"Knee stiffness...Does it get better?" Yes it most emphatically does!
I have a full exercise program which includes riding a stationary bike and stretches. It seems that no matter how much I exercise or how little, the stiffness still persists.
It's easy to exercise too much, and too strenuously. Both these will cause stiffness.
am I just jumping the gun on a fater recovery?
very probably, it's easy to do.
Extended periods of non activity also will increase the stiffness
It's a comedy isn't it? You're right. Idleness will cause stiffness as well as doing too much. You must move, but without pain. It's a balancing act.
Stretching must be done gently, without pain, only discomfort. You can do a lot of it, as long as it's pain free.
If you are training on your static bike (sweating?) you are probably going too hard. You are stretching, not training.
- Set the bike to zero resistance
- Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
- Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
- Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
- Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
- Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
- And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix
and how 'healing' and 'training' are different
and our general info:
Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to recovery. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart will offer advice and are there to help. The advice may vary, but YOU are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.
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
3. Do what you want to do
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:
There are also some cautionary articles here
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.