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TKR Pain and knee locking 4 months post right TKR

DDT

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I have pain and swelling in my knee. Also cramps along
my tibia. Surgery 4 months ago. I’m 61 male
Very active biking 25-30 miles and Swimming 50 min twice a week before surgery
Also played baseball three times a week.
Have tried exercise Bike and swimming. If I do more than 10-15min on either of these my knee gets sore
Longer then 1 mile walks make the shins hurt. Lots of impedance in my knee. Tugging and clicking

any ideas.
 

Tykey

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Hi, and welcome.

You sound pretty normal in recovery, so don't worry.
If you get soreness after activity means your knee isn't quite ready, the key to it is to back off the exercise, just do a bit less until your knee is caught up with your enthusiasm, then increase it a bit. 4 months is still early in recovery
Tugging and clicking is normal at this early stage. Again, be patient.
Shin splints can also occur, again a result of doing too much too soon, plus not yet walking with an even gait. I had this problem, because I wasn't yet walking evenly, making sure my heel hit the floor before my toes.
All in all, things are normal for you, you are just pushing it too early (many of us do this)
It's mainly a problem for active sporty types, we think we are training to be fit, but in reality your knee has been hugely damaged and needs to recover before training. If you broke a leg you wouldn't go out running until the bones had fully knitted together. It's a lot lot more than a strained knee.
 
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Jaycey

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@DDT Welcome to BoneSmart! Can you tell me which knee you had replaced and the exact date? I'll put the information in your signature for you.

As Tykey advised, sounds like you are pushing through this recovery. A better approach is slow and steady. There will be plenty of time for training once that knee heals.

Here is your reading list. The articles may answer questions you have about this recovery.
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 Activity progression for TKRs

6. Access 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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DDT

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Right knee 9/10/19

Thanks for the support
 

Macknit

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I'm one week ahead of you and was very active up until the surgery.... my biggest problem was finding ways to not be bored. I watched a lot of movies, read several novels and learned to slow down. I've had a few setbacks from over-activity and I'm still icing and elevating 2-3 times per day, with forced rest time after any activity.

I agree with @Tykey this recovery is very rough on those of us who have been active.
you are just pushing it too early (many of us do this)
It's mainly a problem for active sporty types, we think we are training to be fit, but in reality your knee has been hugely damaged and needs to recover before training. If you broke a leg you wouldn't go out running until the bones had fully knitted together. It's a lot lot more than a strained knee.
This surgery was very traumatic to our knee and it is going to take us quite sometime to recover. We're only 1/3 of the way there...but we will do this!

One thing that really helped my activity gene, :heehee: was to set my FitBit or phone to every hour then try to get in 250 steps each hour. It got me moving without any overdoing it. At this point my activity is sometimes walking (but this has aggravated the knee over 3 miles) so now I'm doing 20 minutes on a in home recumbent bike set to low resistance and 15 minutes on an elliptical, no resistance. I get a small amount-of reaction from the knee, but nothing like the longer walks....

Hang in there and know you are not alone in this recovery...this site has been a tremendous help to me!
 

Helizabug

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Me too! Same here! The activity is a little bit of a bummer. I’m still early enough in my recovery that I really don’t have a ton of energy, but I overdo it on my walks because I like the exertion.

I’ve built a practice of gentler, mindful exercise, like Tai Chi and strength work. It’s slower, but time consuming.

I can’t wait until I can do something more vigorous, but I have to wait because pushing too hard just slows me down.

I hope you can get a sense of reward from your whole recovery while your activity level might not be as satisfying.
 

sistersinhim

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Pushing through will just slow your recovery down. Your knee needs to heal and that takes time. There's no way to speed that up. But, you can slow that healing down by doing too much too soon. Pain and swelling is an indication that your knee isn't ready for that yet. Give it time, maybe a few weeks, then you can try it again. If your knee has minor discomfort afterwards you can try a little bit more. The key here moderation. Slow and easy wins this healing and recovery!
 
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DDT

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Right total knee 9/9/19
Still pain and stiffness in my new knee. Worse after PT
I also have crackling noise under my kneecap. Pretty loud when I bend my knee. Causes pain and inflammation with activity

The knee locking/clicking in the knee joint seems better

anything to do about the kneecap?
 

Jockette

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Still pain and stiffness in my new knee. Worse after PT
Many of us still have some pain, and especially stiffness, at 6 months post op.

