TKR - Advice on new clicking and popping

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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!


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  • Posted

    My knee replacement clicks but I am now six months post op and it has lessened a lot over the last two weeks.
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  • Posted

    I am almost four months right TKR with a Journey 2 Smith and Nephew prosthesis. From about one week in I have had a clonking and thudding in each step I take.  Doctor and Therapist said that I need to strengthen the muscles around the knee and allow them to heal and reset after the severe trauma during surgery. I started working and driving but after a few hours on my feet, my knee becomes swollen and painful.  I have to ice and elevate a few times before bedtime.  I am fearful that the clonking with each step is so loud that it shocks my femur unto my hip, leaving me with a pain in my groin.   I also feel that even though the clonking is not painful, it is contributing to tissue stress around the knee which results in the swelling and pain after a few hours.  I have been massaging and doing the strengthening exercises and feel that I should be getting a little better and better each day, except that I seem to be stuck or seem to be going backwards.  I am praying and hoping that I will be better and better as the months go by and even if I still have the clonking, that the swelling and pain and the shocking feeling in my femur would disappear.  Everyone says that it takes time and it heals slowly and I cannot wait for one year in to be her soon so I can experience what they are speaking about.  I am waiting another few months and would request an MRI from my Dr. if this swelling and pain and clonking continues.  If anyone with a Journey 2 knee has had this clonking and is now rid of them and if it is on,h time before it dissipate, then I would appreciate your comments and opinions.  Thank you!  Mary. 
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    • Posted


      I am now 9 months in right TKR and I am fully aware of my clunking and popping when I am walking in a quiet place. It’s almost freaky. With every step there is a clunk with a slight uncomfortable feeling. Not really painful but I would rather not have it. My problem is now I have developed  a pain in my hip and I still think that the clunking in my knee is affecting my femur into my hip. I am going to see my surgeon soon and try to figure out my hip.  Some say that it stops clunking but mine never did. The only time I am unaware of it is when I am working and preoccupied. I think that after TKR a knee can never feel and be back to the 100% of the knee you had before the problems begun.   But the positive thing is that you are better than before the TKR.  I would be worried  if your clunking comes with pain. You need to take care of it and see a doctor real soon. You are only weeks in and you need to continue the strengthing exercises.  If the pain continues you need to check that. I am still looking for a way out of this clunking and I am wishing you well as the months go by. Thank you! 

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  • Posted

    I had a bilateral knee replacement surgery on May 8th this year. I also had a clunking sound about 5 weeks post op but only in the right knee. It did eventually go away. I have a clicking / popping in my right knee now but no pain. Overall it has been great. I feel 100% back to normal. Still hoping the popping sound goes away but if no pain I will take it!
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