5 weeks and I've had it!

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lee28

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It's been 5 weeks since left tkr and I've had it! I exercise twice a day, I ice twice a day, I have one of those little peddling bikes that you can sit on a chair and peddle and I do that for a 1/2 hour a day and still my knee is so stiff and tight. I'm beginning to wonder if I made the right decision to have this done. I am highly discouraged right now with all this, I expected more. I walk but as I walk I feel the knee tighten up even more. Has anyone one else experienced this? I'm beginning to think the worst and I don't want to give up. I promised myself I would fight through this, but I'm having second thoughts.
 

referee54

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Hey---I had both knees replaced on 11/08/07---and my left one now is just beginning to loosen up. I ride a bike, I lift weights, use rubber bands, and do balance work at the PT. Remember, you had major surgery and your muscles will be stiff for a while---maybe several months...but then they will get better.

I went back to teaching on 1/03/08. and throughout the day my knee would tighten and then loosen up---as in waves...but normally, by the end of the day, it was pretty tight. Remember, your knee didn't get this bad over night---and one point you need to consider (sorry for the pun!) is that you may have been slightly bow-legged---I was---and the leg is now straight---but the muscles have to adjust.

You have to be inths for the long haul. My MD andmy PT said it would be about a year before I forget that I don't have my real knees anymore. Did you get a chance to see what keeps megoing? It is my sons's commencement speech...

"If perhaps you get knocked down along the way, get back up! You must never accept failure! Never take the easy way out, and don't quit! If you have to, do it over and over again until you get it right. And when you get to that certain place where you are heading, BE COMMITTED. Be committed not only to your work or job, but to your family, your friends, and to yourself."

Things will get better! Slow down on your measurements---think of where you were last week or two weeks ago. I got frutrated too, but remember, you are recovering from major surgery.

Tim C.
 

ciaobella

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I have to admit the amount of stiffness I had many weeks out was incredible and unexpected.

It was still requiring me to take pain meds, especially at night.
It does get better though.
I am still stiff (almost 3 months out) but it is a lot less).
Now it is mostly at the end of the day or if I keep my leg in one position too long. And each week it seems a little less.

I know it takes up to a year for it to completely subside.
So, don't get discouraged and keep doing what you are doing because it will help you in the end!
 

Skeet

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I'm at 5 weeks yesterday and still have lots of stiffness, esp. in the morning and whenever I keep my leg in one position for any length of time. If I keep it flat, it feels like it will never bend again and vice versa. Your description of exercise, icing, elevating, etc. sounds a lot like mine. I am still on pain killers (~1 every 7-8 hours) and getting better, but I also thought I'd be better by now.

Mostly I think we didn't get expectations well set in advance. I knew it would be months to get back to 100%, but didn't know how long and slow this would be. I was frustrated, but after reading the posts on this site, I am much less concerned. I am progressing per my PT. I see my doctor next week and hope to be able to go back to work from home on 2-1.

I still can't drive, etc. so that will be the next big progress step for me!

Hang in there. It gets better. You made the right choice. I'm hoping I did, too!

Skeet
 

Sue

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Yup, stiffness takes a while. I'm at three months now, and I still get stiff if I sit in one place too long or sometimes at night. Just can't shake it yet. Fortunately it has become far less frequent of an occurrence over time, and I no longer need to take pain meds for it. I just get up, do some stretching or walking around, and go back to what I was doing.
 

JuneBug88

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I am only 3 weeks ahead of you, I still experience the same things. BUT my good days are getting to be more and more and my bad days less and less. Start making short term goals and work up to larger goals. I find that is making my recovery easier.
Debbi
 

Doug

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Great question and responses. I'm only 5 days post tkr and measuring my successes in "good/bad Moments".
I've been fortunate in that I worked out intensely prior to the surgery and am able to fully extend my leg and have 105 flexation. Now that is pushing it but I really do believe the only option is to keep pushing.
When I played football we had a team motto, repeated at the end of every practice and game. I carried it with me throughout my law enforcement career and find it useful in this situation.
"We'll fight till we can't fight no more. We'll lie down bleed awhile, get up and fight some more! All for one and one for all!!!!
Bad grammar aside, it does work.
Now, let's all just get up and fight some more.
 
