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Lounge Doctor
ConforMIS

TKR 6 weeks since left tkr

Jockette

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Stiffness/Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.
 

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Totally normal at 12 weeks to be stiff after sleeping or sitting for a while. You start to think it will never improve but it will. Gradually you'll find that the degree of stiffness decreases and the time to "loosen up" after being inactive decreases. Think in terms of months rather than weeks for it to go away, but it will gradually get to the point that it either goes away entirely or is so minimal as to hardly be of notice. That's what happened with me.
 
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Schnautzer

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I am now just past 14 weeks. For the past 10 days I have been uncomfortable walking as there is pain in my knee cap. I never had this before so am concerned. I ice a lot and do easy heel slides. Standing and moving around the house seems ok but going upstairs properly hurts. Have not tried stationary bike for several weeks. I dont know what to do for this knee cap. If I dont do some exercise I feel I will never get my rom and If I do some exercise will I hurt this knee cap. The cold weather here does not help. What is this Knee cap problem?????. I am still very stiff. Rom over 95 I think. Should I use a cane. Need to walk dog but is uncomfortable but certainly bearable. HELP AGAIN
 

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You're only around 1/4 of the way through this year-long recovery and pain is pretty normal. Have you tried limiting your activities and icing and elevating more? Pain in normally a sign that you are doing too much too soon for your knee. Try to rest your knee more and ice it. It should help relieve some of that inflammation and pain.
 

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Heed the advice ROM will come back it just takes patience as in lots!! If you doing too much the knee will let you know as in more pain. Do not push to get better if you do it will just take that much longer to heal.
 
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Schnautzer

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Is knee cap pain a common one. This pain is on and off but makes walking uncomfortable. I am doing next to no rom exercises so I do not think that I am irritating the knee. My other knee replacement never had this but I did have other issues. At 15 + weeks is this a common complaint.???
Very worrisome and no one to talk to. Next dr. session is in 2.5 months Many thanks
 

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Are you doing any new activities that would explain this new pain? I suggest you slow down until the pain decreases. You've done something to aggravate your knee. It's still a baby and not even 4 months old. Any little change can anger it. The more it heals the less change will affect it.
 
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Schnautzer

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Is knee cap pain a common one. This pain is on and off but makes walking uncomfortable. I am doing next to no rom exercises so I do not think that I am irritating the knee. My other knee replacement never had this but I did have other issues. At 15 + weeks is this a common complaint.???
Very worrisome and no one to talk to. Next dr. session is in 2.5 months Many thanks
Heed the advice ROM will come back it just takes patience as in lots!! If you doing too much the knee will let you know as in more pain. Do not push to get better if you do it will just take that much longer to heal.
 
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Schnautzer

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It is possible I suppose that doing the Plank two days in a row (hold for 1.5 mins) and downward dog could have irritated the knee although there was no pain at all doing that. Next day pain in kneecap. For past several days have done nothing but walk the dog which I have to do. It is definately somewhat better. Do you think I can go back to heel slides. I also am thinking of trying my stationary bike but only to try a backwards rotation. I am now so worried about getting more kneecap pain which is so debilitating.
I am icing a lot and have absolutely no pain except when moving around.
Thanks for all you advice. This recovery is so long and my fear is that I will be like this forever
 

Jaycey

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It is possible I suppose that doing the Plank two days in a row (hold for 1.5 mins) and downward dog could have irritated the knee although there was no pain at all doing that.
Yes - both these would cause your knee to complain. If you want to do something like this try one day and then if there is pain, don't do it again until everything settles.
 

Celle

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But then why does inactivity not cause the other knee to be stiff.
I think the difference is that the normal tissues in your "good" knee retain a certain amount of fluid, while the artificial parts in your replaced knee do not, so they need lubricating again before they loosen up.
That's my theory anyway, and it seems to make sense to me.
Hope I am not being a pain but I am interested in this darn stiffness and when it will it will improve and what I can do to improve it besides all the bending(with no forcing)
Patience is the key - and allowing your knee the time it needs to compete its recovery.
Try to remember that you're not quite 4 months into a recovery that takes 12 months. Everything will get easier as time passes, and where you are now is not where you are going to end up.
 
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Schnautzer

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I have basically done nothing but go about my daily activities for about two weeks now. Being in lockdown they are not much I still have pain in my knee cap when I walk and it is uncomfortable. It seems to improve later in the afternoon but then is again painful the next morning. I have a little dog so I test this walking a couple of times a day. Is this a usual complaint??? My horrible issue with the last knee replacement last year was behind the knee.So This is new .I feel I need to go back to some heel slides as my knee feels like it is getting stiffer. I do not know what causes this pain which feels like it is under the knee cap. I only feel it when walking and it will sometimes come and go when I walk. I am so frustrated and worried. I am nearly at 4 months and am still afraid to get on the stationary bike. Should I try that and go back to heel slides?????
 

