TKR one week on

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi all, just joined this forum and looking for some advice, encouragement, support... Had my TKR a week ago May 27th and dont really know how I should be feeling at this stage, I know I have stiffness which is worse obviously after sleeping but the pain is sometimes like toothache, is that right? I am getting up and down stairs ok but finding some of the exercises really tough due to the pain, I am taking my medication at the prescribes times .any advise please?

1 like, 47 replies

47 Replies

  • Posted

    Are you going up and down the stairs normally or one step at a time? I am 13 weeks in and still cannot go down the stairs normally. My knee won't bend enough yet. Still have a little trouble going up too. If you're doing stairs correctly so soon, that is terrific. Good for you! !
    • Posted

      Hi Jeanne, going up the stairs one at a time, but quite happy with that at the moment, are you still doing exercises I am having real problems with some of them, my knee was bowing the wrong way so the surgeon told me he may not be able to completely straighten it and although it is a lot better it isnt straight, am wondering if that is why I cannot flatten my leg onto the bed, am going to speak to the physios about that when I see them at my first appointment.ย  x
    • Posted


      I am still 6 degrees away from straightening leg fully on the bed.

      One of my exercises is to 'hang' my leg when lying on the bed. I put two pillows and a couple of rolled towels on top if each other, place my heel on these and hang my leg...straightening my knee. I also try press it straight for 5 seconds with 15 repetitions.

      I was measured by the PT over the past few weeks, and my straightness has improved by 1 - 2 degrees per week. My bend has gone from 90+, to 96, to 103, back to 90+ and now about 100+.

      You are very very early on in this process, so please don't rush and cause more damage.

      And we are all different, as is every surgery.

      Hope this helps,


    • Posted

      I am glad you straightened me out about the stairs. I was beginning to wonder just how far I was behind every one else. I have just begun to go up correctly this week and still uncomfortable. Not enough strength in my leg yet. Am working on strengthening but going slow. Not enough knee bending to come down normally yet. I just avoid stairs all together if I can.
    • Posted

      Hi Jeanne, I find I am improving every so slightly each time I go up stairs, now I know which part of the banister rail to hold alongside the crutch but it still takes me a while to do it, I have to stand and think about it before I start and by the time I reach the top I am totally out of breath with the effort, I think if we had a bathroom downstairs I would leave the stairs alone altogether!
  • Posted

    Sounds like your doing well I had my op 3 weeks ago still a little swollen and stiff, I'm still finding it hurts doing th exercises but getting about more no crutches in house but do use one outside, I go up and downstairs one step at a time, I'm using ice a lot as this helps a lot I find its stiff in the morning but that's expected after being in bed all night, good luck with your recovery all I can add is its slow but sure
    • Posted

      Hi Debbie, I was wondering about using ice packs, do you put it under your knee, alongside or on top ? sorry to be a bit vague. You are doing brilliantly for 3 weeks in, well done keep it up x
  • Posted

    Hi Susie,

    Looks like you're doing very well. I agree with Debbie, re stiffness etc. I am exactly the same.

    This is a great forum, you will get plenty if advice and support.

    My advice is,

    1) Take it easy - at your own pace. Do NOT overdo it. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

    2) Manage your pain - Take medications as scheduled, NOT only when pain hits, it is too late.

    3) Ice, Ice and more Ice - I wasn't icing enough and the good people here told me to ice more and it has made a huge difference. At least 7 or 8 times per day. About 15-20 minutes a session. I could not sleep at all, but doing a really good icing session before going to bed helped greatly. Pillow between knees helps sleeping in side.

    4) More Ice

    5) Share on this site - This is global so 24 hour.

    Best wishes, Take care,


    • Posted

      Hi Alan, thanks for replying, I find some exercises I am not doing at all as they really are too painful but maybe with the help of ice, I know this sounds daft but where do you put the ice, under your knee, alongside, on top?

      I am taking my medication on time.

      How long ago did you have your TKR, did your pain feel like toothache sometime? x

    • Posted

      Hi Susie,

      I put the ice on top, at either side and sometimes umderneath.

      This morning I used two large bags of frozen peas, in a pillow case.

      The peas are excellent because they are so small, they can almost be 'moulded' to the shape of your knee. And can also be re-froze overy and over (obviously not eaten at any point).

      I also use a 'Cryocuff' which is an ice/water wrap around issued by the hospital on discharge. It is excellent, easy to use. It is used by Rugby players for swelling and injuries. Check it out on Amazon.

      A 'toothache' is a pretty good way to describe the pain. These days, 6 weeks on, it is more just a stiffness or feels like a 'weight'.

      Night time pain is worst, not unbearabble, but stops sleep.

      I feel very lucky my pain has been so little. I hope it stays that way.


  • Posted

    Hi Susie!

    Welcome to the forum!๐Ÿ˜Š

    You are right on track and doing well. Recovery from any surgery is challenging, but since so much is involved with a TKR, there is LOTS that must heal. You will be the BOSS in charge of that healing, and it is a very big and important job!

    I will arrive at the one year mark with my left TKR at the end of this month and my 8th month anniversary with my right TKR in just 5 more days. Each has been a very different experience, but I am very grateful that I took the plunge and got them DONE!

    You no doubt had plenty of pain prior to surgery. The best thing for me was getting rid of that horrible increasing pain after I finally had my surgery. Sure there is discomfort, swelling, learning all the little tricks and tips to working with a healing leg, but at least you know that the pain is a HEALING pain and things will improve rather than just get worse.