If you have worse pain after PT, that means your knee is not healed enough for the things they are having you do. Cut back on the PT and give your knee a rest so it can continue to heal. My knee took well over a year before it really got better.
 

sistersinhim

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Sara61

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Knee noises (clicking /clunking etc ) are normal if no pain accompanies them, as you appear to have inflammation and pain I would suggest you have this checked out by your doctor/surgeon.
I was operated on my left knee one day after you so we are at similar stages in recovery, I have had a constant click at the outer side of my knee since the day after surgery, now more noticeable when I bend my knee or climb stairs but no pain or inflammation at all.
I have learnt with BoneSmart this recovery takes up to a year so I would suggest maybe ease up on some of your activities maybe you are still pushing your knee a little to hard.
At the moment my only activity is walking the dogs (We are in lockdown so PT etc has been cancelled) and DLA. I Have noticed in the last couple of weeks the stiffness has eased off and swelling almost gone and I'm thinking less n less about it, my only set back is the last couple of nights it's quite restless haha (especially in bed which in turn is disturbing my much needed beauty sleep) but I'm certain this too will pass.
If you are still getting cramp try taking magnesium a good form of this is eating a banana every morning - I used to get terrible cramps and since opting to eat a banana they have completely stopped.
Stay positive and plenty of rest and tlc xxx
Stay safe !
 

Rockgirl4

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I agree your knee may just need more time. Knowing you're at the 6 month mark tells me that LOTS of things could still be unhappy inside your healing knee. I too was super active and fit before my TKR last May. However, it took almost 5-6 months before I could go for a walk (maybe 1/2-3/4 mile) without my shin and ankle complaining big-time. It's as if everything had to recalibrate to the new knee, though a lot of it made no sense to me physically. I wondered if the post-op severe swelling/bruising all the way to my foot had a lot to do with this too. Did you have anything similar?

I found by 7-8 months, I was back to walking normally, though my stamina wasn't the greatest. I also still get clunking/clicking when my swelling increases. I moved into a new home 6 wks ago, and the extra walking/standing from the packing and unpacking has my TKR knee SOOOOO swollen and inflamed, to the point it clicks and clunks all the time on stairs. I have witnessed this correlation though any time I overdo things.

I just think many of us are surprised at the minimal amount of activity it takes to upset our new knee(s) for quite some time. :sad: In the 19 months I've been on Bonesmart, I keep seeing over and over again that MOST do not heal completely in 3-4. In fact, many seem to need the whole year for recovery.

As for myself, I love the stability and strength of my new knee, even if I'm unhappy with the ongoing swelling and range of motion challenges. I think time will be our friend, though that patience is very hard to find. I'm 10 months post-op and keep counting the months, waiting to see what does/doesn't improve. Everyone truly heals in their own time and way unfortunately.
 

Jamie

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@DDT .... Did you have a patellar button installed along with your joint replacement? If you did not, it is possible that you may have developed some arthritis under the kneecap. Crackling and pain in that location with activity can indicate arthritis.

Many surgeons just automatically put in a patellar button because once a person has arthritis, the likelihood of it moving to that compartment of the knee is fairly significant. But.....there are still surgeons out there who don't put the button in unless they see obvious signs of arthritis in the kneecap.

You are still in the recovery phase and things could settle down. Your best bet is to take things a little easy in terms of exercise and activity for at least another few months. Increase what you're doing very gradually and back off for a while if you experience inflammation and pain. That will give your knee the opportunity to completely recover. As you get close to your year anniversary (a month or two out), start documenting when you have pain so you can talk to your surgeon about it at your 1-year appointment (if you don't have one and are still having this pain, make an appointment). You'll want to note the date, location of the pain, how severe it is and how long it lasts along with what activity or exercise you were doing that you believe initiated the problem.
 
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DDT

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I’m assuming I had a patella button since I had a spur under there that was causing problems. I’ll check with the surgeon. Still have loud cracking/crunching from the patella, but not causing that much pain.
Interesting. I’ve been off from work for over a week and my knee has much improved. I’ve pushed it a bit. Mowing the lawn and yard work in addition to my PT. Makes a big difference being able to elevate my leg when not active. I’m a pharmacist and do a lot of sitting and standing. Thank you all. You’re been very helpful. I’ll be 8 months out May 10
 

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