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Tips to straighten TKR leg

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by ladyblue, Feb 21, 2008.

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  1. ladyblue

    ladyblue Junior Member

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    Hi everyone. Went to the OS on Tuesday and he said everything was going normal (?) but I need to work on straightening my leg out flat when I am lying down. I have tried and tried but it won't go flat without pressing it down. Any suggestions on what I can do to work with this? [/INDENT]Is it normal to have some days when the knee/leg just doesn't want to move right? There are times when things go really good but the past several days have been awful! ( I am blaming it on the cold,damp weather!)
     
  2. doug

    doug Forum Advisor

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    Ladyblue,
    It's funny that I opened the forum and found your post first thing. I'm 5 weeks post op. today.
    I got up about 30 mins. ago and my leg is stiff as can be. I did the most walking yesterday that I have done since the surgery.
    I am going to go to the gym and warm it up, then get on the floor and just do some old fashion stretches. I don't think there are any fancy techniques other than just pushing to the point where it is needed.
    My is, how long does this stiffness hang around?
     
  3. gatiger

    gatiger Graduate

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    The getting straight thing has not been my problem, but several people have posted tips. Some suggestions: Sit with your foot proped on a table with nothing under your knee and allow it to sag down; If you sleep with a pillow under your knee, try to stop. If you can't give it up then try to elevate your foot as well as your knee. Concentrate on your extension as you walk/stand and force it straight as much as possible. I'm sure others will have other ideas but this will get a start, hang in there, help is on the way.
     
  4. Pattipoo

    Pattipoo Post-Grad

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    This is one of my "naggiest" problems!!!!! It feels SOOOO good with a pillow under my knee....the other way almost makes me throw up, BUT, I do elevate my heel, often, and apply pressure to straighten it. I have a friend that had his TKR a year ago and he said his straightened with time. I find myself walking very slow to bend and straighten properly....i'm sick of being a slow-pokey!!
     
  5. gatiger

    gatiger Graduate

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    Ladyblue, when you say it doesn't get straight, how close to straight does it get? Has your therapist measured or mentioned it to you? When I consider my 'non-operative' leg straight it is actually at -5*; the operative leg stops at 0*. He said this would work out over time and they do nothing for this extra 5*.
     
  6. Skeet

    Skeet Supremo

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    I have the same issue, gatiger. I am at -4 on my good leg and 0 on the involved leg. Everyone was thrilled. But since it doesn't match my other leg it feels like I need to go further.

    I agree with the advice already given on how to get to 0. Just stay with it and it will come with time. A hot tub would help!

    Skeet
     
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  7. ladyblue

    ladyblue Junior Member

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    The only time that I was measured was at my first PT appointment. The doctor didn't even measure my ROM. My PT said to let my leg hang over the bed with 3.5 lb weights attached for 10 minutes and do it several times a day. I haven't slept with a pillow under my leg since my arthroscopic surgery last year..though I had one one my side (a body pillow) to rest my knee on it during the night. I have therapy tomorrow and I am asking them to measure me so I know what my progress is!
     
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  8. kath

    kath Senior

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    Well today I was straight at 0 and I am very happy with that. I just did all the PT and I do when I remember try to keep my foot straight, leg straight. I have a big tendency to tilt my foot out, which of course bends your knee a bit and takes the pressure off, I have slept like that for years because of my bad knees so it is a hard habit to break. I found that when I am just resting and even when I had nights that I slept on my sofa, I would lay down and put my operated leg against the back of the sofa, kept me from unconsciously tilting my foot and kept my knee straighter, also I flex that muscle on the top of your thigh and it pushes your knee down. Flex it hold it for 10 seconds and repeat.
    I find that it actually feels good now to do that. Also the coffee table, ottoman thing worked for me.
     
  9. gatiger

    gatiger Graduate

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    Kath, haven't heard from you in a while, I'm guessing that means you're doing good. I think I'm going to make it these days. As a preacher told me one time, "we just have pray and press on".
     
  10. Pattipoo

    Pattipoo Post-Grad

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    This straightening business is my BIGGEST pain. It makes the back of my knee hurt so bad that I almost cry....anybody else feel that way? I'm 7 weeks out today...I can put a rolled towel under my ankle and push it down but I can't walk with it that way....I still limp a little and walk a little slower than normal.

    letting it drop off a table HURTS like a BIG FAT MONKEY.....please don't tell me I'm the only one with BFM knee!!!!
     
  11. doug

    doug Forum Advisor

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    My Dr. told me one of the reasons for the tension around and particularly behind the knee was due to the fact that the femur had grown misaligned with the lower leg. I had no cartilage left, arthritis, and two transplanted ligaments. The misalignment was gradual but caused tension on the outside tendons and ligaments. With the new knee we have to allow rehab and time the opportunity to tighten what needs to be tightened and stretch what needs to be stretched.
    I would imagine most of us share this common problem.
     
  12. gatiger

    gatiger Graduate

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    Patti, when mine gets to what I've started calling 'the end of the line' where the bending stops, it is definately a BFM. It doesn't matter if it drops or I put it there. My therapist said the "end-point" will always hurt, but the idea is to keep moving the end-point until we get full ROM. They push the end-point and we progress until its all good. Sometimes the end is harder to move than others, thus the 'stock market report', but in time we'll get there. After all we have a lot invested in this.
     
