TKR Mystikfairy's RTKR August 21

@Shires Sorry for the long post. I don't have any studies that shows one way over another helps other than what myself and so many others on here have shown over and over. That flexion and extension don't have to be worked for or fought for and that with time and patience, once the swelling has subsided, movement will come. As I have been told on here and have seen for myself, a tight,swollen knee cannot bend and trying to force it only increases the pain and swelling which makes moving it harder. Be sure to read all the info sent to you by the staff here, it will prove invaluable throughout your recovery.
I have rehabbed 4 joints total, both knees and hips. My left knee was done in Nov 2014 and my flexion is 110,extension is 0. I am perfectly satisfied with that because I can do everything I need to. Shires, feel free to reach out anytime. Glad that what I said helped you with your recovery. After all that is why we are here, to help others going thru this.
@Layla @sistersinhim I do need to mention, I will be 7 weeks on Sunday. My biggest thing I have been dealing with is the tight band feeling around my knee which of course is to be expected. I also have a really tight hamstring and IT band that I am dealing with. For those of you that do not know, the IT band is the one that runs down the outside of the hip and knee. I am known for having trochanteric bursitis and I have a screamer case at the moment so the IT band being tight and sore is making that worse. I am still getting to see my at home therapist a couple more times before they cut me lose and I am using it to my advantage. She sent me a couple of exercises I can do to stretch both the hamstring and IT band but she said to only stretch a couple of times and only til I feel a slight pull so I can start stretching them a bit. I am also continuing my Celebrex to help with the inflammation since they gave me enough for 3 months. I normally get a shot of cortisone when I have bursitis this severe but I know I can't until at least 12 weeks so I don't risk an infection. I am considering going to outpt PT because I am stuck at 95 flexion plus with all the sore areas I am thinking I need a bit of help to get past this point. Any advise would be appreciated before I do something I might wish I hadn't. Just wanted to run this past others to get their thoughts on them. I just don't think walking alone is going to loosen these areas.
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@Layla I read that you stated you got your flex back really slow. I am concerned that I am at 95 at week 7 and have been there for 2 weeks but I have hamstring and IT band tightness along with trochanteric bursitis,right hip has flared up. Also some pain across my low back. I am icing several areas at once to try to keep inflammation down. Was wondering if I need to do some outpt PT to help me stretch these areas but remain in control of what I will and won't let them do. I had mentioned it in my previous post about this. I put your name on about halfway down the previous post which goes a bit more into detail on this but did not see any response. Wanted to try again for a response. Please advice. Thanks.
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Have just read your whole thread @mystikfairy61 and just want to say thanks so much as it’s really helped me mentally be comfortable at where I’m currently at in my recovery journey Onwards & upwards xx
I am concerned that I am at 95 at week 7 and have been there for 2 weeks but I have hamstring and IT band tightness along with trochanteric bursitis,right hip has flared up.
Was wondering if I need to do some outpt PT to help me stretch these areas but remain in control of what I will and won't let them do.
You are still very early in the healing process. Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue has been disturbed and is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.

Regaining our ROM does not require forceful bending or painful exercises. That is counterproductive.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
This is what one of our members, TortiTabby, experienced:

(Just so you know, ADL means Activities of Daily Living.)

“At my six week appointment this is what my OS wrote in my visit summary: "She reads an online website called Bone Smart which states to not push through pain following knee replacement. If she were to follow this direction, she will have to learn to live with a knee that only reaches to 85 degrees of flexion. I believe this website is very misleading."

It has now been 20 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 (where I am today): 110
I am so thrilled it keeps improving and improving and I know now that I will get to my goal of 120 (or even better, dare I say!) :egypdance:
So, if a OS or PT bullies you into thinking your ROM will not improve over time they are wrong. By the way, I haven't been back to see the OS since that horrible appointment at 6 weeks, but I sure am going back when I reach 120 just to say, "Ha! You were wrong, BoneSmart was right!" :yes:


“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:
One more point, I fell last Christmas and fell on my PKR. My whole lower leg bruised and swelled. My ROM was almost as bad as right after surgery, from the swelling. It took 2 months for my leg to heal and my ROM to return to normal. And this was just from a fall. No surgical trauma like during our replacement surgery. No wonder this recovery takes a year.

Even though my surgeon and PT were able to painfully force my ROM to a number they liked, when I wasn’t with them, I struggled with ROM my whole first year. However, as my knee and leg healed my ROM continued to improve well into my second and even my third year.

