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TKR 85 degrees @ 5 months

Bob Stiff Knee

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TKR 12 weeks ago. After 21 PT visits and 2 times a day exercises the knee muscles becomes very stiff after the suggested knee exercises. PT was shut down due to the corona virus. Should I keep up the exercises or take a few days off to see if the muscles become relaxed? If so, how many days should I suspend the suggested exercises?
 

Roy Gardiner

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:welome: to BoneSmart.

You don't need lots of exercise. Imagine 'working hard' to recover a broken leg or a sprained muscle; you can't, and walking on a broken leg or exercising a sprained muscle are counter-productive, obviously. It's much the same with TKR, you have damage needing healing, not unfitness needing training.

All you need is to help retain mobility (not fitness or strength) until healing is complete. This is done with gentle stretching exercises, without pain.

So I suggest indeed taking the time off, and predict you will improve.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

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

6. Access these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:

There are also some cautionary articles here


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.
 

Sara61

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As your PT sessions have ceased I would suggest giving your knees time off and rest them a bit and you might just surprise yourself. My knees were very stiff in the early days and I now look back and can relate the stiffness to too much exercise as I now only do mainly DLA and a gentle walk each day I have very little stiffness.
Stay safe xxx
 

TimeBuster

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Should I keep up the exercises or take a few days off to see if the muscles become relaxed? If so, how many days should I suspend the suggested exercises?
Two weeks.

Take two weeks off with just daily life routine and you're going to thank me.

The YMCA canceled all exercise classes 3 weeks ago because of the virus giving my knee a well deserve rest has been a blessing in disguise.

Though I miss my exercise classes my knee hasn't felt any better.
 

Jockette

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I agree with the others about “the exercises.” It’s time to just get on with your life. At 3 months post op your knee still needs gentler treatment because it’s only 25% healed, in this year long recovery. Gentle bends, which will happen on their own as you move around doing your daily activities, and comfortable walks are all you really need for recovery.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

Qdogpa

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after my PT stopped, I went,in hindsight, to a overly aggressive walking regiment..making sure I walked more then 10,000 steps per day..Knee did not approve, and swelled and aches and pains resulted...Last Monday , I stoppe, and only did ADL’s ...today, 1 week later, my knee is back before the ill advised walking plan....No need for PT or being overly aggressive , time is your friend , more then PT...good luck
 

Peaches0000

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Such good advice from everyone- I will be at 12 weeks this Thursday and it still is making me aware of how new it really is- I really like what Roy said about not going back to work to soon- I resent that the Dr. wrote a note at 6 weeks saying that I had to go to work the next day! -He wrote light duty and that doesn't exist where I work- it has really hurt my recovery- I am way to exhausted to do everything that PT wants me to do- My ROM is 105, which the PT said is not good-he said he thinks I need a MUA , because my extension seems to be stuck at 6 -he worked with it and it didn't really hurt, and got it to -8, I told him that was good enough for now-the last thing I want is more terror on my knee-my April 9 surgery was cancelled because of the virus and when I do get it , I am going to keep cancelling the follow up visit for a few weeks, so he can't send me back to work before my knee is ready.
 

doodlebug60

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Such good advice from everyone- I will be at 12 weeks this Thursday and it still is making me aware of how new it really is- I really like what Roy said about not going back to work to soon- I resent that the Dr. wrote a note at 6 weeks saying that I had to go to work the next day! -He wrote light duty and that doesn't exist where I work- it has really hurt my recovery- I am way to exhausted to do everything that PT wants me to do- My ROM is 105, which the PT said is not good-he said he thinks I need a MUA , because my extension seems to be stuck at 6 -he worked with it and it didn't really hurt, and got it to -8, I told him that was good enough for now-the last thing I want is more terror on my knee-my April 9 surgery was cancelled because of the virus and when I do get it , I am going to keep cancelling the follow up visit for a few weeks, so he can't send me back to work before my knee is ready.
Bob; welcome; I am at 6.5 weeks ltkr. I have approximately 125 ROM and straightness in my leg. my incision is almost completely healed. I am doing well I think at 6.5weeks. I have not taken any PT since surgery on February 13. I listen to bonesmart moderators and to my knee. ice, rest, and elevation are the keys. do activities around the house as your knee dictates. as the swelling goes down the ROM will come. walking is best healer. work to discomfort but not to pain. when knee starts swelling and tightness, it's time to rest, ice, and elevation. that's all you need. your knee will rehab itself. hope you have a great recovery
 
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Bob Stiff Knee

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I had a total replacement on my right knee five months ago. My ROM is about 85 degrees. I had 35 trips to physical therapy and they got my knee to bend 105 degrees after the exercises. I needed two oxycodone pills and 3mg of diazepam (muscle relaxer) when in physical therapy. They would connect me to a machine that would bend my knee for at least 25 minutes and it was extremely painful even with the medications. This machine appeared to cost several tens of thousands of dollars. The day after physical therapy my knee would be stiff and basically unusable. Physical therapy stopped in mid March due to PT being shutdown over the virus. I was advised on this site to suspend exercises which I did and now am only at 85 degrees. I am using a JAZ brace which might be helping a little bit. I put the brace on twice a day for 30 minutes each session. The brace has an adjustment that I can adjust to slowly stretch the muscles to a 2 or 3 level pain. My knee locks up very easily with daily activity to where I have zero bend. My orthopedic surgeon seems reluctant on prescribing a muscle relaxing pill. He is also suggesting an MRI on my back to see if my muscles are firing which I believe will be a waste of money. Can anyone advise me if muscle relaxing pills will be fine for a few months until my healing makes a strong rebound. Also, any other advice would be very much welcomed.
 

Pumpkln

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@Bob Stiff Knee
You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
 
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Pumpkln

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Bob Stiff Knee,
We have members who have had very slow progress with ROM, here are how their knees progressed over time.

Campervan’s ROM history
92 - 8 weeks post op
105 - 10 weeks
107 - 5 months
110 - 6 months
112 - 7 months
116 - 9 months
119 - 11 months
118 - 1 yr
120 - 1yr 2 months
125 - 1 yr 8 months and still this now at 1yr 10 months

Bertschb’s ROM history
1 month
- 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees

TortiTabby's ROM History
3.5 wks: 75
6 wks: 85
7 wks: 90
10.5 wks: 95
14 wks: 100
17 wks: 105
20 weeks: 110
26 weeks (where I am today): 120!!!
It has now been 26 weeks and all I do is ADL.
I did it! My goal of 120! No "pushing through pain", no PT after the first 3 visits, and most importantly to me: No MUA! My surgeon who said I would never get beyond 85 ROM without pushing through pain was wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm excited to see if it gets even better.
 

Pumpkln

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My knee locks up very easily with daily activity to where I have zero bend.
Your knee should not be locking up with daily activity.
What does your surgeon say about your knee locking?

Recommend you seek a second opinion for your TKR, from a surgeon specializing in Revisions, they have the education and background to determine what is happening with troubled knees. Look for a surgeon specializing in complex joint reconstruction or revisions. They should have no relationship with your present OS, not even golf buddies.

A lot of surgeons will not see someone until a year after joint replacement. When I sought out second opinions, I was able to find several surgeons out of my local area that would see me before a year had passed.
 

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