TKR Back spasms post TKR

newkneeforme

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Hello, I am new to this forum and after reading a few posts, this really is a wonderful place. Great support and valuable information. To my post: I am lying here two weeks post L knee TKR with back pain and spasms when getting up and moving around. I have had what I thought was a really good post op recovery, making good progress with ROM and walking with mild to moderate pain. Then day 10 I developed some left side lower back pain which has progressed to spasms and generally a cramped R lower back. Now I have difficulty walking on both legs. I know its early and been only a few days of some pretty intense back pain. But Other than venting some frustration, I was wondering if anyone has had any similar experience?
 

FourCats

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Welcome! Most likely your body is adjusting to your new knee as it re-learns how to be a knee. Also, you are likely sitting and laying in some “unusual “ positions this early in recovery due to being careful with your knee which has to be babied. I had parts of my body hurt and react for several months post op. Do let your surgeon know of the issue.
 
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Jaycey

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@newkneeforme Welcome to BoneSmart! What was the date of your LTKR? We will put the information in a signature for you.

Are you using any walking aid - cane or crutch? Post op your gait will be totally different. That may be causing lower back issues.

Are you wearing shoes you wore pre-op? Moving around in shoes with a pre-op wearing pattern can also cause back issues. Invest in some new walking shoes.

I'll leave your recovery guidelines here for you:

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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 Activity progression for TKRs

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 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.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I started using crutches when got home from the hospital 10 days ago. But, after a few days, my back was hurting so much that I had to switch from crutches to a walker, then to a cane for a day, and now to no walking aids at all. My back settled down after putting the crutches aside, and hasn't bothered me at all since.

Using different walking aids, or strides, or gaits, etc, can cause muscles, and other things, to ache and rebel, so paying attention to what you're doing when it hurts the most can be helpful in figuring out how to help the pain settle down. It may be that your stride is different with your new knee, and your back is complaining, or it may be a walking aid, etc. causing the issue. Since I don't know if you're using any walking aids, I would suggest trying to walk with as proper a gait as you can, and see if over time your back settles down.
 
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newkneeforme

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After a rough night, I woke with a lot of back tightness and moderate pain when getting up from lying position. I thought maybe I’ve been too aggressive with walking. I had been walking 1/2 mile without aides x 2 days. I did this because PT at hospital told me to do as much as I could tolerate without much pain. So I did. Today I used a walker and walked less and took it slow. Still feel tightness but at least I can lie diwn without pain. Also tried to keep better upright posture. Not sure if it helped but like you said its worth trying different things and see if they help. Thanks!
 

lovetocookandsew

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@newkneeforme I notice we don't have your surgery date, and which knee it was, on your signature. Would you please post those so we can make a signature for you? It really helps as a reference so we don't have to go back through your thread to try and find the info. Thanks!
 

Totallyready

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I have been post op 4 months now, TKRR, and still have back issues. I find it is me!! I am walking a bit bent I dont know why. when I straighten and stretch it's better. Try stretching before you get up. left knee, bring it to your chest, hold, then repeat with right. This has helped me.
 
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newkneeforme

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Will do, thanks. No back spasms today just generalized mild lower back pain that is worse in certain positions when getting up. Having my “2 1/2 week” post surgery visit to the OS tomorrow. Will talk to him about it too. Thanks all for your advice and ideas.
 
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newkneeforme

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Back is gradually getting better but I am having continued lateral knee pain walking. I think its the IT band. Again I know its early but there has been no improvement x 1 week. I maybe go 1/3 mile at most and it hurts as I am completing my step with my left leg and bending it to step forward. It hurts as much when I start walking as when I end. I dont think I should just stop walking because it hurts. I’ve mentioned it to PT and they didnt say not to walk. They suggested using foam roller on kateral aspect of knee. Any stretches or thoughts on this. 3 weeks post surgery now. Thanks
 

hawk2go

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I'm sorry you're having trouble with your back, glad you knee is coming along and hope the doctor seconded some of the good advice you got here. Let us know how you made out. We're rooting for you.

left knee, bring it to your chest, hold, then repeat with right.
I'm 4 months out and can't manage this maneuver with either knee. I can lift the knees, bend them well but no way do they get anywhere near my chest. Soon come now (or not).
 

Stiffy

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Back is gradually getting better but I am having continued lateral knee pain walking. I think its the IT band. Again I know its early but there has been no improvement x 1 week. I maybe go 1/3 mile at most and it hurts as I am completing my step with my left leg and bending it to step forward. It hurts as much when I start walking as when I end. I dont think I should just stop walking because it hurts. I’ve mentioned it to PT and they didnt say not to walk. They suggested using foam roller on kateral aspect of knee. Any stretches or thoughts on this. 3 weeks post surgery now. Thanks
I too have the IT band problem. I've had it for weeks and I'm in my 10th week. It feels strange to walk when it catches on the side of my right knee. My prosthesis clunks as well. I walked about 2 miles and my leg hurt by the time I got home. My PT said to massage, roll and do stretches. I think it's just going to take time. Good luck.
 
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newkneeforme

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I hope your pain is improving now. I am walking with less pain now and no “catching” on IT band. My surgeon had PT start me on side stretches. Like hamstring stretches but pull straightened knee across other leg to stretch my lateral left knee. Seems to have helped me. You might try that if you havent already.
 

Jockette

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I am 10 weeks post L knee TKR and have symptoms that make me wonder if I have injury to the peroneal nerve. I too had alot of discomfort at the fibular head. Especially walking. Initially I was thinking IT band and maybe its still it. However now I have very little to no pain walking or standing. But sitting with my knee bent produces a worsening aching pain in my knee that descends down my knee to the side of my ankle. It becomes unbearable which requires me to straighten my leg which then relieves the pain. This is distressing because I cant ride in a car for even 5 minutes w/o significant pain.
Pain while sitting with your feet on the floor is very common for quite a while and can take months to improve, but it does, as you heal.

One of my friends who had a TKR 4 months before me said she put a small pillow on the floor of the car to put her foot on, and it helped, so I did, too, and it really did help. There‘s not much room there, on the floor of the front seat, but sometimes even a little height for your foot can make it more comfortable. I also think it helped to cushion the bumps a little.
 

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