This is a rough and very uncomfortable at times recovery. Try to have patience with the healing process. You will get better ROM, but it does take time, and that time varies for each of us. :console2:
Hi mystikfairy,
My apologies for overlooking the tag somehow. Some days I'm easily distracted here. :hissy:
I am wondering if you confused me with someone else in regard to flexion? You are very familiar to me as we recovered from our THR's together and I have a fond memory of you trying to guide me to a tv station that broadcasts some good old shows from our younger days. :wink:

I am so sorry you're struggling with the tight hamstring and IT band in addition to the trochanteric bursitis.
Here is an article from our Library offering some suggestions, if you haven't already read it - Trochanteric bursitis with THR Hopefully the stretches the PT advised you try begin bringing you relief.

Here is another on IT Band issues and treatments - ITB (ilio-tibial band) issues and treatments
I am considering going to outpt PT because I am stuck at 95 flexion plus with all the sore areas I am thinking I need a bit of help to get past this point.
Please refrain from engaging in movement that causes discomfort or pain and don't allow anyone to forcefully manipulate your leg. While your range of motion is currently limited, it will naturally increase as the swelling subsides and the pain eases. Aside from the pain you're suffering and I am sorry for that, please give this more time. Seven weeks is pretty early in the entire scheme of things. I've read accounts of many noticing progress one and two years post op, I did myself, so I'm certain brighter days are in your future.

An inspiring post to read is the one below from current member JusticeRider in regard to ROM. You can always tag her if interested. She is a great encourager -

JusticeRiders thoughts follow:
"I just want to add, for all those coming along, a note on ROM. I want to share this because nearly all of us have a tremendous amount pressure put on us to increase our ROM by certain deadlines, or else.

Mine has been extremely slow coming. First I had to wait out the swelling, which in my case took more than 5 months. Yes, months. At that point I began to see real progress. It has continued to this day. I have seen improvement in the last 2 weeks. It’s still going. A this point I think the limiting factor is tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons from 3 yrs of very limited ROM and actually about 25 yrs of somewhat limited ROM. Those tissues are slowly stretching.

I have had to be willing to let my flexion improve at a glacial pace, be very patient, and tune out the dire warnings of my surgeon, PA, previous PT, and some well meaning acquaintances. I refused painful PT and refused a MUA. I have absolutely no regrets. I know my body, and I believe those things would have caused a domino effect of swelling and pain that may have derailed my recovery long term and even possibly have torn soft tissue, etc. I now know I have the added challenges of hypermobility and an immune condition that causes an inflammatory reaction. I think a MUA would have been very harmful to me.

Instead of forcing it, I have relied on weekly massage and using my stationary bike as a stretching aid every single day. I have been very active, but I have ramped up really, really gradually. I have not measured my flexion, because honestly I feel almost a PTSD type of reaction around it. All I care about is function and what I can do. My knee is very functional now, and still improving. I love my new knee. I’m glad I let it heal on its own timeline even though it was so much longer than everyone (most of all me!) would have liked."

Regarding your back, consider pointing it out to your PT and see if they're able to guide you through some gentle stretches you can continue to do along with the icing and Celebrex, hopefully bringing you relief.

