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Annemarie999

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I had bilateral knee replacement on July 1st and just started having very painful leg cramps at night. Any advice?
 

Celle

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Hello @Annemarie999 - and :welome: to Recovery.

I wonder if your leg cramps at night are because you're trying to do a bit too much during the daytime?
I'm not sure how much you're doing during the daytime but do consider that. At this early stage, you should still be spending most of your time resting, icing and elevating your legs, with just a little, gentle exercise.

To help you, here are our recovery guidelines:
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. Try to 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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Annemarie999

Annemarie999

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Thank you for your response! I think I may have overdone it the day before. I also looked up support cushions on Bone Smart and found I was using one that was on the "do not use" list. Thank you for all the information so I can double check what I'm doing.
 

PegGar16

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Hi! I have problems with leg cramps/charley horses. I drink a glass of tonic water with a splash of juice every day. The quinine in it works for me. I had a doctor recommend that years ago.
 
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Annemarie999

Annemarie999

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I am 6 weeks post bilateral knee replacement. My surgeon is doing a
MUA next week due to very little improvement in my flexion since the surgery. I have had PT all along. 1 knee is 90 degrees. The other is in the low 70’s. Has anyone had this done? What’s afterwards like?
 

Jaycey

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@Annemarie999 you will 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. I changed the title for you.

Regarding MUA - far too early for this. At only 6 weeks out? Why is your surgeon in such a rush?

If you do have MUA you are basically starting again. Your knees will be swollen and angry. Any range of motion you gain during the procedure may quickly decrease.

I would recommend you have a discussion with your surgeon as to why he wants this done so early post op. If he gives you the line about "window of opportunity" please push back. This process can take up to one year or longer.
 

Jockette

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Personally I would not agree to an MUA at only 6 weeks post op. At this point you have barely begun to heal in this 52 week/one year recovery. Your leg is still too upset and swollen from the surgery for your ROM to improve. Your knee will bend fine in time, as you heal.


This is what @TortiTabby experienced. (Just so you know, ADL means Activities of Daily Living, which means just go about the normal things you do in the course of your day, and not doing a “list of exercises.”)
Just an update for those who are apprehensive about gaining ROM:
It has now been 26 weeks and all I do is ADL and this is what my ROM has done:
3.5 wks: 75
6 wks: 85
7 wks: 90
10.5 wks: 95
14 wks: 100
17 wks: 105
20 weeks: 110
26 weeks (where I am today): 120!!!
I did it! My goal of 120! No "pushing through pain", no PT after the first 3 visits, and most importantly to me: No MUA! My surgeon who said I would never get beyond 85 ROM without pushing through pain was wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm excited to see if it gets even better. :happydance:
 

sistersinhim

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A MUA at only 6 weeks makes no sense at all. Your knees and body have undergone terribly traumatic surgeries. Swelling is a byproduct of a TKR and you had double that. The swelling keeps the knees from bending well. When that swelling goes down your bend will naturally get better. No amount of exercise will do that only cause more swelling which causes less bend.


i suggest you ask your doctor to give you a couple of more months of healing. There is no time limit on getting a MUA. If in a couple of months that bend isn't where you want it to be then discuss this option with our doctor. Don't let him talk you into something that will only harm you at this stage in your recovery.
 

bs27

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I am 6 weeks post bilateral knee replacement. My surgeon is doing a
MUA next week due to very little improvement in my flexion since the surgery. I have had PT all along. 1 knee is 90 degrees. The other is in the low 70’s. Has anyone had this done? What’s afterwards like?
I had an MUA yesterday. The TKR was 9 weeks ago today. Due to a skin infection, it was 2 weeks post-op before I was able to start PT and home exercising. I was not able to get the knee beyond 65 degrees on my own despite all best efforts. There was 'lots of popping & cracking', I was told, during the procedure - that's what I wanted to hear because I knew it was not my effort holding me back. The PA said the knee was bent to 135 but I suspect that was an estimate. Post-op was more significantly painful than I expected - not my knee but muscular pain in the thigh - but I was still able to put weight on that knee & walk with the walker instead of the cane that I was using. Pain med, anti-inflammatory & ice allowed me to be able to go home several hours later. I slept with the ice machine pads positioned on my thigh all night and now, the next day, the pain has decreased to the more normal soreness that I had expected. I went to PT this morning pretty stiff and of course it did not jump right up to 135 - but I was happy that it did not take long to hit a new high of 95 degrees with gentle movements and the bending effort had an entirely different feel to it. I'll need to work hard to maintain and hopefully improve on the 95 over this weekend and PT thinks I should be able to reach 110 on Monday. My surgeon suggested I might need the MUA pretty early on during my slow rehab but would not do it before progress stalled and I was at least 8 weeks post-op. This procedure may not be necessary for everyone just because of slower than desired progress, but when adhesions/scar tissue are likely the cause and you are unable to break through it/them ... well, I'm glad I had the procedure and really happy that all the noise the knee was making during the MUA confirmed it was necessary. Good luck with whichever way you proceed with your rehab!
 

Rockgirl4

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There's no way I would have done one at 6 wks, as I had severe swelling and needed a good 3 months to get to 100 degrees after my right TKR in May 2019. I had an MUA back in 2016 for a different problem (same knee) and didn't see ANY improvement!!!!! It took 5 months to get my range of motion back after the MUA in '16. Time is what I needed---time for the swelling to go down and my quadriceps muscle to calm down.

Just to add to things---I recently discovered my current range of motion problems are due to soft tissues problem AROUND and ABOVE the knee (the knee that was replaced last year). It's not the knee that's the problem--it's a tight, knotted quadriceps muscle and IT Band problem that has haunted me after many, many knee surgeries on that same leg. Now I know it's a recurring problem after every knee surgery, so I don't blame everything on the knee anymore.

All I'm saying it at 6 wks, there are SOOOOO many reasons your range of motion is at 90 degrees. Adhesions and scar tissue are just the simplest thing most surgeons try to blame it on. We've seen LOADS of people here have MUAs and see no improvement because it was swelling causing the problem.....not adhesions.
 

PegGar16

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I don't understand the rush for MUAs. Due to the allograft that I received during my revision I had my leg immobile for the first 6 weeks. Then the next few weeks they would adjust the brace 30 degrees each week. It took a little time but I have a 130-140 ROM.
 
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Annemarie999

Annemarie999

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Well, I went with trusting my surgeons d had the MUA. I had a ton of scar tissue which they broke up. My leg was a little sore for a few days but is now fine. I can bend my legs so much easier and so much farther now! Life is a bit easier and my recovery is finally moving along!
 

Celle

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What date did you have the MUA , @Annemarie999 ? If you tell us that, we can add it to your signture.

I'm glad the MUA helped. Did your surgeon do it on both knees?
 
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Annemarie999

Annemarie999

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I had it on August 18th. He did both knees.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Well that seems an excellent result! Take everything gently and pretend you're back to day 1 of recovery; MUA does stress the soft tissues.
 

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