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TKR Newbie 10 months post TKR issues


new member
Feb 21, 2020
United States United States
Hi everyone. I have had Bonesmart page on my home screen since before my TKR last April. Good common sense approach which has helped me tremendously to be patient and let my body heal.
Now, after many months of comfortable living I decided a week ago to lift some 40 pound bags of dirt for my garden. I didn’t think I’d “done” anything to my knee but then little by little this week it’s gotten stiffer and now today it’s painful and swollen. I apparently over did it again. (had to get the cane out again)
I am surprised that it would act up like this. I figured I was all healed up. Now, I have retained a pocket of fluid in my knee since the surgery, but was told it would eventually dissipate. Not! It’s not infection but now I am walking with a cane and elevating and icing again. After all this time!
I could use some thoughts on “is this unusual?” Should I wait and see? Or does it sound like something like another visit to the surgeon is in order.
I’d appreciate any input. I’m not sure why I am still having issues with it.
thanks a bunch.


Nov 19, 2011
New Zealand
New Zealand New Zealand
Hello @lovinlivin8 - 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? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

Complete recovery from a knee replacement does take at least a year, so it's quite likely that lifting those 40 pound bags did upset your knee.
You're doing the right thing in icing and elevating again, but if your knee doesn't start to feel better after a week or so, another visit to your surgeon might be a good idea.

I know it's been some time since your surgery, but I'm going to give you your own copy of the recovery guidelines, so you have them for reference:
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:
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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