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TKR Knee is not good

Kate30

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I am 48 yers old nurse. 6-7 years ago I had a meniscus injury and meniscectomy on my left knee. Then my knee ruined within the next 6 yers and I had a total knee replacement last November (2019). The operation and the recovery went very well and I did not have any problems. Started working on reduced hours 4 months after the operation. But a week ago (mid November 2020) my knee started gradually becoming stiff and locked. It is a bit swollen and I can’t bend it like I usually do. Went to E&A and they told me the knee is definitely not infected, not fractured and not dislocated. Fortunately I have my final appointment with the orthopaedic team in 10 days. I am really worried something has gone wrong with my artificial knee.
Has somebody else experienced such problems? What could it be and what to do while I am waiting to see a specialist?
 

sistersinhim

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Welcome to Bonesmart @Kate30. I'm sorry to hear that you are having pain and swelling. It's good that you are seeing your doctor in a few days to get his opinion. I suggest you ice and elevate your knee to try and get that swelling down. That should help improve the stiffness.

Most knees take at least a year to heal but some of us take longer than that. You might be the same way. Which knee did you have replaced and what was the exact date? I'll add that information to your signature for you.

The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect and what not to do, especially regarding 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. 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.
 

Jaycey

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@Kate30 Welcome to BoneSmart! Have you done anything new lately. Perhaps lifted something heavy, pushed furniture or even banged you knee on something? Do try ice and elevation. Please let us know how your appointment goes.
 
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Kate30

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Hi, as I am new here, I tried to post reply to the kind messages I received, but I couldn’t .
Thank you very much for the support!
I had a left total knee replacement on 29/11/2019.
My new knee locked on 22/11/20. I do elevate and rest it, but it doesn’t help. It is still stiff and creeping when I step or move it. It looks deformed, like the knee cap is slightly moved towards the outer side of the knee. I may need to find my crutches and start using it. Still 5 more days to the orthopaedic appointment. I am really worried.
 

Nancan

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I understand your worry. My PT told me my leg didn’t look straight and I fretted for weeks until I saw my doctor when I saw my OS he told me my arthritic disease had slowly moved my knee joint internally and he did have to realign everything. He told me that everything looked fine and not to worry.
 
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Kate30

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Thank you for the reply!
The problem is that my knee locked a year after the knee replacement. It is very stiff and I can’t walk. I don’t think that is normal. It was locking before the operation and that is why the replacement was done.
why would it lock after a replacement ?
 
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Kate30

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Welcome to Bonesmart @Kate30. I'm sorry to hear that you are having pain and swelling. It's good that you are seeing your doctor in a few days to get his opinion. I suggest you ice and elevate your knee to try and get that swelling down. That should help improve the stiffness.

Most knees take at least a year to heal but some of us take longer than that. You might be the same way. Which knee did you have replaced and what was the exact date? I'll add that information to your signature for you.
Thank you very much for replying to me.
I had a left total knee replacement on 29/11/2019.
After 5 days elevation, rest, ice the swelling came down, but still feels stiff and clicking. Then this morning my knee locked again. Without any particular reason. So I am lying and resting it again. It doesn’t feel good. I do worry about it a lot. Still 5 days till my orthopaedic appointment. It doesn’t feel good to step and work on it. I may have to find my crutches and use it for now.
Thank you very much for your support!
I do need to communicate my experiences and worries at the moment.
Thank you!
@Kate30 Welcome to BoneSmart! Have you done anything new lately. Perhaps lifted something heavy, pushed furniture or even banged you knee on something? Do try ice and elevation. Please let us know how your appointment goes.
Hi, and thanks for writing to me.
I haven’t done anything new or unusual at all. I did not have any trauma either. Just doing my usual work (nursing), which requires a lot of standing and walking. I will rest it and hope for good.
Thank you!
 

Celle

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Hi @Kate30
You'll notice that I have merged your two threads together as we prefer that members in recovery only have one thread.

This is for three reasons:
1. if you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts others have left you in the old threads
2. it often ends up that information is unnecessarily repeated
3. it's best if we can keep all your recovery story in one place so it's easily accessed if we need to advise you.

Please keep all your questions and updates on this thread. Don't worry that we won't see your new question as, between us, the staff read all new posts each day.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.
Tagging other members and answering tags

If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.


Here are the instructions on finding your thread, How can I find my threads and posts?

Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on. Please will you do that?
 

Celle

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hi again, Kate.

I've edited you last post, to remove all the unnecessary quotations.
When you want to make a post, you don't need to quote first.
Just scoot down to the bottom of the page and start typing in the box where it says "Write your reply."

If you want to quote someone's post or just part of it, this article tells you the right way to go about it:
How to use the quote feature


Until your appointment with the surgeon, spend as much time as you can resting, icing and elevating your knee. That may help.

And do let us know what your surgeon says when he sees your knee, won't you?
 

Miggie

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Hi Kate30, so sorry you are having issues with your knee. I don't have any advice that hasn't already been given to you, but know that I am sending prayers for your recovery. Hope that your doctor will have answers to you. Hope you have a good weekend.
 
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Kate30

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Thank you very much! I hope and pray for good, too.
 
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Kate30

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Hello again!
As I promised I am writing after seeing my orthopaedic consultant. Thanks God nothing is wrong with my replaced joint. Somehow the knee cap ( which is plastic in my case) has moved, causing trauma of the ligaments and soft tissues and blocking and deforming my knee. It has moved back in it’s place, but still very unstable. X Rays were good and I was prescribed to wear a knee support and advised to start exercising the leg and strengthen the muscles around the knee. Hopefully that will cure the problem within a few weeks.
I am wearing a simple elasticated knee support at the moment ( while waiting the prescribed one to arrive) and that helps a lot. It holds my knee tight and secure and I can walk.
 

Celle

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It sounds as if your kneecap isn't tracking properly. The plastic button on the back of it doesn't have anything to do with that, but your tendons, ligaments and muscles that control the movement of your kneecap may be out of balance.

The suggestion to start PT for this is a good one. Also, if you find that the knee support doesn't help enough, your PT therapist may be able to help by taping the appropriate places with kinesiology tape.
I'm going to ask @Pumpkln to talk to you about that.
 

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