You're struggling with more than your share of discomfort and pain currently and it has to be difficult. I pray you find relief in some of these areas soon and experience great progress overall. Wishing you lots of comfort! :console2:Please stay in touch.
95 degrees at 7 weeks is quite normal and there is no reason to stress about it. You still have lots of swelling outside and inside your knee. That is what is restricting your bend. Your knee is NOT out of shape, it is injured, inflamed, and swollen. All these take time to heal from. Swelling was normal for me for months, even up to 6 months when I did too much. This is a year-long recovery or even more.
@Layla You quoted exactly what I had read which led me to think it was you instead of Justiceriders because the term glacial pace sticks out. I will hold off on going. I had tentatively made an appointment with PT but I will just call and tell them I can't come at the moment. I have been thinking that my back pain could be from my degenerative disc disease I have. Since my gait is better than before surgery and it has changed my walking, this could be why it is a bit painful. Will still mention it in case it is muscular.
My biggest concern is I go back to work on Nov 13 and I have to go back to surgeon on 9th to get my release for work. I don't think that he would refuse to give it to me but I know he said he would like to see at least a 15 degree improvement when I return.
@sistersinhim Trust me,from prior surgeries I remember that this is a year long recovery. The tight IT band and hamstring especially with the bursitis is not something I remember experiencing before.
@Jockette Thanks so much for all the info. Unfortunately I have always had an issue with patience and have to ask the good Lord for this on a regular basis. I don't have the option of not going back to see my doctor like tortitabby because I have to have a release to return to work on Nov 13.
Normal activity and ADL's are what is suggested but I am trying to balance that still.
@Mutley Glad that I have been helpful to you. I hope your recovery continues to go well.
I definitely joined the ODIC yesterday but it was due to 2 appts. I had my yearly mammo plus went with my husband to his vascular dr to hear his results of his checkup for his PAD. That on top of taking care of the pumpkin we used for my daughter's gender reveal party, cleaning it up for the deer in the area which took about 25 mins cleaning it up to put out increased my swelling, so I have really rested today with elevation and ice. Thanks to you all for your responses. Just needed the clarification. This is why I love this group so much. It helps us when we are at a spot and trying to figure out what to do, and keeps us from doing things that could cause more harm than good.
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Happy Two Month Anniversary!
I hope the past week has been a good one for you.
Let us know how it's going when you feel up to posting a progress report.
Until then..wishing you only the best!
@Layla Thanks for the 2 month congrats!! I decided to go to outpt PT and it has been a good idea. The therapist agreed that my main issue is tightness in my IT and hamstring. He had me doing only 3 exercises to stretch them from the appt last week and I return tomorrow. There has been no residual pain and the tightness has been getting better. Will let you know how it goes with my appt.
The therapist agreed that my main issue is tightness in my IT and hamstring.
This is fairly common during recovery from joint replacement. My therapist did some targeted massage during each of my PT sessions, then showed me how to do it myself at home before any exercise. You might ask yours about it.
You're welcome!
How wonderful that you found a therapist and his recommendations have helped! I hope you had a good return visit today and feel good again tomorrow. :egypdance:Things are looking up!
@benne68 He mentioned that he will be doing the massage but at the moment the tightness has me so sore in those areas that I don't think I could take it. It is forthcoming though. He is using moist heat before I start which loosens things up and makes it so much easier. Yesterday I did some heels slides right after the heat and then measured and was able to get flexion of 105 which is 10 more than before. Did a bit of halfturns on the bike and the other exercises I was doing previously. My hamstring and calf are not as tight as they were. IT is going to take a bit longer I do believe but overall I am glad I am going. No soreness at all today so I know I'm not overdoing which as you all know is the biggest concern. Will keep you posted.
I was 11 weeks on Sunday. Went to PT on Monday and my flexion was 115. I had done a rather long shopping trip with my daughter and I have a sore tendon behind my knee and of course the walking increased the swelling. I think overall for 11 weeks I am doing good. I go to my surgeon Thursday to get my release to go back to work next Monday the 13th. I want to try to find a massage therapist so I can get some of the tight muscles worked on. The biggest thing that is irritating is because things were off kilter for so long, now that I can walk normally if I stand too long my low back muscles hurt. I am hoping this gets better as time goes by. Hope everyone has a good day.
@mystikfairy61 I just wanted to say hello. Back in 2014, we were recovering from THR at the same time and I remember interacting with you on several occasions.
Thanks for the update, mystikfairy.
It's great to read you feel you're doing well. I am sorry your low back is bothering you, I hope you find some relief through massage. Good luck with your OS appointment on Thursday and best wishes as you return to work on Monday!
@Dmcfad2 I remember that. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for stopping to say hi. I just looked at your thread and it looks like we aren't too far away from each other on a TKR as well. I am going to go read thru and see how you are doing with it.
Hi everyone. Went to my 12 week surgeon visit and he released me to work, gave me the bursitis injection and said see you in a year. The biggest thing as I mentioned before is the redness and swelling I have been getting since I joined the ODIC on the 2nd where I went shopping for too long. Dr said he isn't worried about it and that it will take care of itself over time. It doesn't hurt at all, just feels tight. I guess when I start work Monday I will just have to try to prop it up since I am at a desk. Tuesday I have to drive an hour to our yearly meeting and award ceremony an hour away and then drive home that afternoon so I can only imagine how it will be that day. If anyone has any suggestions on how to help manage this, I would be grateful. I have a knee support stocking that I am thinking might help especially for Tuesday. Thanks in advance for any ideas and blessings to all.
Tuesday I have to drive an hour to our yearly meeting and award ceremony an hour away and then drive home that afternoon so I can only imagine how it will be that day. If anyone has any suggestions on how to help manage this, I would be grateful.
Can you stop somewhere halfway and get out of the car to stretch and walk around for a few minutes? I don't know about you, but the tight confines of a car seat was unbearable for me after about 30 minutes. This went on for a few months. I used ice during car rides early on and if nothing else, it served as a distraction. You can try this if you have any of the ice packs with attached Velcro. Let us know how the return to work and the car ride to the meeting and back goes. Good Luck!

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