MUA MUA 7 Years After Bilateral TKR


Jan 20, 2013
Hello! It's been 7 years ago at the end of this month that I had both of my knees replaced. Basically, all went well with my surgery with the usual ups and downs. At the end of 4 months of physical therapy I was free to recover on my own. My left knee was making nice progress, and over the years it gained more and more ROM and healed nicely. But my right knee did not. I really hoped that in time I would gain more ROM, but my right knee has been stuck at about 85 degrees max ROM all these years. It's just enough stiffness to make it impossible to walk down a flight of stairs normally...I have to take a stair at a time. I trip easily because I don't lift my foot high enough when I walk. I can't squat down to pick things up...ect ect. Of course, my ortho wanted to do MUA years ago, but I refused and decided to try and just work my knee out on its own. I would probably continue to hobble around, but because my gait is off with my bad knee, I've started to have chronic pain in my lower back and right hip. I was worried my right hip needed replacing. I finally went back to my ortho fearing bad news about my right hip, but he said my hips (on x-ray) are just fine. But I've developed arthritis in my lumbar spine that has flared up because of my right knee. So I have finally agreed to MUA in a couple of weeks.

I have a few questions that I've not been able to find answers to online. My biggest question is what to expect after the procedure. I will return to see my doctor two weeks after the procedure, and then he will clear me for physical therapy. He said he would give me a few exercises to do during that time before PT. Will I need to (or want to) treat my knee like I did when it was first, ice, elevation, pain meds? Will my knee heal much more quickly than it did when it was first replaced, since it has been healed for so long? I'm just curious what the healing timeline will be...especially how long I may be incapacitated and possibly need help. I'm just praying MUA will help me gain more ROM with my right knee. At least I will only be dealing with one knee this time! Thanks. :)
Each knee is different, so I can't tell you want to expect. You will probably need to ice and elevate afterwards for a few weeks. On the Knee Surgery Recovery home page you will see
. Clink on this and you can read about others experience with the procedure.
Wow, your experience is very interesting. With both knees being done at the sane time, I’m sure you rehabbed them the same. I wonder what caused only one to not regain the ROM.

Please keep us posted, I’m very interested in the outcome of your MUA, and Best Wishes for success!
When I was told my right knee was bone on bone and needing replacing, I waited five years until my left knee was bone on bone. By that time if I needed to walk long distances (like going to the mall ect.) I had to use a wheelchair because the pain in my knees was so bad. I couldn't stand for more than a few minutes because of the pain. My legs were so bow-legged before my surgery, and I think my right knee was in such bad shape that it just didn't heal well. I was terrified to have my knees replaced, but survived and did fine and it's so nice to be able to walk again...even though not perfectly. Hopefully MUA will help me.
Do you have the MUA scheduled yet?
It's an interesting situation. I wonder if the need for an MUA Is due to struggling on for years and building up scar tissue (not adhesions) until your other knee was as bad, or something different happened to your right knee post op?
Good luck, Pam, hope it goes really well for you and is 100% successful.
My guess is it might be something that is said on this forum all the time....all knees are different. So I'm guessing even knees from the same body are different...and my right knee healed very differently from my left. I'll be sure to keep you all posted regarding this new journey.
I have an MUA tomorrow, nearly ten weeks out from my TKR. Not the same situation as yours, though I have a long history of surgeries on this knee.

I’ll certainly be posting about it. I’ve been reading a good deal about MUAs, at least whatever I can find, which isn’t a lot. It definitely sounds like it can be helpful for people who need it.

I hope the MUA helps you.
Good luck Helizabug! I'll be keeping you in my prayers. Hope your MUA help you too!!
Morning! So it's been 24 hours since I had MUA of my right knee yesterday, and everything went fantastic. I have to tell you....I know there must be a big difference having MUA 7 years after TKR vs having MUA weeks. I wouldn't recommend it, and I'll tell you the cons in a bit. But for me, I have been very happy to discover that I am not in that much pain. I'm just taking some Ibuprofen (Motrin), and sitting and icing for 20 minutes at a time, then I am moving around getting things done around the house for 40 minutes at a time. Let me tell you about my experience yesterday.
Ooops...hit enter let me continue. I was a nervous wreck as usual getting to the surgery center. I was sure that after the procedure I would be back to "square one" with my knee like it was after having it replaced. I should have known though, that my knee has been healed for many years, so I don't have bone pain anymore.

I went back for the procedure, they gave me conscious sedation and I was out. The MUA only took minutes, and my surgeon was able to break up scar tissue (he said it made some great cracking noises....which makes the OR nurses cringe haha!).

