Worried, only getting 65 degree bend 2 weeks after TKR.

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HI

well i didnt start this journey very well, and as i was told, it has been a rollercoaster so far. Ive had some really good days when i think there is light at the end of the tunnel, but others when it feels really hopeless. I thought things were improving and i was getting more mobile, but yesterday had my staples out- horrendous and bloody experience- niw have a load of sterastrips under my dressing to hokd my wound together. i didnt exerciseafter commng back from the nurse and had a terribke night with a very stiff leg ( which wont straighten. i have been booked in fir a series if hydrotherapy sessions starting on the 11th- so hope this will help.

WILL I GET A STRAIGHT LEG WITH A DECENT BEND???!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    My first RTKR was 2/17. It was a rocky several months-got stick at 105 bend and had a subsequent MUA(manipulation). Everyone is different. If you can get proper PT, they will get you moving in the right direction. It takes patience & time. I am 9 days post-op from LTKR. Completely different experience/outcome. I am at 115 rom already and walking with a cane UNHEARD OF AND UNUSUAL! I am not without pain but tolerating this operation much differently. stay positive - keep working at it!

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  • Posted

    Could depend on your body's swelling and recovery. Lots of post-TKA patients have a fluctuation between swelling and range, and that can happen for 3-6 months... Did you have a loss of range of motion PRIOR to your knee replacement?

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    • Posted

      Gotcha, that's fairly normal to take a month or so to see gains, especially since the ROM wasn't there previously. Imagine it this way, you have a cast on a broken arm and that cast keeps your elbow bent while the arm heals for 6 weeks, when that arm is taken out of the cast, the muscles have shortened and the ligaments around the joint have also shrunk down a bit as well. When the cast is off, normal functional movements of extending and bending the arm will help the muscles get back to their previous length and the ligaments return back to their optimal length...

      So, to put that in post-TKA terms, the quads and hamstrings are the largest muscle groups that cross the knee and allow/restrict your ROM, and the ligament capsule that surrounds your knee were tight as well, so in order to get that range back, it will take repeated stretching in flexion/extension (bending/straightening) multiple times per day to get that range back to where you want it to be! The research will even show that you can do repeated stretches on/off to your end range vs. using sustained holds at end range, which can be lots more painful... Consistency is key to getting that range back, but once you get the range, and the swelling has no longer become an issue, you'll be good to go!

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    • Posted

      thank you, thats what i needed to hear!

      I had read somewhere ( unhelpfully) that the ROM you have at 2 weeks post op was the best you would get- this really worried me!

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  • Posted

    Two weeks is still pretty early...and everyone is different. I started PT at three weeks with a -14 / +84 flexion. Finished at 12 weeks post-op with -1 / +123. Lots of work, pain and patience. These help...

    ROM Work at Home

    Gotta break down that scar tissue but it takes time and work. Only if repeated attempts over weeks does not resolve the situation, your doc might recommend an MUA to get you much better flexion. I would do all I can before resorting to that path.

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