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TKR I need to hear something good.

Mary14

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Tomorrow I will be 5 weeks post op for TKR on left knee. After the first week I was so happy by how well I seemed to be progressing. I’ve had tightness in my knee since the surgery but I was working through it. I would say in the last 10 days it seems like every day it gets worse. I ice multiple times a day, I elevate, I do my exercises ( except for the last 2 days…. ) I feel like I’m at my breaking point. I’m trying to be positive but it’s getting hard to do. I don’t understand why it feels like it’s getting worse. It’s that tight band feeling around knee. Sometimes it moves up past my knee. I also massage the area multiple times a day.
I’m supposed to get my other knee done in mid October, I was never really looking forward to it but now I’m dreading it. Is there anyone out there who has experienced something like this. I’m sure there must be. Any words of advice you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

ski_bum

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Tomorrow I will be 5 weeks post op for TKR on left knee. After the first week I was so happy by how well I seemed to be progressing. I’ve had tightness in my knee since the surgery but I was working through it. I would say in the last 10 days it seems like every day it gets worse. I ice multiple times a day, I elevate, I do my exercises ( except for the last 2 days…. ) I feel like I’m at my breaking point. I’m trying to be positive but it’s getting hard to do. I don’t understand why it feels like it’s getting worse. It’s that tight band feeling around knee. Sometimes it moves up past my knee. I also massage the area multiple times a day.
I’m supposed to get my other knee done in mid October, I was never really looking forward to it but now I’m dreading it. Is there anyone out there who has experienced something like this. I’m sure there must be. Any words of advice you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you.
I am 13 weeks out and suffer the same as you. I find riding my stationary bike reliefs it. Then ice.
If you haven't biked, first try rocking before pushing through. To start keep your seat high then slowly lower seat over time. I am going to post my OS first report with concerns knee cap to see if bonesmart can explain.
 

MARYCOOL

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Stay positive, 5 weeks is way too soon to expect your knee to be healed! I am 6 months out and still experience stiffness, occasional stabbing pains. They go away with rest, ice and elevation!
I am definitely having my other knee done in November, and hopefully the other one continues improving!
Be well.
 
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Mary14

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Thank you for your reply And encouragement. I don’t expect it to be healed, my concern is I’m doing all the recommended things and it’s continually getting worse. I feel like I’m losing some range of motion because of it. I’m going to talk to my PT again tomorrow about it.
 

Rain Dancer

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What exercises are you doing? My knee reacts very poorly to exercise, and I have learned that the bests results come from only gentle stretching. Otherwise, I have an angry, sore, very stiff knee.
 

Moone

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@Mary14 I totally understand - I'm now 13wks and feel i went backwards. I thought i was doing all the right things too. Have good flexibility and did my exercises, pushed to walk. Then go to 1 crutch and I pushed too far. I've had knee checked and it is fine. But my body said it had enough. Knee buckled badly for awhile and am wobbly on 2 crutches again. I was housebound for ages and have now got a walker to shuffle outside(which I love so good to get outside) I've learnt I have to go slow and wish now I'd pushed less in the beginning... Have more days off when I need them and let my body dictate the pace.
My surgeon said it is in thirds. A third of people recover really quickly, the next third takes a while, the bottom third takes a long time. My surgeon was great and said "give yourself a break and be kind to yourself. Take a weekend off."
 
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Mary14

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Moone, I feel for you! I hope you continue to make progress. I have PT 3 times a week. The last few times they’ve added more exercises. I’ve talked to my therapist about this and she says the stiffness and tightness just take time. But at the same time they want me to get to 120 degree bend. I’m at about 102 but I think it’s gone down a bit. It’s so hard to bend my knee with this tightness, it seems counter productive.
At home I do heel slides, use an exercise ball to bend my knees as close to me as I can, leg raises, that kind of thing.
I see my dr on Tuesday so maybe he will have some insight.
thank all of you for your replies.
 

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@Mary14
:welome:

I’m at about 102 but I think it’s gone down a bit. It’s so hard to bend my knee with this tightness, it seems counter productive.
You are right, doing too much can cause inflammation and swelling, blocking your ROM, much like a hose full of water is difficult to bend.
But at the same time they want me to get to 120 degree bend.
That 120 is already there waiting for your swelling and inflammation to go down.
There is no window of opportunity, we have many members who gained ROM months out from surgery, some after a year.

Most surgeons are happy once you have passed 90 degrees, you are already there. Just do gentle exercises and let you knee heal.

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:
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 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.

 
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Mary14

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Thank you Pumpkin!!!
 