My knee, that has been stuck for years at 65 degrees was now able to bend to 95 degrees. While I was under sedation, my surgeon injected my knee with some steroids and a numbing agent. So when I woke up minutes later, my knee was just slightly sore (maybe a 1 with a 10 being how my knees felt that first month or so after TKR). I was able to sit up and get dressed about 20 minutes later, and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was to hang my feet off the gurney and find that my right knee could bend to 90 degrees or so. WOW!! After years knowing exactly how my knee bends, I could really tell the difference.

After I got home, I elevated and iced my knee. An hour or so later it started to wake up more and more, with my pain level maybe getting to a 2...and I thought, "Oh no, here it goes." I really expected it to get a whole lot worse and that I would be feeling like I did after TKR. But no, I was able to get up and gently walk around (my surgeon wants me up and moving as I can tolerate). I sat in a chair and gently bent my knee so both feet were together on the floor at about 90 degrees. I've not been able to do that for years, always tripping people who walk by because I can't pull my foot in.

I spent the day resting, elevating, icing, and keeping up with the Motrin. I also gently did some of my stretches I used to do while recovering from TKR. I kept having to show my family..."Look how I can bend my knee!" I ate lunch and dinner at the kitchen table with my two feet together on the floor, gently stretching my knee.

I slept great last night, and woke up with my knee a little sore and stiff. Kind of like I went to the gym and really over did it. But nothing terrible. I took Motrin, and am icing and elevating now as I type this. But that is before I took the dog out for a walk around the yard, got breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, ect ect. I have my first day at PT this afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, I was going to mention the cons of waiting so long to get MUA. First of all, I walked around for many years with a weird gait because my knee didn't bend properly, which threw off my alignment and started to make my right hip hurt. My hip actually feels fine this morning! But it's going to take time to get back to walking like a normal person because I'm so used to walking the other way. I'm used to swinging my foot a little out to the right as I walk, instead of stepping straight forward.

And I was a little disappointed that my surgeon could only get my knee to bend to 95 degrees. I didn't think to ask him yesterday, but I want to talk with my PT today and ask her if this will be the limit for my knee, or will I be able to stretch it out more over time now that the scar tissue is broken up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe my bendy muscles are just so tight, that over time I will gain even more ROM. I'll be sure to keep you posted!
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I bet the bend will get better in time. Do you have any swelling? It's wonderful that you don't have much pain.
What an awesome experience! :happydance:

If you do get more bend, which I hope you do, it will take time and gentle stretches, so be really careful with PT. Your leg has been stuck at that other number a very long time, don’t let the PT force bend it!
I spent an hour at PT today and all went well. I gently did stretches, and my knee today is at 85 degrees. That's to be expected because I'm a bit stiffer today. I really don't have swelling or bruising I can see, but I have been icing multiple times a day and it feels good. My PT gave me several stretching exercises to do. Not only is my knee stiff from not bending it properly for so long, but quite a few muscles in my legs and hip are tight which is to be expected. So I'll be gently stretching to work out those muscles. I'm back to PT on Friday, then three times a week for another 6 weeks. By the way, I asked my PT if my surgeon was able to bend my knee to 95 degrees, is that going to be my max ROM I can achieve. He thought it was a good question....and his guess is that 95 degrees will be my hard limit because that was my limit totally relaxed under anesthesia. I'll ask my surgeon what he thinks when I see him in 10 days. My hope is that my muscles are tight from disuse, and even relaxed they didn't want to stretch anymore. So hopefully I can stretch and stretch and over time get more ROM.
My surgeon got my bend to 125 while I was sedated, and I also wondered if that would be my hard limit from now on. I’ll take that limit, gladly, if it is. It should allow me to do most of what I want to do.

I still feel liked I’m recovering from a skiing accident, though it’s improving, two weeks out from my MUA.

I’m hoping you’re pain level stays relatively low and your ROM improves better than you expect.
That's wonderful....a 125 degree bend!! My knee is still just slightly sore...mostly when I go from sitting and keeping it bent to 90 degrees to straightening it out. It's that stretch I have to do slowly. But I'm able to walk just fine and besides PT, have even returned to the gym to go slowly on the ellipitical, and even the recumbent bike that I wasn't able to use before. I wouldn't recommend all this to someone just weeks or months out from TKR then MUA...but after 7 years, my knee is recovering very quickly. Now to just keep stretching and keeping at least 90 degrees...and working towards more.
I wouldn't recommend all this to someone just weeks or months out from TKR then MUA...but after 7 years, my knee is recovering very quickly
Exactly, your leg did not have all the fresh tissue “controlled damage” and disruption that this surgery causes, and that is why we caution members not to overdo the formal exercises and activities in general, in the early months post op.

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