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Bilateral TKR Almost 4 months post op BTKR

Sug17

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Hey folks, 1st. time posting.
I will be 4 months post op on Sept.18, 2021.
The last few weeks my lower back and hips are causing me so much pain, it's setting my progress back on knees.
Dr has ordered xrays for the back and hips.
Knees are so stiff and tight no matter what I do.
I do my bike 2 or 3 times a day, usually 20-30 minutes and a few stretching exercises. Ice a couple times a day still.
Any ideas to get rid of the stiffness and tightness?
Or am I being too impatient lol
 

Pumpkin

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@Sug17,
Welcome to BoneSmart, :welome:

Or am I being too impatient lol
Yes, you are still very early in this year long+ recovery.
I do my bike 2 or 3 times a day, usually 20-30 minutes
2x a day is an hour, 3x a day is 90 minutes, probably way too much for your knees this early. They are letting you know loud and clear with the stiffness.
Suggest you cut your bike riding in half and see if that helps with your stiffness. You might even want to consider not biking for a few days and see if your knees settle down.

Has anyone taken a look at your gait to see if it is contributing to your lower back and hip pain?
You can ask for a PT referral or look into OneStep, the link is at the bottom of this page.

Please post your surgery date, a moderator will add it to your signature for you. Having the exact date will help us properly advise you. Thanks!

Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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:
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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.

 
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Sug17

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Thank you for the advice.
My surgery date was May 18, 2021.
I am going to go back to PT to see what they think after I get results from xrays.
I was told by my orthopedic surgeon that eventually I will need hips replaced, hopefully not there yet.
I am 49 years old and falling apart. Haha
 

Roy Gardiner

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I do my bike 2 or 3 times a day, usually 20-30 minute
This is training.

Exercises to regain ROM are *stretches*, exercises to make you fit are *training*. Stretching exercises are gentle and do not make you breath hard, sweat or have an elevated heart rate. Training exercises do this.

You cannot do training until healing is complete because it worsens damage to the ligaments and tendons that were affected by surgery. You can easily tell if this is happening because your knee will get stiff, will hurt, will swell up in the 24 hours afterwards. When this happens, stop.

Using a bike to gain ROM is pretty simple:
  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
  • Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
  • Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different
 

Pumpkin

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Glad you are going back to PT, hopefully they can help with your pain and walking.
:fingersx: your hips don't need a THR anytime soon.
 
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Sug17

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Woke up this morning, left knee really sore, hurts to walk on a bit and to straighten it out while sitting I have to help it by lifting it.
Not sure what happened in bed overnight.
The pain is outside and top of knee.
 

Ghostpipe

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Hi Sug. I’m six months out, and am disappointed to still be having random areas of pain that can last up to a week, or longer if I do something that upsets it as it is healing. I think as we become more active and less cautious, we begin to use our new knees in subtle ways that are as yet untested.
Hope yours heals soon.
 
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Sug17

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Hi Ghostpipe,
Yes it is frustrating, I can walk ok on left, but when sitting and it's bent, I can't straighten it unassisted , need to help with my hands, it is quite painful to do that. The back of knee is so tight and hamstrings won't stay stretched out.
 

Ghostpipe

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My left one is also like that in the evening, I can do it in the morning after a quiet day and a good night’s sleep, but it still is uncomfortable. It’s only recently that I have been able to do it at all with that one. I can do it ok in the evening with the right one, but it’s still a bit sore after a busy day. My flexion, which can be excellent, is often rubbish by the evening too. Obviously still swelling a bit during activity.
 

Ghostpipe

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I was referring to doing a lower leg lift whilst sitting. In retrospect I think maybe you were writing about straightening up after standing up. The latter takes me a little while and a few steps to achieve.
Went out to dinner at the weekend and spent 3 hours sitting. Boy was I stiff! Standing up again was awful.
 

MARYCOOL

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You just never know what your knee will be upset by! I am 6 months out, last week I played 18 holes of golf x 2 days...I think I may have twisted my new knee a bit. It has hurt all this week, which really sucks as it is currently my "good" leg. I am just hobbling at this point! Next surgery is November...ahhh life!
 

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