    A couple things that I think are REALLY important are to STAY POSITIVE and REST! Sure there is exercise and all the other needs like eating well, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and to remove toxins from the body following surgery, but staying positive, looking for small improvements, even laughing at all the crazy things that happen and resting when your body tells you it is tired, for me, have helped me progress well the most and have helped me see my surgeries as an ADVENTURE in getting my life back!

    Wishing you great success in your recovery and patience with yourself as you make your way forward during your recovery!๐Ÿ’—

    • Posted

      Great, Positive advice as usual Cheryl.

      Thanks You

      I Love it, keep it up.

      Take care,


    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl

      Agree with Al . Each time I read your post it helps me to keep the faith ! Reminds me the LONG journey . I have reached 16 days PO from my pkr and an feeling pretty good . I read one post on not being able to straighten her leg . I'm having trouble with that and it's bothersome . I am trying some of the new exercises as mentioned . Wondering others experiences with straighten

      Yesterday I tried stairs the normal way . Funny I'm more comfortable and my leg/ knee works better coming down . It's when I tried to go up that my knee just gave out ( same as before surgery ) . Guess not ready for that .

      Anyway thank you for all your posts . I still can't believe I stumbled onto this forum . It's just been huge Blessing.


    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl,

      ย Thank you so much for reply, you sound such a really strong, motivational, inspiring lady, I think we could be speaking often if thats ok with you lol As I said as my knee was bowing so badly the wrong way even now the leg is not straight I dont know if that will affect being able to lay my leg flat as it falls naturally to one side when I lay down, am going to speak to the physio when i get my first appointment to ask about that. thanks again, x

    • Posted

      Hi Debbie, I am coming downstairs sideways purely as the steps are not very wide to feel safe on. Yes I am bothered about not straightening my leg on a flat surface but am going to try the exercise that Al posted to see if that helps. thanks for replying, You are right this forum is brilliant!! x


    • Posted

      Thanks Al!

      I appreciate the kind words!

      I hope you are having a good day!๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Posted

      Hi Debbie!

      Glad to hear my post is helping you! It is SO important to have lots of support as we are recovering! People here have gone through the fire, so to speak, and KNOW what is like first hand. We all can help one another!

      For straightening, a lot depends on how much swelling there is. It was WEEKS before I was able to even tolerate a few MINUTES of putting my legs out on an ottoman. I had to take them down and rest awhile before trying again. As my wise Physical Therapist re

    • Posted

      My phone just froze!

      To continue...As my wise Physical Therapist reminded me, "Cheryl, you probably haven't had straight legs in YEARS due to your compensating for two painful knees for so long. It took awhile to get bent knees. The muscles and ligaments need to PRACTICE being straight again!"

      VERY wise words and ones that REALLY helped me to understand that I was not just dealing with recovery from surgery; I was dealing with recovery from my five years - at least --of walking with knees BENT to take pressure off my bone-on-bone NO CARTILAGE knees!

      That's good that you can come DOWN easily. That's the toughest part for ME. So much depends on what parts of the knees required repair in addition to any replacement parts. Nerves can be troublesome, too. It all just takes time and patience.

      Would LOVE to keep in touch with you!๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Posted

      My cousin had PKR the same month I had my first TKR. I noticed hers was bowed, and she needed to walk with a cane for balance. Perhaps there are different issues with knees that call for different procedures. Her doctor said a PKR would be best for her.

      Thanks for all the kind words. I look forward to hearing how you are doing. You can also message me if you like.

    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl, what you have said makes total sense, my knee was bowed towards the other for years which explains why I cannot get it flat within 9 days of an op! The swelling is tremendous and the consultant did say it could take up to 12 months for it to completely go, the advice/help given on this forum is invaluable, actually hearing from people who are going/gone through it not just learned about it , thank you x
    • Posted

      Why I like coming here so much is EXACTLY what you mentioned -- hearing the REAL SCOOP from people who are going through what I am going through and helping one another as we recover.

      I need REASONS for things and especially REASONS WHY I need to do something or not do it. I got MANY from my Physical Therapists (God bless them!) and from my Angel Nurse, Cassie in the hospital who was a healer, a patient teacher, and a loving soul. Those were MY PEOPLE who got me through those early days after surgery.

      Now, MY PEOPLE are all of the wonderful ones HERE who give me advice based on a very real understanding of this replacement surgery process because they have experienced it!

      Each one of us here has a personal knee story to tell, and by telling it we help others in ways we may not even realize! I LOVE visiting this forum!

      So glad I could be of some help in understanding your situation and reasons FOR it!

      Keep posting, keep being patient, keep CALM, and keep being positive! ALWAYS ask questions, and only stop asking when you have your answer!

      Have a happy pain-free day!๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl,

      Isn't it amazing that people that don't know each other, have never met, mostrich likely will never meet can be so close and caring and helpful to each other. It's something fantastic. There are people here I look forward to hearing from, chatting to and wake up wondering how they are.

      I wonder why ALL people can't be like this? Maybe they are, just don't know it, don't get the chance.

      We have something in common, one goal maybe this it.

      I find the people here super.

      Best wishes,


    • Posted

      Hi Alan!

      Yes, it IS amazing! It shows me that a group of people with something annoying like KNEE PROBLEMS can band together, support one another, give advice based on personal experience and end up being good friends!

      I think there are A LOT of good people around. They are going about their lives in quiet ways, so we don't get bombarded by their thoughts and opinions in such a LOUD way as others sometimes overpower our lives like in the media or on some sites that aren't moderated well.

      People here are hurting, and they just want some relief. We all can identify with one another! I am VERY grateful that I found this site!

      Keep posting!

      Thank you for your kind words!

      I hope your day is a great one!๐Ÿ˜Š

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