TKR Discouraged today


new member
Jun 13, 2022
United States United States
I had a TKR on April 25. Recovery has been good. ROM is pretty much back to normal and pain is getting better. However, i started out patient PT at 5 weeks and lots of exercises have been added. I am religious about doing them 2 x per day and going to PT 3 x per week. On Saturday my knee felt pretty good. One of the first really good days. Did my exercises. On Sunday it was more painful in the morning but ok by the afternoon. Today the area right below the knee is terribly painful and my ROM is still ok, but exercises that didn't hurt a week ago are very painful. I am worried because this seems like a big backward slide although I really didn't change anything other than doing a lot of exercises. I am wondering if I should back off the PT. I go tomorrow but I can ask what is going on. I am elevating and icing but not doing any real exercises today. Some heel slides and some stretching.
It sounds like to me you are doing too many exercises and your knee is getting more and more inflamed. Your knee is still an infant and needs to heal. It is not out of shape needing exercising. You are just beginning this year-long + healing journey. You need to take it slow or your pain and swelling will continue to hang around.

Would you please give us the exact date of your surgery and which knee it was?

Each person is different as is their recovery. Most find that the Bonesmart approach works best for them, but others find that a more aggressive therapy helps them more. It's your recovery and your choice on how you recover. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax and let it. Don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now; they are almost certainly only temporary.
2. Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when the pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT...
a. If it hurts, don't do it, and don't allow anyone to hurt you.
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again for a few weeks.
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs

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.

Try out our great new opportunity to improve your gait. It's OneStep. It's free and you will find it to be a huge help to you. Click here: OneStep
Its my right knee and the surgery was April 25, 2022. I have been taking it very easy today and it is much better. I will go over it with the PT people tomorrow and explain everything that has happened for the last few days. I agree, maybe over use.
have been taking it very easy today and it is much better. I will go over it with the PT people tomorrow
I think you have your answer then -- you overworked the knee and it was telling you "enough!" :heehee:

We've all been there and done that it -- it's easy to become a little too eager when we start to feel better. You are wise to take it easy and give the soft tissue a chance to recuperate from the overuse. You might even want to skip a PT session or two until you are sure it's better.

Keep in mind that you are still very early in this year-long recovery. Slow and steady is the best way to make progress without pain.
The reason I have a replaced hip (2001) and now a knee is because I am always over eager! I’ll go tomorrow and tell them to tone it down and explain where it hurts and cancel the rest of the week. I see doctor next Tuesday.
I’ll go tomorrow and tell them to tone it down and explain where it hurts
You might want to ask your PT to do some massage on the muscles that are painful rather than having you do more exercises. My therapist did a lot of soft tissue work during my visits and also taught me some self-massage techniques that I was able to use at home. That made a big difference for me.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
They do a bit on the knee cap and around it. The home PT person i had was wonderful but I had to switch to out patient 2 weeks ago. The part that is so painful today is between my shin bone and knee cap and it was surprising because 3 days ago it was fine. It is better now but its demoralizing when something that was getting better falls back to where it was a while ago. I have been icing and doing gentle heel slides today. Not much more. Walking is fine and this afternoon going downstairs is ok. This morning it wasn't and that was very surprising and upsetting. I still take a tramadol in the afternoon and one at night. No reason to be a hero, but the backsliding was bothersome and I am glad I found this blog.
It took me many surgeries before I took the advice of this site. But it is very easy to over do it. I have also found that my knee after surgery would be up and down but overall the trend is healing. Just takes patience and remember to stop when it tells you you’ve done too much and ice and elevate! Good luck!
Wow. Lots of surgeries. Knee much better today. I am aware of the ups and downs but yesterday was really kind of scary and I am so glad I found this site.
Yay! Welcome to Bonesmart! :welome:

As you read other people's journeys you will see a wide range of recoveries. Hang in there, you're doing great! Just remember to listen to that baby knee, it's in charge!
WHOA. I just had zingers. Is that normal at 7 weeks? I was cooking and all of sudden yowza on the inside middle of my knee. They kept coming as long as I stayed standing. Sitting now with ice and much better, but I'm afraid to get up. hah. I guess i stood up too long?
Hi @Fitzywhite . When I forgot to keep Tylenol on board - I got sharp shooting sharp pains randomly at about the 8 hour mark. (maybe what you are calling zingers?) like eye rolling doubled over “must ice now!” It just subsided about week 10 and now it is an achy feeling if I go too long. Now I just take it 3 x a day. Hopefully ice and elevating helped - mine would go away pretty fast if I did that while ai waited for Tylenol to kick in.
Oh yes, zingers are completely normal. I'm 6 years out and I still have mild ones in my numb area occasionally. Of course, I've had 6 surgeries on this knee, so more nerve damage there. But, you can have zingers for a few years. Nerves take quite a while to heal and that's what's happening when we get the zingers, nerves are trying to reattach and heal.
Thanks for responding. Advil helps as does ice but this is still twinging. Aggravating. Everyday it’s a new thing. Hopefully it won’t zing tonight.
I described my zingers as lightning bolts shooting through my knee. Thank God they didn't last more than a few seconds. Sometimes my knee would actually jump up when they hit.
It’s true. This afternoon I kept saying oooowwwww. Cat thought I was nuts. All in the same place today. But yes. A lightening bolt and so surprising. No warning.
This afternoon I kept saying oooowwwww. Cat thought I was nuts.
Hope you didn't scare poor kitty!

Mine happened on and off for months, but seemed to lessen as the numb areas on my leg got smaller. They certainly can be scary -- but the good news is that it means all those nerves are waking up!
They stopped this afternoon finally. The really painful ones were yesterday in the afternoon and then it just kind of became less painful but nonetheless surprising every minute or so. Still continued this morning (all in the same place about a minute apart--like spasm) but i realized this afternoon that they had stopped and the pain I had in my knee from overdoing it is better as well. So today ends up being a good day.
It’s true. This afternoon I kept saying oooowwwww. Cat thought I was nuts. All in the same place today. But yes. A lightening bolt and so surprising. No warning.
Yes, for me it was like a sudden electrical storm. Luckily mine would only last a short while at a time.
I am now 10 weeks post op. Flexion at 135 and straightening whatever the straightest thing is. Been doing ok, but I need a little Bonesmart pep talk. My knee is still so sore sometimes. I really only do the PT exercises once a day because it gets achy and stiff in the afternoon. I do a lot of heel slides and i am standing and walking a lot around the house. We are flying to visit family on Wednesday. It is only a 2 hour flight but I am concerned about it. I do not have global entry and I am afraid of having to stand in long security lines. I will be damned if I'll ask for a wheel chair but I will take my cane which i haven't used for weeks. Doctor said wear DVT stockings and take a baby aspirin before the flight. I got the stockings and they are fine (probably because I should have sized down) and we have extra leg room seats. I had company here last week and did a lot, out to lunch, out to dinner, cooked. But I just feel like i can't ever get ahead of the whole thing. Days like today are very discouraging. I am only taking 1/2 an oxy once a day, but I don't see stopping that soon. . . I also take a tramadol at night but I am not sure the tramadol does much.

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks
Top Bottom