Why so long for TKR?

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I'm now 6months and nearly 3months post op on left and then right knee replacements. Left one went like a dream but the 2nd one is being more problematic but still pretty good. What I was wondering is exactly why it takes soooo long to recover from a TKR? I know they chop and hammer etc during the op but they do this in a hip op too And they cut the muscle!!! Even my consultant didn't give a comprehensive answer when I asked him so thought I'd see if anyone else knows.

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  • Posted

    I wish I knew the answer. In fact, if I'd know that 8 months down the line i would still not have recovered, i highly doubt I would have gone ahead with TKR. I truly regret having had this surgery and struggle wit h the guilt of having done this to me body. I can do less now than before the replacement. My knee is still very tight/stiff. I cant trot, cant kneel, cant squat, cant do steps properly yet. I'm supposed to have the second knee done, but there is no chance of that I'm afraid.

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    • Posted

      Hi Colleen 97.

      Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time still. My 2nd was worse than my first but still pretty good. Did you do all the exercises from day 1 or as early as possible as this makes one hell of a difference in giving you range of movement? I don't know that anyone will ever be able to fully squat after a tkr but certainly I can do a reasonable one. Is it your scar that is tight or he knee itself? Mine goes tight again after lack of movement for a while but soon loosens up. Have you gone back to you consultant and asked about this?

      Hoping it gets sorted out for you soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Yes i have religiously done all exercises, and still do. I did PT for 4 months. Its the knee thats tight. My scar is beautiful, with very little scar tissue. But then i did a lot of scar massage for the first 6 months, which i think helped. I have come a long way, but I'm nowhere near where i think i should be. My surgeon says its normal and doesn't need to see me again .

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    • Posted

      At least you know it's not lack of exercise related then. Wish my scars ere beautiful lol!! Unfortunately they'll be a little on the wide side I think. Guess there's no more leg modelling for me lol!! Keeping everything crossed for you!!

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  • Posted

    I'm 12 weeks from my right TKR and 14 months from the left. MY right has been so much easier than the left was, which proves what everyone says, that no two knees are the same even on the same person.

    The reason knees take twice the recovery length of hips is that (a) it's a far more complicated joint and (b) is more weight bearing than the hip.

    I was told at the outset that it was a minimum of one year recovery and a very painful recovery, which was my experience with the first knee, which at over a year is still not as good as the 12 week old one. I've been advised that it's the IT band causing the problem with the left and should, hopefully, settle over the next few months, but if it hasn't after 2 years they will scan to see if there are any other issues.

    Good luck with the rest of your recovery.

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    • Posted

      I had the opposite problem lol! First one was text book or better but the 2nd one, now 3 months old, is still giving me more aching etc than the first one did at the same age. Although I had and still have a better bend at an earlier stage on the latest one than I did on the first one and even that was good!!! Hard to believe that a body can have 2 joints react do differently to the same procedure. I did wonder if it was the weight bearing and rom thing although I think hips are pretty weight bearing too. You can walk so that you dont use your knee much but you have to use your hip regardless. Hope you get yours sorted out soon and have a speedy recovery!!

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    • Posted

      I found this written by a Harvard expert:

      The hip is really a much simpler joint. The knee has to balance off-center loads and move side to side. And with a total knee replacement, you are removing a lot of tissue and bone. Postoperative pain is higher with knees since the soft tissue affected by the surgery must stretch more than soft tissue around the hip.

      An experienced surgeon could probably do a hip replacement blindfolded because you can feel everything, and components of the replacement are put right into the bones. But a knee replacement involves releasing ligaments, putting the components onto bone and then getting things to balance out just right. The ligaments can be damaged or shortened by arthritis, so you really have to make sure the knee is stable. And the joint must flex and rotate.

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  • Posted

    hi good morning x i am nine months post op knee replacment and also having some problems x stiffness and pain on trying to bend it x still swollen too x not sure how long all this will take but i tbink its a long journey and my doctor said up to 18 months x

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  • Posted

    yes it's definitely a long one! I know we're all different and as Chico_marx tells us (quite rightly too) that we should throw all schedules out the window when it comes to tkr recovery. However I was wondering why it takes so long to recover. Hips don't take anywhere near as long and they actually cut the muscle whilst doing those! Both ops have bones chopped off too. I know initially a tkr scar has to cope with alot that a hip doesn't but what explains the rest of the year or more recovery? You can rebuild muscle more quickly than that so why so long I wonder?

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  • Posted

    My right one 12 years ago was a breeze. My left one done in Nov 2018 had to be replaced Sept 2019. along with multiple problems ...knee cap ...not being able to raise my leg. MY first 4 months were great and I am missing going to the gym. i do exercise as home but much prefer the gym. Recently I have had pain just below the thigh. ive been working my quad muscles and using a massager in case its scar tissue. The replacement has been a big improvement over tge first one. my surgeon said its a 2 year journey.

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