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TKR Getting upset

Cinnie

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I had a TKA on my left knee on October 23. I'm getting really depressed about my recovery. I couldn't move my leg for three weeks due to swelling and bruising and pain. Now I feel like I am at a standstill with bending stuck at 95° and such pain and swelling.
Is it too late to expect more than a 95° bend? I'm losing my hope.
 

Jockette

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Hi, Cinnie, and Welcome to Bonesmart!

You will get past 95, it just takes time. All that pain and swelling you mentioned is the reason you can’t bend more than that right now.

Did you know that complete recovery from a knee replacement takes an average of a full year? I did not know that. I expected to be recovered from my partial in 2-3 months. That didn’t happen!

Are you doing a lot of PT? Too often we are given more PT than our knee can actually handle. Bonesmart recommends a gentler approach to recovery than most of us are offered.


I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Pay special attention to number 4 about PT.

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.
 

Pumpkln

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:welome:
Is it too late to expect more than a 95° bend?
You are barely 2 months out from your TKR in this year+ long recovery. At 95 degrees your ROM is fine, my OS did not expect 90 degrees until 3 months.
We have members who gained ROM a year or more after TKR, here is a log of their ROM gains.
What you need is time, time to recover, time for your swelling and pain to resolve, then your ROM will reveal itself.
Campervan’s ROM history
92 - 8 weeks post op
105 - 10 weeks
107 - 5 months
110 - 6 months
112 - 7 months
116 - 9 months
119 - 11 months
118 - 1 yr
120 - 1yr 2 months
125 - 1 yr 8 months and still this now at 1yr 10 months

Bertschb’s ROM history
1 month
- 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees
 

Helizabug

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Lots of us get discouraged. We’re stuck for a while, and that is so frustrating. The pace of recovery is crazy and irregular, so we can easily be discouraged by having no clear view of the future. Plus, we’re in pain.

BoneSmart is such a great site because you’ll find that you’re not alone, you will make progress, and you don’t have to suffer medieval PT, which just makes everything worse for most people.

I hope you find relief and comfort as you progress.
 

Rockgirl4

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No, it is not too late to get more range of motion. Many people find their range of motion continues to improve the entire first year after recovery. This is a 12-month recovery, though many were not told that before the surgery. There is no "window of opportunity" to get your motion back. My extension didn't improve fully until the 4 month mark, and my flexion (bending) is STILL improving.....

Personally, I had 93-94 degrees of flexion at the 8-9-wk point, then made it to 103-104 at 12 wks, then stopped PT, as I could most of what I needed to. I gained a few more degrees at 4-5 months post-op. I am currently 7 months post-op and know I might gain more in the coming months, as I'm just over the half-way point. I get loads of late-day swelling though if I stand too much, which MANY of us here have complained about. It's normal though. My surgeon even warned me it can take 12-18 months for some people, so as long as you're slowly improving, just be patient, get on with life, and see what each month brings. :)

I may not be gaining lots of degrees of bend each month, but I went to TWO of my son's basketball games today. I went up and down the bleachers numerous times, never worrying my knee was going to give out on me like before. :dancy:I even surprised myself at the gym last month when I could do more with the TKR leg than the other knee (that will need a TKR soon). My point is there is for them to come. At 2 months post-op, you have WAYS to go still. Hang in there.:console2:
 

kneeper

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Sometimes we hit a plateau for a while. Just keep on with the gentle movements and icing. Most of us found that as the swelling came down the bend increased.
You're also far enough along in your recovery for the "will this ever end?" feeling to hit. At least around 5-6 weeks is when it hit me. :wink:
 

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