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Tightness 5 Months Out from TKR

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by elcammeno, Aug 8, 2009.

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  1. elcammeno

    elcammeno Junior Member

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    I am 5 months out of knee replacement. I had my other knee done last yr & doing great with it, no pain. How I wish I had kept a journal on the progress of that one & what I experienced from month to month. With this 2nd knee I keep having a feeling of tightness & stiffness on the outer right side of the knee for some time now every day. I still have trouble going down steps also. This stiffness & tightness is always there. It's more tightness than stifness. Also I can't lie in bed on that side without experiencing pain which is my favorite side to lie in bed. Using a pillow makes no difference. If anyone else has experienced this I would appreciate hearing from you. When I talked to my knee surgeon about it at my last check up he didn't seem too concerned. He thought it may be a ligament. He said to come back in December if I still had this. Last month I had been walking for 30 min a day & that made it worse so now I walked twice a day for 15 minutes, once in the a.m & then at night.
    Sharon
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Elcammeno, I have moved your post to its own thread so you will receive responses specific to your questions.

    It sounds like you still have some inflammation and swelling going on. Are you taking any over-the-counter anti-inflammants like Aleve or Advil? If not, set yourself up on a schedule to take them daily for a week or so and see if things improve. Also.....icing and elevating will help ease the swelling. I would get back into that too. Your idea of walking twice a day is a better arrangement than one long walk.

    Tell me exactly where the pain is. I'm wondering if you have some IT Band problems going on.
  3. Texas

    Texas Alpha

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    Hello Welcome I had my TKR in May i do have stiffness and lil painful sometimes...Every knee is different so maybe this one is a lil different....keep up your exercises dont stop that...Try to ice more and take the medicine if you need to...It does take while to recover and comparing the two, well each one is different. I hope it gets better for you but if it is still bothering you by all means see your Dr ...I wish the best for you and please post anytime :)
  4. Motherofmany

    Motherofmany Graduate

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    Sharon,

    Sounds like the IT Band where the tightness is. That's the muscle that runs on the outside of the leg to below the knee. Mine is tight also and I have been doing some stretching to try to loosen it up. I didn't realise how tight until I had a massage last week. When she touched the hip area, I jumped. It was too painful for her to work on long. I sure hope you and I get some relief soon. This area has been a problem for my continuing to increase ROM. Also have some soft tissue swelling going on where the joint replacement attaches on the backside of my leg both upper and lower. Causes frustration, tightness and swelling with limited ROM (range of motion).

    Here's a link for some good exercises to help with the IT Band. Hope it helps you some.

    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/kneepainandinjuries/a/IT_Band_Pain.htm

    Also, here is another exercise I found that I will try to see if it helps.

    Side Stretch
    The side stretching is performed while standing as follows: Place the injured leg behind the good one. If the left side is the sore side, cross your left leg behind your right one. Then lean away from the injured side towards your right side. There should be a table or chair that you can hold onto for balance on that side. This stretch is the best of several that exist for this area. Be careful not to overstretch. Hold for 7 to 10 seconds and repeat on each side 7 to 10 times. ​
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Hip Abductor Strengthening
    The hip abductor's strength may be tested by trying to balance on one leg. You will probably find it difficult to balance on the affected leg. You may strengthen your hip abductor muscles by standing on one leg and lifting or tilting the other hip upward. Keep the knee straight on the leg you are standing on.
    If your self-treatment has not been completely successful than a trip to a sports medicine specialist may include the additional treatment of either a steroid injection below the IT band and possible orthotics. Treatment is usually succesful for this problem. ​
  5. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Yes, for sure what you are describing is ITB band inflammation. Are you still seeing your PT? If not, can you get to one? Some deep massage would help along with the exercises that Mother has described.

    Another thing you could do is to to make a hands into fists, put the finger knuckled onto the painful spots and make small circular massaging movements deep into the muscle. If the muscles on the outside of your thigh are tender, you'll probably find those on the inside are as well. Massage all up and down your thigh, making the little circular movements at one point, then move up/down a bit and repeat.

    What you're doing is acu-pressure and it helps to get the muscles to relax.


  6. skigirl

    skigirl Moderator

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    I am on board that this is IT band tightness too. You need to see a PT--it is too hard to massage yourself because it is so painful. I am working really hard on getting my quads to strenthen because this problem is that when the quads are weak, the IT band gets tighter. You need more pt and more massage. KElly
  7. Surfsister

    Surfsister Senior

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    My IT band is finally starting to loosen up and stop hurting. That stretch Jo showed above works wonders. It truly does. Do it several times a day. When I feel my IT band starting to complain, I immediately stop and do that stretch. I still can't sleep on my left side but it is improving.
  8. Linda2

    Linda2 Post-Grad

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    I agree with the others! :wItht: I had IT band problems with my first knee and it really hangs on. Keep stretching and if you can get PT or a massage therapist to work on it, that a real help.
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