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TKR Dancing/Walking/Living life at 4 months then trouble

swing dancer

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Hi I'm new to BoneSmart. I had a left knee replacement on March 12th 2021,

After 4 months everything was going really well. Pain free for all activities. Then almost overnight everything just seemed to go south. Coming up on 5 months now and I have a lot of pain in my knee, whenever I stand from a sitting position or out of bed in the morning. It hurts to put weight on it and walk (I'm 6 foot, 190 pounds, 70 years). It's weird but the pain goes away somewhat after being on my feet for a bit. I can then swing dance, walk a mile and get up and down stairs but the pain in my knee when first standing and walking really has me concerned. It also feels as if the “rubbercap” around my kneecap has really gotten tighter. So stiff and painful to stand. I'm limping around the house and it was fine a few weeks ago.

My daily knee exercises consist of heel slides, leg lifts and seated Knee flexion & extension. I also seem to have a new issue in that the back of my knee has some pain, like a pulled muscle. Anyhow, I'm hoping to hear from any others that may have had a similar experience and made it though successfully.

Thank you so very much,
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

I can then swing dance, walk a mile and get up and down stairs
By the time we are 5 months post op, and back to doing lots of activity like you are, it really isn’t necessary to continue to do the exercises we did early on. It could be that your knee has had enough of the exercises and is rebelling a bit. Our knees can be quite dramatic when they don’t like something. Also, are you sure you didn’t do something different just before this new pain started?

I suggest you cut way back and/or stop those exercises, as you get all those good movements in the course of your day anyway. (This is what I call “natural PT”)
It also feels as if the “rubbercap” around my kneecap has really gotten tighter. So stiff and painful to stand.
This is swelling. Maybe try elevating your legs when you sleep? I do this, even 4 years after my replacement, and it usually resets my knee to a happier place by morning.

Even though it’s been a while since your surgery, I’ll give you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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 to 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.
 

Jockette

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If this pain continues, contact your surgeon. Do you have any future follow up appointments scheduled?
 
OP
OP
S

swing dancer

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Thank you for all the information. I am going to try backing off the exercises for a few weeks and see what happens. I will continue to walk each day and dance on the weekend. I liked your tip about elevating at night and will try that also.

My plan will be to contact my surgeon if the pain gets worse. My future follow up appointment is at the 1 year mark.

I have read on the site about things getting better at month 8. My hope is that will be the case for me.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

Ghostpipe

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I had bilateral 3 days before you and feel the same. I don’t think there is anything wrong, otherwise it wouldn’t improve sometimes. I feel that it is just strains from increased activity. Our expectations increase with time and our knees are not ready for it. I dread to think how mine would react to swing dancing.
 

Jaycey

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It also feels as if the “rubbercap” around my kneecap has really gotten tighter. So stiff and painful to stand.
Try icing this area while you are elevating. Ice for 45-60 minutes per session to get the full benefit.

Indeed your situation will continue to improve. Many of our members report improvement even past the one year mark post op.
 
OP
OP
S

swing dancer

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I had bilateral 3 days before you and feel the same. I don’t think there is anything wrong, otherwise it wouldn’t improve sometimes. I feel that it is just strains from increased activity. Our expectations increase with time and our knees are not ready for it. I dread to think how mine would react to swing dancing.
Thank you for your kind reply. I am cutting down on increased activity for a few weeks and hope to see improvement. Just like you replied it seems that there is nothing wrong because sometimes it does seem to improve.

P.S. Swing dancing is a lot easier for the leader because the follower does all the spinning :)
 

Jockette

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I bet swing dancing is a lot of fun. I’ve never done it, but my daughter did a bit in college. When her boyfriend came to visit they moved our kitchen table off to the side and did some dancing for us. :wowspring:
 
OP
OP
S

swing dancer

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It also feels as if the “rubbercap” around my kneecap has really gotten tighter. So stiff and painful to stand.
Try icing this area while you are elevating. Ice for 45-60 minutes per session to get the full benefit.

Indeed your situation will continue to improve. Many of our members report improvement even past the one year mark post op.
Thank you for your help. I filled and used the ice machine today and plan on using every day. Thanks again.
 

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