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TKR 11 months after TKR

JMG

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Recovery has been going well. It’s been 11 months since my TKR and no pain at all. Can bend 130 degrees and straighten fully to zero. BUT I have a lot of stiffness, doesn’t prevent me from any of my daily activities but very bothersome!!!! My doctor says, “ oh don’t worry about it sometimes it can take 18 months to fully recover” Should I be concerned and get a 2nd opinion on this???
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Your doctor is right, recovery can take well into a second year. As long as you have good ROM, no pain, and can do all your activities, I would try to be patient while you continue to heal. Many of us have seen improvement well into the second year.

What kind of exercise and activies are you doing? Just maybe, you have been overdoing things a bit, for your particular knee, and that’s why your stiffness is taking longer than some, to get better.
 

Jockette

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Please tell us your surgery date and we’ll make a signature for you. :flwrysmile:
 
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JMG

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My surgery date was November 9, 2020. I do hours of yard work at a time plus exercise with the bike 20-30 minutes almost every morning and maybe 2x a week leg lifts with 4 lb weights.
 

Reader525

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@JMG I think the fact you can do all that you do is testament to how healed you are! Wowza!! Do you kneel while gardening? I think kneeling is very hard on the TKR, it's just a thought, but it could be making you stiff. Look at what you have accomplished!
 
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JMG

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Reader525 thank you. I can’t kneel on TKR but I can squat and bend. I’m happy with the fact my pain is gone and can do all these things but, it just seems like I shouldn’t be have this stiffness feeling at almost a year.
 

patriciad

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You are doing amazing! I remember that it took around a full year before I forgot about my TKR. Until then I was aware of stiffness, odd aches or the knee just feeling differently than my natural knee. If the stiffness you are feeling is not limiting your ROM then I wouldn’t worry as you are back to normal activities and gardening is definitely hard on the knees. It’s one of my favorite activities and I can’t wait to get back to it. Oh and I could kneel eventually when weeding with a thick foam pad. Maybe start to ice again after vigorous activities and see if that makes a difference.
 

Sisterpat

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JMG, welcome! Your doc is correct and I wouldn’t worry about a 2nd opinion. Stiffness cases for a long time. If you are doing the things you like without pain, you are well on the road to full recovery.
 

Reader525

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@patriciad @Sisterpat How long does it usually take to be able to kneel? I have crawled into bed a few times and my knee feels weird, not pain exactly, but not a good feeling.
 

patriciad

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@Reader525 I haven’t tried kneeling yet this time around and I can’t remember exactly how long it took on the first one but at least 6 months. It feels strange because you don’t have the same sense with the prosthetic knee and I advise a pillow or cushion unless you are on the bed as you say.
 
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JMG

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Patriciad your comments really help me a lot. I have been feeling like my knee will never feel normal again. Thank you.
 

patriciad

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Glad my input helped. I do think we have to adjust our expectations of the prosthetic joint. I had thought that having a replacement knee meant I would get back my old knee prior to arthritis damage and it took me a while to realize that I wouldn’t- it functioned but felt very different from a natural joint. This time I know what to expect so it’s easier. I think I said that being without the grinding pain of arthritic knees makes the whole process worthwhile.
 

benne68

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I do think we have to adjust our expectations of the prosthetic joint. I had thought that having a replacement knee meant I would get back my old knee prior to arthritis damage and it took me a while to realize that I wouldn’t- it functioned but felt very different from a natural joint.
@patriciad Thanks for this. Because my replacement hip feels so "normal" to me, I think my expectations for my new knee have been unrealistic. I've been trying to kneel so I can resume yoga classes, but it's just not happening (even with a pillow). I'm starting to realize that it may never feel natural.
 

patriciad

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But it will feel like the “new natural” in time. Don’t rush the kneeling - that happens after all your internal tissue has fully healed. I have not done yoga for many years but have a friend who had TKR a year before me and she was back to her yoga classes 6 months after surgery and has been able do all her routines since then. She credits her yoga with a good recovery so I’m sure you will get there too.
 

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