mental state! Started off really short distances maximum 20 minutes, and now up to 60 minutes.

I still get tired easily, and have to rest or take it easy during the day. But I understand that'll take awhile to get over.

But with all this progress, I developed a loud clicking/popping sound in both knees at about 5 weeks. It's really annoying as it's truly loud. Every step and every movement bending my knees, I hear and feel this clicking. On my left knee, I have a double click, and I actually see my left side muscle above my knee cap bulge with each click. My surgeon had to correct my bowed legs, and I'm wondering if that has to do with it. He and his staff warned me before the surgery that many TKRs click. Well, my husband had a TKR 2 years ago and his knee does not click. Is it the prosthesis that was used? He used Smith and Nephew implants on me. I'm going to see my doc in 2 weeks, and would love to get input from other TKR patients on this.

Has anyone else had this experience where suddenly the clicking starts? Does it go away with more PT strengthening exercises?

I'm mighty frustrated as everything else seems good. And I don't see how one gets used to it when it's so loud and apparent, and I feel and hear each pop/click!

Ann

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  • Posted

    My brother in law had both hips replaced. One twice due to the recall. His new ones are ceramic and they squeak. Loud.
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    • Posted

      Squeaky hips! Never heard of that and know many with hip replacements. Maybe he and I could get together and start a concert with hip squeaks, and knee clicks, crackles and pops while we walk?
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    • Posted

      His first one was metal. They did other hip with ceramic. When he had metal one redone cause of recall doc said the ceramic may squeak. Guess most are metal or plastic like knees.
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  • Posted

    Ann, I had a bilateral nearly 2 years ago and I went through the clickity clacks too. Some say it never goes away, but mine did. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember when it went away, but it did. I remember thinking, "What the heck is going on...I thought I got over groaning knees!" They also made noises when I went from sitting to standing. I found this forum at about 3 months post op and was told it was normal, so I rejoiced in the fact that there wasn't any additional pain with the sounds. I have no idea what my prosthesises are (I had them done while working in India and the doctors there don't generally give you too much information and questions don't get you very far either).

    -Mo

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the hope and optimism, Mo! I'll keep on thinking this clicking will diminish and disappear over time. After all I didn't have any loud noises the first 5 weeks - maybe cause knees were swollen? I keep on wondering if I should be strengthening certain muscles to deal with this but my PT says I'll just get used to it. Not sure how one gets used to crackling noises with every bend and step!

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  • Posted

    WOOHOO!!!  Off the meds!!!  Not easy but worth it.

    Walking down the street with a group of friends.  All of a sudden, one of them stops the group...

    "Do you hear that clicking sound?"

    "What clicking sound?"

    "Geez, now it's gone.  Oh well..."

    The walk resumes.  Same person stops the group again.

    "Come on! You have to be hearing that clicking sound!"

    "What clicking sound?"

    "Damn...it stopped again!"

    The walk continues...and again...

    C'mon guys! You can make this into such a great running gag.  There's almost no end to it.  Your doc implanted "the setup"...all you have to do is milk it and deliver whatever punch line comes into your head!!!

    Screw with your friends' minds.  Be the center of attention at your next cocktail party.  I just hope the clicking doesn't stop...this is worth a lifetime of laughs!!!

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    • Posted

      Hey Chico!

      Funny joke! LOL.

      Good to hear from you! Thanks for one of your long posts that had all the great TKR advice, and inspired me to get off the opioids as soon as possible. What a difference that made in improving my mental outlook.

      The clicking could be fun, but how do I sneak up on family members? Or sneak around at all?

      I'll take Mo's post on this one, and HOPE the clicking miraculously stops one day or slowly diminishes over time! (-;

      Ann

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    • Posted

      I've had two shoulder ops, a replaced hip, four fused vertebrae, four kidney stones, carpal tunnel, two scopes on each knee............and the TKR.  I'm thinking of going Old Testament and changing my name to Job.  What's next?  Locusts???

      After a while, you can't take any of this seriously, regardless of the pain.  Find the humor and keep on moving down the road.  In my spare time, I've been a musician since I was 11...that's 57 years of playing drums and guitar.  I'm still an active, gigging blues bassist.  Ahhhh...The Blues.  I've paid my dues and earned the right to play 'em.  Part of what keeps me going...

