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Does anybody else get calf and thigh cramping?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Punkie, Apr 14, 2019 at 4:51 PM.

  1. Punkie

    Punkie new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2019
    United States United States
    My surgery is on the 30th. Until about six weeks ago -- I was walking in a pool several times per week for exercise and to strengthen my legs. I had been doing it for about 3 months and was feeling great. Out of nowhere - I started to go downhill quickly. I can barely walk at times and steps are so painful I don't want to leave the house some days.

    I am concerned my lack of activity is causing the calf and thigh pain I have now. It feels something like a cramp. It is quite bothersome and keeps me from getting good sleep. I am exhausted at times. Does anybody else have these pains?

    I am giving myself guilt that it is probably my inactivity. I do some stretching and that's about it.

    I did just read the Bone Smart Philosophy on post op activity and I am very impressed. With a few weeks to go yet, at the moment, my concern is pre-op activity. Is it OK to limit yourself to avoid the horrid pain of bone on bone?
  2. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2011
    United States, West
    United States United States
    Yes, it is OK to avoid that pain, keep up your gentle stretches, and maybe some arm resistance exercise. Your surgery is only 2 weeks away, once you heal your strength will return.

    Here is a copy of the post up guidelines for you to get ready for your upcoming surgery.

    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:
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    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 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.
  3. maryo52

    maryo52 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2010
    United States United States
    I did straight leg raises with light ankle weights and, on my back, hip raises, to strength quads and hamstrings, and the reason wasn't so much fitness as I've found that it reduces my pain and my old knee components had come loose. If you can something comfortably, than good, but if not, you have all of the year following your surgery to become good and fit again. BTW My knee went downhill fast about two weeks prior to surgery.

    I also have trouble with cramps, I think it's due to my neuropathy. I have to stretch my calves every night before bed. I also take a magnesium supplement thinking that will help. Do the stretches help? Have you tried soaking in the bath?

    Pumpkin makes a good point about upper body strengthening. We rely on our arms and shoulders a lot during recovery from knee replacement.

    I have heard people remark that hips are easier than knees, so I'm glad you have been reading the articles. Best of luck!
  4. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2011
    New Zealand
    New Zealand New Zealand
    It's probably OK to use light weights before your surgery, if using them doesn't hurt, but we recommend not using weights post-op.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Atlas_aus

    Atlas_aus junior member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Australia Australia

    No idea if related, but I swear by Magnesium tablets. I was being woken up with foot/calf/leg cramps in the middle of the night, like someone was stabbing me.... No quality sleep... Then I read about magnesium and I take 1/2 tablet daily and have had none for months.

    Could not imagine getting one after a TKR ! :D

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