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Nearly 4 months is still only 1/3 of the way healed inside. It's normal to have aches and pains at your stage. It takes time and gentle movements. Two weeks of only normal activities is not nearly enough time for your knee to settle down. You don't have to do anything else but daily activities for this knee to have a really good outcome.
 

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The fact that the pain in the kneecap area comes and goes seems to indicate it's just one of those recovery things. Most of us get weird aches and pains for several months. I don't think there's any particular exercise you should be doing. If some gentle heel slides or some gentle rotations on the bike make you feel looser, that's ok, but you should still be listening to the knee. It's a continual reassessing of what your knee can tolerate.
You can always ask you OS if it doesn't settle down in the coming weeks and it's still concerning you.
 
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Schnautzer

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I think I need another bit of encouragement. I had been walking quite well lately(until last few days) even though still very stiff in morning and after sitting. I have been doing little exercise as advised except for everyday living walking the dog and some heel slides.Now for 3 days walking is painful and I cant figure out why. I know my rom is still not too good maybe around 100 and has not improved for ages. I have not tried doing rotations on my stationary bike for fear of pain and irritating the knee.But will try soon
I am nearly at 5 months post tkr and when there is pain it is in knee cap making walking painful.
I worry that I am doing too little exercise for this knee and at same time worry that I am doing something that is prolonging this recovery (if it ever recovers)
Would appreciate your thoughts and advice
Thanks again so much
 

Jockette

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I worry that I am doing too little exercise for this knee and at same time worry that I am doing something that is prolonging this recovery (if it ever recovers)
You are not quite halfway healed yet, so there’s lots of time for improvement. Some pain at this stage is not unusual.

Have you increased the time you are walking? Taken a different route, maybe different surfaces?

I found that I walked fairly well in a store, and I do wonder if the shopping cart helped. But, the store was all one level, and a smooth surface.

I didn‘t walk as well in my neighborhood, and definitely not as long, as I could in a store. I finally had a thought, my driveway has quite a slope to it, and that was hard for me. I think I was sabotaging my neighborhood walk, because I had to get down the driveway first.

Some of our members do like the bike, so maybe give it a try and see how your knee feels. No resistance, and just a few minutes. If there’s any additional pain and/or swelling, wait a week and try again.
 

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Is it possible to make an earlier appt with your OS. I feel that you're unsure regarding the recovery of your knee cap pain and it may be a good idea to get a professional opinion to relieve your anxiety. I wish you well.
 

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I had my surgery on Sept 4, 2020 and was having difficulty with ROM. I think trying too hard and being tramatized at PT caused extreme back, hip, arm soreness. My kneecap seemed tight?? I saw a video on using a rolling pin to gently massage my knee and the rest of leg/hip and have had such a breakthrough this week that I am so happy with. I put a heated bean bag on my back and hip/thigh for a bit, use the rolling pin and then do my heal slides in bed.
Give it a try. Hopefully this will help. I keep telling myself that everything is connected and the pain in one area could be the result of tightness in another. Yes, I analyze everything to death lol.
 

10scoach

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I am 7 weeks post LTKR and have kneecap pain as well. I've had it off and on since the beginning. What I think I'm beginning to figure out with myself is that when my knee area swells, I feel it mostly in my kneecap. I also have been doing some light yoga for the past couple of weeks and wondered if down dog might be too much of a stretch for my tight hamstrings. That said, how is your extension? I find I can get my knee to extend to 0 earlier in the day after I do my exercises, but as the day wears on and my knee swells, my extension gets worse. It's like it has a memory from my pre tkr days! The reason I mention it is that one afternoon my pt noticed I was not fully extending my leg when I walked. She said the pressure of continuing to walk with a slightly bent knee may have been making my knee cap pain worse. Now I am deliberate about working on the extension when I walk. It is not perfect, but I can say I don't have as much pain when I am careful and mindful of my steps. As everyone on this forum tells me, it is a process and the extension will come in time.I hope this helps
 
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Schnautzer

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Thanks for all the comments. No knee cap problem today or yesterday.Today walking actually felt pretty good and did 40 mins straight. Also finally tried my stationary bike. Have seat Very high but still cannot do a backwards rotation. It is excruciating. I did try it twice but cannot do it.. My bend of heel to bum is tough. I do heel bends in bed with a band but only go to pain level 4 or 5. I do this a few times a day.Doing stairs is tough as well. At 5 months is this OK to be at this stage. I know I struggled with other tkr last year but had started to peddle backwards by this stage. I ice a lot and use heating pad on my back.
Should I just continue this routine??? We are in stay at home here(lock down) I have not see surgeon since before surgery. Only 2 phone calls after surgery and will have 6 month phone call end of Feb.Being able to cycle by spring is so important to me. Am so stressed.
Thanks for the support.
 

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