OP
OP
L

lee28

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Everyone -
First of all thanks, thanks so much for your support. I must admit yesterday I was feeling disappointed, discourged, depressed, you name it I was there. But after reading your replies you have lifted my spirits and made me realize that I am not alone, which is a relief. Again thanks, I hope I can repay the favor and offer encourgement for each of you when you need it also as you have done for me.
 

Sue

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Everyone -
Again thanks, I hope I can repay the favor and offer encourgement for each of you when you need it also as you have done for me.
Lee, this is exactly why I'm still sticking around this board at 3 months post-surgery. I feel like everyone supported me so much when I was scared and hurting. Now that I'm feeling better, I want to be able to share that. I hope you have a better day today! Sue
 

Josephine

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Keep plugging away at those exercises, peeps! You all doing great!! I just love to see you all helping one another along. Unlike hips, tkr is a long, slow process!!
 

Weezl

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Hi, Sounds normal. There is no guide for over doing it. When you overdo it your knee swells a lot and stiffens so you can't feel your progress. I'm only three weeks PO but I've been doing what I am told is very well so I took on more than I should have like driving to run errends. I live in a 3 story house. i've cooked meals. I know when I've over done it when my knee stiffens like you described. Then I cut back to only a little exercise and a lot of ice and rest and elevating the leg and it gets better. There is no warning. You only know you've done too much when that happens.
 

Pattipoo

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I'm 3 1/2 weeks post op from TKR-right knee. I've been having my own little pitty party this morning....SO glad I logged on...you guys have encouraged me to get on my bike. Gonna do that right now.

It's amazing how wonderful "comiserating" buddies are....my family is great, but they don't know what "WE" know. We belong to a special club, don't we?

50 ain't so nifty this morning....but it's gonna get better!

CIAO!
 

TitaniumMan

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LEE28: Please remember this motto "NO PAIN, NO GAIN. We all have lots of PT to do to get where we should be. Im retired from Government Service and my Drill Sgt. always screamed that at me (us) when we were having a hard time finishing the daily 10 mile run with jump boots on. When Im doing my PT or home exercising, I think of this chat board and everyone is with me in spirit. Thats why I like to post here because when I complain to my Dr, friends, family or PT they all tell me "your right where your supposed to be!" I used to hate hearing it, but I have found they were correct.
Thanks to all for reading and listening to my posts, complaints and progress. Thanks Josephine for being our guide and encouragement!
Godspeed,
Chuck W.
 

jannd1053

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Dear lee28, Iknow what you're talkingabout. * weeks out and the stiffness remains. I've been told by PT that the stiffness can last for 6 months to a year before it's as good as it gets. Don't be discouraged just keep up with the PT and maintain your range of motion. At least the acute pain is gone at this point and I'm starting to be able to sleep at night.
 

kath

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Lee,
It has been 4 weeks for me. Yes, my knee tightens when I walk, when I don't, when I sit, when I sleep which is seldom. But I know at least 5 people that have had their knees replaced and if you would see them now you would know it is all worth it. I was in no way prepared for all of this. I have times when I feel great and then I stand up and reality sets in. I have had so many other problems as a result, back pain, my other knee, so on and so forth.
The one person that really comes to mind is the nurse that prepped me for surgery. I was so nervous, I really was having second thoughts right up to the last minute. Her name is Joyce and she had one knee done in Nov. 2006 and the other in Jan. 2007. She was working in OR and on concrete floors all day. She said she could barely walk anymore and thought she would have to give up her job. Coincidently she had the same surgeon as me and seeing her briskly walking and her bending demo and her story made me know once and for all that I was doing the right thing.
I am 54 years old, too young to be in a wheel chair, too young not to be able to go through the grocery store, take my grandkids for a walk, dance a slow dance with my husband. I was sick and tired of that life, in order to change it and become a new woman this is the price. I figure even if it takes one year of my life being uncomfortable, won't the result be worth it? I think so.
Hope you are feeling better and for us all I hope time goes quickly.
 

Joanie

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I'm 12 days post op on my left knee. Still needing my right knee done. I'm glad they didn't do bilateral as I still have my athritic pain in my right knee to constantly compare to. Yes, the left knee is tight and gets stiff and I don't feel as though my brain has 100% accepted it yet but compared to the athritic knee, I think I prefer it.

It is a battle as everybody sid it would be but I just find myself constantly trying to stretch and bend the leg for exercise (I don't have a physiotherapist constantly on my case-left entirely to me-again I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing after reading some of your comments here).

I apply an icepack frequently and will eventually go swimming-just got my staples removed today.
 
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