Lisako76

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Thank you for your reply And encouragement. I don’t expect it to be healed, my concern is I’m doing all the recommended things and it’s continually getting worse. I feel like I’m losing some range of motion because of it. I’m going to talk to my PT again tomorrow about it.
I found that once I got approval to put a pillow under the knee, i kept it there way too much and that increased the stiffness. I've been making the effort to make sure I don't use it as much and that I bend my knee more often. It's helped. I'm getting my next one 10/25 and I'm not happy about how long this recovery takes but, my goal is to be walking great for summer! Hang in there, we'll get there!
 

FCBayern

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Don't rush or let anyone push you for ROM @Mary14, like Pumpkin said that ROM is hiding behind all of the swelling.
Prior to my TKR I was aware of the BoneSmart gentle approach to recovery as opposed to rigorous PT. I was lucky enough to find the site before my TKR. Even though I knew about the BoneSmart approach my OS was all about PT and "whatever ROM you have when your scar turns silver is all the ROM you will ever have." He was the trained surgeon that has done many, many replacements, he must know what he's talking about right? So off I went to my first visit to PT, about 2 weeks out from TKR. The next day when my knee was more swollen and I was in much more pain I opted for a BoneSmart recovery. I never went to another PT session. That was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I suffer less pain, but my ROM has continued to improve over two years. I've been hiking over rough terrain for good distances, scuba diving, and just living a happy active pain free life with more ROM than I ever thought I would have again after many painful years. I've now had a hip replacement with equal success following a BoneSmart approach. You don't have to suffer needlessly to have an amazing recovery.
 

Jockette

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I don’t expect it to be healed, my concern is I’m doing all the recommended things and it’s continually getting worse. I feel like I’m losing some range of motion because of it.
Not all of us can handle all the exercises we are told to do. The most important thing is to give your knee movement. Gentle movement is fine.

Stiffness/Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 
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Mary14

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Don't rush or let anyone push you for ROM @Mary14, like Pumpkin said that ROM is hiding behind all of the swelling.
Prior to my TKR I was aware of the BoneSmart gentle approach to recovery as opposed to rigorous PT. I was lucky enough to find the site before my TKR. Even though I knew about the BoneSmart approach my OS was all about PT and "whatever ROM you have when your scar turns silver is all the ROM you will ever have." He was the trained surgeon that has done many, many replacements, he must know what he's talking about right? So off I went to my first visit to PT, about 2 weeks out from TKR. The next day when my knee was more swollen and I was in much more pain I opted for a BoneSmart recovery. I never went to another PT session. That was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I suffer less pain, but my ROM has continued to improve over two years. I've been hiking over rough terrain for good distances, scuba diving, and just living a happy active pain free life with more ROM than I ever thought I would have again after many painful years. I've now had a hip replacement with equal success following a BoneSmart approach. You don't have to suffer needlessly to have an amazing recovery.
Wow! That is so encouraging to me, thank you!
if it’s possible to recover ROM over time why are surgeons so insistent on intense PT? I do feel like it sets me back. Again, thanks!
 
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Mary14

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Thank you for your reply And encouragement. I don’t expect it to be healed, my concern is I’m doing all the recommended things and it’s continually getting worse. I feel like I’m losing some range of motion because of it. I’m going to talk to my PT again tomorrow about it.
I found that once I got approval to put a pillow under the knee, i kept it there way too much and that increased the stiffness. I've been making the effort to make sure I don't use it as much and that I bend my knee more often. It's helped. I'm getting my next one 10/25 and I'm not happy about how long this recovery takes but, my goal is to be walking great for summer! Hang in there, we'll get there!
Thank you for your reply! I have thought about the pillow issue too. I’ve gone back to sleeping in a recliner instead of my bed because I felt like I was sleeping with my knee in bad positions. ( when I can sleep)
thanks for the encouragement!
 
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Mary14

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After doing some reading about natural ways to help tightness and scar tissue I came upon some information regarding castor oil. I got some and have been doing more self massage with it and I think it’s helping. Has anyone else heard of this?
 

Reader525

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@Mary14 I haven't tried Castor oil but I have tried Weleda Arnica Oil as a massage oil and I think it helps a little. I'm 10 weeks out and I would say I don't experience"pain" anymore, just soreness. I stopped PT 2 weeks ago because it was inflaming my knee and causing such discomfort. I am scheduled to go back next week to work on my walk. I'm not sure about doing that yet.
My walking is better but I am so slow, and I find that to be agonizing. If I try to speed up, and by that I mean walk at a slow normal pace, it is impossible. I wonder if anyone on here can tell me anything about how long the snail's pace continues? I'm icing and elevating. The other day I walked my dogs over a half a mile. I was a little sore that night, but it wasn't terrible.
 

FCBayern

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If it’s possible to recover ROM over time why are surgeons so insistent on intense PT? I do feel like it sets me back. Again, thanks!
Mostly old school thinking and having never experienced it themselves. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a PT and OS had TKR at the same time. I think a whole new approach to recovery might result.
 

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