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MUA Knee stiffness.

Jcr

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This is my first time ever doing anything like this so I hope I’m doing this right. I’ve been following bone smart since my surgery and it’s been a great help reading everyone’s experience and suggestions. I’ve wanted to write sooner but was nervous too. So here I go.

I had right total knee replacement on November 4, 2019 I went through pain, depression, self pity, crying, everything. I should mention I have no patience which is hard with this surgery. But I’m learning. My Rom was only 75. My doctor recommended a MUA.

I had the MUA on January 24, 2020. I had lots of scar time and adhesives. It did help with my Rom. I’m at 106 on my own and with help from pt I can get to 116. Still working on extension that’s at 4 but again with help from pt it gets to 0. I have a few questions.

My first question is knee stiffness especially in the morning does it ever go away. I’m going on 4 months on March 4 and I feel that I’m so far behind and never going to be able to walk my dog.

My second question is sleep. I still have restless nights and cannot sleep on my sides. I put my leg on a pillow which does help. Will I ever get a good night sleep. Thank you.
 
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Rosy

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So sorry for all you’ve been through. My path has been comparatively simply. I just had to tell you that I had my first night of sleeping through the night! I don’t like sleeping on my back either. And my poor husband because I snore like a steam train! Hang in there. You are not alone.
 

Qdogpa

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Nearing 5 weeks Post op, and have yet to have a full night of sleep. Knee is now stiff, and achy, with a bit of swelling...can’t find a way to be comfortable to sleep...have tried everything...and I am not a napper, so always tired. So you are not alone
 
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Jcr

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Thank you so much. It’s refreshing to know that I’m not alone. I’ll keep trying and let you know when I get a good sleep and stiffness subsides.
 

Jaycey

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@Jcr Welcome to BoneSmart! Are you icing and elevating that op leg? Unfortunately having the MUA meant you started this recovery again on that date. Icing will reduce the swelling that is causing the stiffness. Ice for 45-60 minutes several times throughout the day.

Regarding sleep issues - all part of this recovery I am afraid. Nap during the day when you can. This will ease with time.

I'll leave your recovery guidelines here for you.
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 Activity progression for TKRs

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 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.
 
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Jcr

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Thanks Jaycey. I do ice but I’ll ice more through the day.i will also try to be patient and hopefully sleep will come soon. I’ll take a few naps this weekend.
 

Helizabug

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You are a couple of weeks ahead of me on both the surgery and the MUA. I think the stiffness is going to stick with us for a while longer. We are really still early in this recovery. Sleeping is very tricky, but when I have to sleep on my back because of pain, I try to tuck the blankets tight around me on one side, especially, and it feels a little like I’m on my side.
 
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Jcr

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Unfortunately I think you are right about stiffness being with us for a while. I’ll try and tuck blankets on the side. I also have a body pillow that I’ll try. Thanks
 

Pjhr

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Hi. I’m new here. 5 1/2 months post op total knee replacement. My surgeon says I’m one of the lucky ones bc I bounced back super fast. Bending at 130 after just a few weeks. I do almost an hour of exercise seven days a week that my pt gave me. I’m pretty much pain free BUT if I do too much I hurt for sure! A teeny bit of swelling still. My advise on sleeping is this. Invest in a tens unit. A good one not one that shuts off after 45 minutes. I wear mine at night since 3 weeks post op and I sleep through the night every night! I do put a soft flat pillow u see my knee but that’s so when I turn on my side my knees don’t crash together! The stiffness is still there in the morning a bit but not bad. I am beginning to think the stiffness will be a part of life. Good luck!
 

Jaycey

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I do almost an hour of exercise seven days a week that my pt gave me.
To other members reading this - for most this is excessive and not recommended.

@Pjhr sounds like you are having an amazing recovery. Why don't you start a thread of your own in the recovery area?
 

Pjhr

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Hahaha I’m not really blog savvy. This is the first time I’ve even replied to one! I really just wanted to give some insight on what helps me sleep!
 
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Jcr

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Pkhr I’ll try anything to get a good night sleep. Especially since I’m going back to work next week I’ll definitely look into the tens unit.
I’m glad your recovery is good. I don’t have pain I just have stiffness and I do ride a stationary bike a few times a day and walk my dog for about 10 minutes. Thanks for the information.
 

NewToMe

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5 months post op and still struggling with sleep here. I have noted in my little journal that I am sleeping better every month...but wow...it is a LONG haul.

Pain management is key and for me, knowing I will wake up and having a plan (this month it's roll over and go back to sleep) two months ago it was get up and Do a lap around the house.

In all, I try to not get worried or upset due to lack of sleep. I hear parent do this with babies and I for sure know my knee is a baby!

FYI I had a MUA 8 weeks and my recovery has been slow but steady progress. I hope yours goes along the same lines!

Hang in there!
 
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Jcr

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I also keep a journal and I am doing better every month. You are so right it’s a long haul.

I try not to get upset but it’s hard not too. I so want to be able to the things I use too.

My MUA was 4 weeks ago and my recovery has been slow but it does get better every week. I do notice little things are better. Hopefully my recovery will progress steadily like yours.

Thanks and good luck to you.
Let’s hope we both have a great recovery.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Will I ever get a good night sleep.
Yes, it just takes time
knee stiffness especially in the morning does it ever go away.
Same answer!
I had the MUA on January 24, 2020.
Which restarts your recovery from that date. Just continue with gentle stretching, no hard exercising.
I’m going back to work next week
Can you negotiate more time off? If not, please take it very easy, work is stressful.
 
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Jcr

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Sleep update. I took 2 tart cherry pills and put on my rain music and tucked myself in with blankets. I was snug as a bug in a rug. I sleep for 4 hours straight and then got up and then sleep another 4 hours. It was good for me.

Morning stiffness still there but I work through it with some stretching and a little bike

As for going back to work. I’ll be working 1/2days for the next 2 weeks. I do have a job where I sit most of the day. I do have a foot stool and a under the desk bike pedal. I will get up every hour and walk and I also have ice packs just in case.

I will take it easy and only do my daily activities.
Thanks Roy
 

InkedMarie

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I give you credit for listening to rain music....that makes me need to use the bathroom LOL!
 
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Jcr

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It’s a herbal tart cherry extract 1200 mg. I get them at Meijers (I’m in Michigan) any drug store should carry them or amazon has them also. It helps aid in sleeping and has other good benefits. I like taking them rather then taking any pills with acetaminophen. They don’t make me drowsy in the morning.
 

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