Total knee replacement and stairs

Posted , 8 users are following.

I had a TKR in November 2018 and had to have a manipulation under anaesthetic in February 2019. My knee is a lot better - I can now bend it and I know it will weight bear because my physio has me doing exercises standing on my operated leg.

My problem is with stairs. I am just about managing to get up the stairs one foot after the other - something I haven't been able to do for years due to the pain. But it's so hard, and my knee aches so much afterwards I get so disheartened.

Coming down is a different matter. I use a step at physio and I'm now able to go straight on and off the other side in a totally natural movement, bending my operated knee. But the stairs are so much deeper than the step, and I just can't bend my knee enough to make it down the stairs - even using a crutch and the handrail, and doing it slowly so I don't fall (which is what scares me).

I'm still in a fair amount of discomfort most of the time, and have stopped taking pain meds as they made me feel nauseous.

Any one else had a similar problem? When you listen to stories of people having TKR, they are back to normal after just 6 weeks.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I had my surgery NOV 29..2018. i still go up and down stairs on leg at a time. Im not worried about it as i know it will come in time. I had my other knee done 11 years ago. I too still have a lot of discomfort. Nights are still not great. i wake every few hours and my knee is so stiff i have to stretch and use a cane to walk about 6 steps. I never experienced this stiffness with my other knee. MY quads are still bad. I cant lift my leg off the bed. The extra strain on my good knee and hips are causing pain. I finished physio and go to my gym 3 a week. i always feel much looser after the gym. I take over the counter meds. i usually dont need them during the day. To top it all off I had to have surgery on my nose 3 weeks ago for skin cancer. i look more like a recovering accident victim. I know with time things will get better. i just have to hang in there. Good luck with your journey...things will get better.

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  • Posted

    it would be beneficial to you to read the feed from CHICO MARX on this site. 6 weeks back to normal is true for a small number of people.

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  • Posted

    Almost exactly where you are (wonder if it's the name! lol). TKR Nov 13, MUA mid-January. Generally doing well, bend finally reaching 125, but still struggling to go down the stairs (up is fine). And now of course the "good" knee is protesting--I have IT band syndrome which gives me pain from hip to knee. Still in PT, although starting to taper off, and at the gym several days a week. They tell me to be patient--not my strong suit! But really there is not much else to do--just keep maintaining and have faith that it will continue to improve.

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  • Posted

    HI Judith, My advice: AQUA EXERCISE or POOL THERAPY (not billiards). Walking forwards and backwards in the pool, swimming, too. Provided your op scar is healed and dry. Weekly PT is also important.

    I've had 5 TKR operations because a nasty TKR infection 2014. Later a two-stage revision here in Thailand. Completed in Sep 2018. Due to my deformed femur from a ski-jump accident in Finland in my youth my maximum flexion is 90 degrees. I hate walking DOWNSTAIRS! Hopping or sideways and I love escalators going downstairs!

    Some staircases, the steps are too high. Heal and toe technique helps and practice. Now, I can manage the stairs at home. Upstairs never a problem. I use the handrails. My thigh muscles are increasing in volume thanks to daily pool exercise.

    PAIN. Tell me about it? In Sweden my first TKR operation 2014. Oxycontin, Oxycodone like candy morning, afternoon and evening after the op. Later prescriptions, no problem. Even the psychiatrist, a friend of mine was prescribing these dangerous opiates. Here in THAILAND where I had my revision NO OxyContin! Only for cancer patients.

    Tramadol 50 mg when I am in pain with strong coffee NO SUGAR! I have not experienced any nausea. My daily swimming pool, walking exercise also helps me to sleep - no sleeping pills. Best regards, Bangkok-Johnny

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  • Posted

    Don't compare yourself to anyone else. This recovery is a marathon not a sprint. We all start on the same line, but we don't all finish at the same time. They say it's a year to full recovery, sometimes longer, so you're only a third of the way through. If your stairs at home are steeper and you don't have enough bend to come down comfortably I would go back to coming down without bending the operated knee. The more you aggravate it, the more it's likely to swell and then it's going to be harder to bend. Are you still icing it? That may help and hydrotherapy is usually beneficial too.

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  • Posted

    If they tell you they are back to "normal" after 6 weeks they are lying, no offense. 😮)

    I'm 12 weeks post op from bilateral and consider myself doing pretty good.

    Going upstairs is slow as I'm still working on strengthening my quads because this surgery

    really does a number on them.

    Going downstairs is slow too, I can do it one foot after the other but the pain is still there at the top.

    of my knee.

    Bottom line...... it's a work in process..... a marathon not a sprint..... and all those other cliches .....lol

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