TKR Feeling like loose nuts and bolts


new member
Oct 9, 2023
United States United States
I have a clicking in my knee after total knee replacement on 10/4/2023, it is making me very concerned! Is this normal? I cannot think about anything else, it's driving me nuts!! Thank you in advance!
Oh dear me, no worries - it's completely normal!!!!
My orthopedist team's written and verbal preop and postop teaching was very specific about this, which is good because both my new knees click intermittently when I'm walking. Now if only it meant they were tallying my steps! :heehee:
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. Thanks for joining us!

Please don't be concerned, this is very common post op as muscles, soft tissues and tendons still need to tighten up around the joint. This should ease with time. I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Please let us know if you have questions and we'll do our best to advise and support you as you're healing.
Best Wishes!


As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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!)​

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

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.
I had right tkr 10/04/2023 and I cannot seem to make peace with the feeling of like something needs to be tightened? I'm a carpenter so I'm kinda a secure and tight minded person, I'm really really struggling with this feeling, and can't help feeling something is wrong??? Am I over exaggerating? Someone please help me with some input?? Thank you
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Hey @Monkey1122 I happen to be a cabinetmaker/furniture builder and believe me, I felt unsure as well. As it is a mechanical prosthesis, it will not be smooth like your original was. The spacer between is probably made of UHMV and is not as much of a shock absorber as your meniscus was. I mostly cycle for fitness and never feel anything unusual but still do pretty long hikes and mountain ascents. The joint seems to have tightened up as my muscles a have strengthened during the healing process over 2 years. It still clunks a bit when I walk though.

If you can feel actual twisting or movement of the inserts coupled with unusual pain, that would be an entirely different story and would definitely get some imaging done. :thumb:
As the first point in Bonesmart’s Recovery Guidelines mentions:

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.

It is not unusual to feel off just days after this surgery.

By the way, I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread, as we prefer that members in recovery have only one thread.

This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Best wishes on your continuing recovery! :flwrysmile:
Hi Monkey,
Since you're only eight days out from surgery, I am wondering if you have a post op scheduled in the next week or two? It's most likely there is nothing wrong and your body is simply adjusting to the new prosthetic. If it is really causing you anxiety, you can always call your surgeon's office and speak to a member of his care team. I am sure they'll offer you the reassurance you're seeking. Stay in touch and let us know how you're doing.
Happy One Month Anniversary!
How are you doing? We'd really like to hear from you if you have the time to update on your progress.
Hope all is well and we hear from you soon. Take care! :wave:
Thank you for asking, still feeling like things are not tight with my new knee, it's now been 7 weeks and now seems to be more pain than I was expecting although I have stopped taking prescription pain meds, so not sure if that's why?? But in a nut shell, I'm still not very pleased with the results yet but I'm holding on to hope that time will heal all!! Seeing surgeon on Tuesday morning
Write down a list of questions for your surgeon to answer. If you have access to your operative report. ( if you have online access) that will give you an explanation of ROM in OR, and additional work on knee.
That is a good starting point of conversation with your OS.
it's now been 7 weeks and now seems to be more pain than I was expecting although I have stopped taking prescription pain meds, so not sure if that's why??

7 weeks is still early in a recovery that lasts an average of 52 weeks (one year.) Not taking pain relief is probably part of it, as well as maybe you are more active at this point which is causing some pain. Try to balance some rest time with your activities.
Thanks for responding, Monkey1122. It is still early days for you. if you're not interested in taking prescription pain meds, consider Extra Strength Tylenol at 1000 mg, every six hours, but no more than 4000 mg in any 24 hr period. You must also calculate anything else containing Acetominiphin into the 4000 mg so you're not exceeding that amount. Possibly doing this temporarily along with icing and elevation, which it's not too late for, may help ease your pain. Time heals all, as they say, and it's especially important in recovery, so please hang in there, I'm sure brighter days are on the way. Best Wishes for your appointment on Tuesday morning. Let us know how it goes.
I hope you're feeling better on this two month anniversary of your TKR.
While it's only been a little over a week since we heard from you, I hope you're finding some pain relief either through starting your prescription again, or relying on OTC meds temporarily.
Hopefully the appointment with your OS went well. Take care!

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