  13. kath

    kath Senior

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    I know I sure do, the outside left side behind my knee (left knee) wow it is so tight, hurts more than any other part really especially that stretch when you are on your belly!
    My PT now massages and really puts pressure on that spot while he is torturing me with that on the belly stretch (love my professional discriptions?) anyway that helps me so much and I can really bend it so much more. I even found that if it hurts doing my stretches at home, if I just put pressure on it myself it really helps.
    Kath
     
  14. kath

    kath Senior

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    I am just a few days past 7 weeks and only just got down to 0 on the straightening thing. And it still doesn't tickle.
     
  15. Pattipoo

    Pattipoo Post-Grad

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    So when you say you've gotten to zero, does that mean when you stretch it and measure it....OR, are you saying that you're walking completely normal with your op. leg at zero? When I'm standing straight up, my op. leg isn't as straightened as the other one. I've been told that will come with PT and time.....i'm just wondering if I'm the only one walking around with the "bendz".....I don't LIKE the bendz!!!....it slows me down.
     
  16. Pattipoo

    Pattipoo Post-Grad

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    Don't know if I made myself clear.....(percocet and birthday cake done gone to my head!!!!....and my grammar)

    When I'm measured, I'm at Zero.....but, I'm not standing at zero.....

    I need reassurance!!!! I need this booboo kissed away...I'm getting tired of it.

    I need a pep talk!

    I'm 52 today....feeling old and a Big Fat Monkey Pain in my Kneesals!
     
  17. beachcomber

    beachcomber Post-Grad

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    Happy Birthday! I'll toast your birthday with my bedtime pain pill and muscle relaxer! The depths I have sunken to.... LOL!

    I don't know if it will happen to you this way-- but after working really really hard at my home PT twice a day-- I went in to my PT last week and said-- ok, let's get real. I am going to start back to work and I can't possibly to that much home PT anymore. Plus we just we just started my back PT and I was feeling overwhelmed by my exercise list.

    She just smiled and crossed off many of the exercises I had been doing for ROM and said I had reached my goals for extension and was close enough on flexion that it was no longer my primary goal. I walk without a limp (unless too tired) and it is time to move on to other goals.

    That felt good.... goals reached... until later that night when the pain from the "new goals" hit! Moving on.....

    If you are measuring at 0 you are getting close to walking more balanced too! Good luck!
     
  18. bsassy

    bsassy Junior Member

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    patti (hey birthday girl)...you r so not alone...i had day 1 today of my real p.t. outside the house..thought last week''s evaluation was the real deal but found out today how it really starts..that, too was my biggest complaint......i can't straighten it and i walk slow & limpy....starting to really tick me off ......and wear me out.....the p.t. didn't give me #'s but she sure as heck didn't have a prob pushing my knee into the table with me flat on my back ....she promised i'd get there and she promised to get the pain down so right now i'm zapped on my perkies too and every chance i get i'm pushing that baby flat out ......you are not alone! my other prob is my scar.....it's raised up from the skin and is ugly as sin...anyone know if that will go down in time an smooth out???
    52 is our year....i hit it 5 months ago....wtf we're too young for all this mess.....lol
     
  19. Pattipoo

    Pattipoo Post-Grad

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    OH MY GOSH...we're twins...my scar is as ugly as a prison tattoo!!!!.....and here's my limpy walk story.....My kids 24 and 27 and husband (he'll be 52 on Sat.) took me to my favorite restaurant tonight...it's actually a microbrewery. We had a nice dinner...wonderful Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory....I didn't drink any alcohol because of the Percs....BUT, as we're walking out of the place, I'm having to really hold on to my daughter's arm because I just pulled a 9 hour day at work and the celebrating really wore me out......I was scared to death that people would think that the poor girl was having to help her soused mom out of the restaurant-I almost shouted "I'm not drunk -just had a TKR"....but I didn't!!! I've got this big, active family.....all are athletes....my son just graduated from college - he went on a football scholly....my daughter went to college on a basketball scholly......my husband played college and semi pro football...HERE I AM - the misfit cripple!!! Yes, I'm having a pity party....I've damn well earned it!!!!!
    I want things back to normal.....WHEN will they be back to normal????? When can we realistically expect to walk NORMALLY.
    I'm sitting in a dark room....hubbie snoring away beside of me....can't sleep...hormonal as hell.....
    Thanks for listening....I know it'll be better tomorrow and I'll be embarrassed because I acted like a big fat BABY!
     
  20. beachcomber

    beachcomber Post-Grad

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    Just to add to the fun... this last surgery seems to have triggered my "hot flashes" for some reason. I hadn't had any for months and now find myself fanning away during the day and waking up at night several times.

    Dang! Can't we just narrow this down to one misery at a time! LOL!

    Hang in there... I have a feeling you are due for a "corner" to turn and will have a positive leap forward soon. It truly isn't linear, huh? And hard to predict but you are soooo "due".

    Carolyn
     
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