TKR 3 1/2 months post op Left TKR

JeffB

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I just found this forum today and am glad I did. Here is my story so far: I had a TLKR on April 25. I saw my doctor last week, He feels my recovery is going great. The scar has healed up very nicely according to him. He does not need to see me until the year date now.

I was released from PT 2 days ago. I am at 112 ROM. I am a little disappointed this is not higher, though. I do my stretches twice daily.
Like most everyone else, I still have issues with stiffness and a little swelling. My questions are can the ROM continue to improve this far out from the surgery?

I should also add that I had a partial knee replacement on my right knee back in 2015. I am at 130 ROM with that knee but I cannot remember for the life of me how long it took to get there.
 
Hello and welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
Like most everyone else, I still have issues with stiffness and a little swelling.
It is not too late to be icing and elevating which will help with pain and swelling. Swelling can last for many months, even up to a full year post op, most often easing over time.

Please don't stress over your ROM. While your range of motion is currently limited, it will naturally increase as the swelling subsides and the pain eases. Give it more time. I will leave an inspirational post below from current member JusticeRider on ROM. I think it will offer you some reassurance on the topic.

What type of partial did you experience back in 2015? Please let us know and we'll add that information to the signature we create for you.

Here are some Recovery Guidelines along with best wishes as you continue the healing journey. Please stop by often. We'd like to follow your progress. Hope to hear from you again soon!

KNEE RECOVERY GUIDELINES

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
I had a partial knee replacement on my right knee in November of 2015.
 
Here is the post from member JusticeRider that I mentioned above -

"I just want to add, for all those coming along, a note on ROM. I want to share this because nearly all of us have a tremendous amount pressure put on us to increase our ROM by certain deadlines, or else.

Mine has been extremely slow coming. First I had to wait out the swelling, which in my case took more than 5 months. Yes, months. At that point I began to see real progress. It has continued to this day. I have seen improvement in the last 2 weeks. It’s still going. A this point I think the limiting factor is tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons from 3 yrs of very limited ROM and actually about 25 yrs of somewhat limited ROM. Those tissues are slowly stretching.

I have had to be willing to let my flexion improve at a glacial pace, be very patient, and tune out the dire warnings of my surgeon, PA, previous PT, and some well meaning acquaintances. I refused painful PT and refused a MUA. I have absolutely no regrets. I know my body, and I believe those things would have caused a domino effect of swelling and pain that may have derailed my recovery long term and even possibly have torn soft tissue, etc. I now know I have the added challenges of hypermobility and an immune condition that causes an inflammatory reaction. I think a MUA would have been very harmful to me.

Instead of forcing it, I have relied on weekly massage and using my stationary bike as a stretching aid every single day. I have been very active, but I have ramped up really, really gradually. I have not measured my flexion, because honestly I feel almost a PTSD type of reaction around it. All I care about is function and what I can do. My knee is very functional now, and still improving. I love my new knee. I’m glad I let it heal on its own timeline even though it was so much longer than everyone (most of all me!) would have liked."
 
Thank you, Jeff.
Wondering if it was medial, lateral, or patello-femoral?
@JeffB
 
My questions are can the ROM continue to improve this far out from the surgery?
Yes! I'm one of those whose flex continued to improve slowly over time -- in fact, well into my second year!

You mention that you have stiffness and swelling that you can see, so it is very likely that you also have internal swelling, which is limiting your ability to bend.

Please do read the article Layla shared with you above -- especially the myth busters about "no pain, no gain" and "window of opportunity."

Your ROM will improve -- it just takes time!
 
@JeffB I am nearly 3 months post op, and like you I am still suffering with inflammation and stiffness of the knee, I find it very frustrating, however by reading other people’s struggles actually makes me feel like I’m not alone in this very long healing process. My ROM is only at 105 but I do believe that once the swelling goes down it will get better, so I am not worried. Good luck in your recovery.
 
Hi and Welcome!

My questions are can the ROM continue to improve this far out from the surgery?

I’m another one whose ROM continued to improve well into my second year.

If you read through the Recovery Guidelines, you’ll find this article, and a lot of other good ones:

And, you’re not really “so far out from surgery” this recovery takes an average of a full year, so you still have lots of healing to do.
 
Here is the post from member JusticeRider that I mentioned above -

"I just want to add, for all those coming along, a note on ROM. I want to share this because nearly all of us have a tremendous amount pressure put on us to increase our ROM by certain deadlines, or else.

Mine has been extremely slow coming. First I had to wait out the swelling, which in my case took more than 5 months. Yes, months. At that point I began to see real progress. It has continued to this day. I have seen improvement in the last 2 weeks. It’s still going. A this point I think the limiting factor is tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons from 3 yrs of very limited ROM and actually about 25 yrs of somewhat limited ROM. Those tissues are slowly stretching.

I have had to be willing to let my flexion improve at a glacial pace, be very patient, and tune out the dire warnings of my surgeon, PA, previous PT, and some well meaning acquaintances. I refused painful PT and refused a MUA. I have absolutely no regrets. I know my body, and I believe those things would have caused a domino effect of swelling and pain that may have derailed my recovery long term and even possibly have torn soft tissue, etc. I now know I have the added challenges of hypermobility and an immune condition that causes an inflammatory reaction. I think a MUA would have been very harmful to me.

Instead of forcing it, I have relied on weekly massage and using my stationary bike as a stretching aid every single day. I have been very active, but I have ramped up really, really gradually. I have not measured my flexion, because honestly I feel almost a PTSD type of reaction around it. All I care about is function and what I can do. My knee is very functional now, and still improving. I love my new knee. I’m glad I let it heal on its own timeline even though it was so much longer than everyone (most of all me!) would have liked."
Awesome!!!! And soooo true.

I’m 1yr5montys post TKR and still continuing to see improvements in ROM strength and function. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Test of patience. :egypdance:
 
Thank you, Jeff.
Wondering if it was medial, lateral, or patello-femoral?
@JeffB
I am not sure off the top of my head. Let me see if I can find any information in my records. This could take a little bit.
 
No worries. Please don't go out of your way to find the info.
Have a great weekend!
@JeffB
 

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