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TKR LJ55's Recovery - Knee Stiffness

LJ55

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I am at 3-1/2 and still have so much stiffness. My doctor said my knee still has a lot of swelling. I'm doing everything I can but how long does the stiffness usually last. It's making me walk with a limp.
 

Celle

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Hello @LJ55 - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

I've moved your post from the other thread about knee stiffness, so we can talk about your knee without sidetracking the other persons thread.

I'm afraid that knee stiffness is part and parcel of this year-long recovery. It's partly swelling and partly a few small adhesions sticking a few of your thigh muscles together.
This article explains a bit about it: "Tight band" feeling across the front of my knee

The stiffness will gradually go away, but it could take another month or two.

I'm going to give you our Recovery Guidelines and some useful articles 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 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 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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LJ55

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Thank you for the information. And the phrase "Tight Band" is exactly what I am feeling. I had my right knee replaced on July 29, 2019.

Thank you again!
 
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Celle

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Thank you for your surgery date. I've put it into your signature and I've also added you to the July Sparklers monthly surgery list.
 

Starsfan22

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LJ55....We have the exact same surgery date, mine is the left also. I also have the tightness and also pain, especially if I overdo. Today for example after using ice and peddling for 8min. just to loosen up I'm out the door for a 30 min. drive to the library. Spent 3hr. there doing continuing ed. then back out to car. Visited restaurant then on to warehouse grocery. Very busy today I guess for Thanksgiving. Walked for 20min. or so then back to car and 30min. drive home. Iced as soon as I got home. Knee uncomfortable and hurts to walk. Icing again at 7pm. Oh, did I mention tylenol and advil all day? If I stay home and do minimal housework, cooking I'm ok but any extra sets my knee off. The thing that bothers me most is standing for an extended time, 10 plus min. causes pain everytime. My right knee is bone on bone and needs to be replaced too. I just can't right now, just cant......
So I'm right there with you, seeing improvement just at a snails pace, a disabled snail. Hope your stiffness resolves soon, hope your pain level is good this week too.
 

Jockette

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It took me many months to be able to stand still for any length of time, but it’s fine now.
 

Rockgirl4

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I'm at 6 months post-op right TKR, and like @Jockette , it's taken MONTHS for me to be able to stand still any length of time. I'd much rather be moving in any direction rather than stand still. It's gotten better each month, but at a snail's pace for sure. :tantrum: I also still get lots of swelling/inflammation from too much activity, so I have to plan my days, especially if I want to exercise at all. I'm just now able to do a gym workout with weights and be able to walk normally the next morning.

I know some people bounce back and have little stiffness/swelling after 3 months or so, but my surgeon says those people are NOT the norm. Granted, I'd had 7 previous surgeries on this knee, one of which was brutal, so he said to expect a FULL 12 months for normalcy and not to be discouraged if I needed 15-18 months. We know my body loves to swell and retain that swelling, and it's happened after most of my previous knee surgeries, even the easier ones. So yeah, I continually have to remind myself to be patient. Some days I do a better job than others.:gaah:
 
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LJ55

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And I still have the tight feeling across my knee. I also have pain on the inner side of my knee. Is this all just part of the recovery?
 

Roy Gardiner

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Pretty much. Gradual improvement is to be expected, if you've 'stalled' you might consult your doctor.
 

Jockette

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I had some kind of discomfort my whole first year, and especially at 6 months.
 

TimeBuster

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I had three TKR revisions and less than seven months. The last revision was June 2019 here it is seven months later especially when I get up in the morning I still get some type of stiffness, but once I start moving the stiffness goes away and I'm good for the rest of the day. Each week or month goes by my stiffness gets less and less.

Hang in there time is your friend.
 
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LJ55

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If you don't mind my asking what were your symptoms that you realized you needed a TKR revision?
 
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LJ55

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I am at 6 months post knee replacement surgery. I'm doing good except I have a limp and the inner part of my knee is still hurting when I move it in certain positions. Has anyone had this before?
 

sistersinhim

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Yes, I had the inner pain on certain movements. It was this: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/pes-anserine-and-mpfl-pain.8723/

My OS prescribed ultrasound on the tendon and no exercises. I really doubted it would help, but it did. I was thrilled. If and when it flares up again I will buy an ultrasound machine from Amazon and do it myself since I saw what the PT did.

Hope you can get some relief.
 

sistersinhim

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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. If you would like a new thread title just post what you would like it to be and we'll change it for you
 
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LJ55

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I am at 9 months since my knee surgery. I am doing well but there is still a lot of stiffness and I tend to walk with a limp. Is this normal?
 

Teeboxx

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I had my Right TKR in September 12th, not too far behind you. I'm still stiff a swelling is still around. What's normal anymore? I hope more respond because I still have the tight band sensation too! I have been Exercising, bike riding and playing golf. I don't ice anymore. Maybe I should start again!
 

Celle

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Hello @LJ55 - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Did you have a Total Knee Replacement (TKR)? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately .
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

It's not unusual to still have some knee stiffness at 9 months, although it should be starting to decrease. Complete recovery does take a full year, so you still have time for some improvement.

Did you go to PT post-op? A PT therapist should be able to help you with your gait, so you don't limp any more.

When you walk, concentrate on doing it with a heel-to toe gait, like this:

heel-toe-gait.jpg

Practice doing it slowly, making sure you bend your knee and bring your leg straight forward and don't swing it out to the side. Take a large enough stride to straighten your back leg. Strike the ground with your heel first, rolling your foot forward until you push off with your toes.
 

sistersinhim

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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. If you would like a new thread title just post what you would like it to be and we'll change it for you

Celle left you the information on walking with a correct gait. This should help you.
 

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