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    • Posted

      Hi Chico, I too feel like not much left for life to throw my way in terms of orthopaedic surgery. I'm now 48 and so far have had to deal with 19 knee surgeries and 7 wrist surgeries :-( First knee op was age 13 and was a lateral menisectomy. Hot on the heels of that came a lateral menisectomy of the other knee, then 3 ligament reconstructions of my wrists an arthrodesis of my right wrist. Multiple arthroscopic, a plaecectomy, emergency surgery to treat septic arthritis, further ligament reconstruction of left wrist, removal of broken pins and then in the last two years a TKR of left knee in Oct 2015 and a TKR of right knee in Nov 2016. Two surgeries that couldn't have had more different outcomes despite being done in same hospital by the same surgeon. 1st one was brilliant. Almost pain free, full movement and painless clicking. The 2nd one has and remains a disaster. Severe constant pain despite full range of movement. Constant swelling. Loud painful clunking and clicking. Crepitus from behind the knee cap and feeling of instability despite there feeling like there is a tight elastic band around the middle of my knee. The worry is most of these problems started after about 10 weeks after surgery. I'm seeing the consultant in 2 weeks, should I be worried or not? Finally to Ann, good luck, hope you get matters sorted soon. Bless you :-)

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    • Posted

      It's a mechanical device...it can be replaced if necessary.  That's the bright side.  Docs have to make the call.  Meanwhile...Voltaren Gel (RX in the US) is a great topical anti-inflammatory.  No drugs.

      Also, post your story to a new thread with the word "Revision" in the title.  You may get some helpful advice from people in your situation.  Lots have posted that they've had different experiences with each knee.  I'll get my second one done in the next year or two.  28 operations (a lot of minor stuff like trigger finger, wrist cyst, etc.) in 17 years.  Just got out of the hospital two hours ago from my latest spine surgery.  Google "Globus RISE-L" and you'll see what they did.  Amazing.  Immediate pain relief, one night stay, zero rehab.  Just dealing with some temporary post-op muscle pain.

      Get that knee looked at by multiple docs...see what the consensus is...  Good luck...

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I have the exact same muscle bulge above my knee along with the BIG pop.  I am also 10 weeks post-op.  It is my understanding that they have to cut the quad in an up-down direction during the TKR.  I have a small knot right in this area.  My guess is that there is some scar tissue there that is rubbing across some other tendons or ligaments.  But it is just a guess.  My doctor said that, in general, it may take 3 months post-op for the tissues to recover such that things go more smoothly.  If it is still happening in another 4 weeks, I am going back in to see if there is anything amiss.

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  • Posted

    Hya. I have just put question on same problem.  I have single pop with each footstep and triple pop when doing stairs.  It's so loud, everyone cringes when I walk with them...I also find it hard to distinguish where it's coming from. It sounds like it's between knee and hip. I was going to speak to gp.i know you have to expect strange pops but it's not random its all the time and its getting very painfull. It's a horrible popping sound realy loud...

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  • Posted

    Annfed , I had left tkr on June 14,2017. 2 and a half months later my knee is still clunking . Still going to outpatient PT . It's so dissapointing . I have stopped talking about it to family members and friends . So many PT'S have said it will go away in time but I have worked so hard with excercises but still there .my os said it's not unusual and the xrays show everything is in place . I'm getting to a point where I am about to accept it and just let it go. But my plan is to keep excercising , and lose weight and eat healthy and hope like heck it stops . I'lll keep in touch and let you know in a few months how things are . It's so frustrating . We are not alone.

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    • Posted

       I finally after one year and no sound advice from my original bilateral TKR surgeon, I found out what my problem was – it is called “patella clunk syndrome.” I sought the advice of another surgeon who performed x-rays at 35° 65° and 85° and also MRI with MAPS which shows tissue growth nodule under left knee cap.  Original surgeon never offered any of these diagnosistic procedures. He was just going to cut along the original incision and flip my kneecap around to clean up any scarring. Second surgeon was very methodical with the diagnostic procedures, and then performed an out patient arthroscopic procedure on my clunking left knee last Wednesday. What a miracle? My left knee finally extends and bends smoothly without the clunking and protruding of the kneecap. The clicking in both my knees when I walk is apparent and I’ve been told that is common in 50% of knee replacements.  I have a Smith and Nephew Genesis prosthetics in both knees. I’m an avid cyclist so as far as building up the muscles around the knee to reduce this clicking has not worked for me.My husband has a knee replacement from 3 years ago that is quiet as can be. Go figure!

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