TKR Post Op knee recovery fears, concerns, and optimisms


new member
Mar 27, 2022
United States United States
I am almost 3 months out from my Jan. 4th 2022 LTK surgery. Recovery thus far has had its ups and downs. Unfortunately for me, i have not found much support from my surgeon and had to deal with a physical Therapist who over hyper extended my knee during PT putting backwards in my recovery and placing many concerns about my healing process and how it relates with others and their progress. I found this site, looking for others who can tell me about their recovery and pain and therapy so that i have something to compare it to my own. No one from my surgeons office or practice ever sat me down and prepared me for what to expect after surgery. Are the pains i am experiencing the same? Does anyone walk and then their knee just gives out on them and you find yourself catching yourself from falling? is this normal? The PT guy who over hyper extended my knee created a very sharp posterior and lateral knee pain and I was not unstable on my feet until that incident. I was also walking up and down stairs with practically no railing support prior to this event and the day after i found myself unable to lift my foot/leg up the height of a stair riser. So, are my fellow recovery Post Op'ers experiencing these kind of ups and downs in their recovery? I am hoping that muscle development and strength and conditioning comes with set back only because i have been having my share.
On another note, are Post Op'ers also seeing others walking and running and wondering if they are ever going to get back to normal. I must say, for me lately and with the different types of leg and knee pain i am experiencing, i am getting worried that my surgery might have been a big mistake. I have been getting depressed about my slow improvements and new pains and i am hoping that I am just experiencing the same as all of you. (sorry to say it like that) Otherwise, perhaps, my recovery is actually different and I need to be concerned and proactive in my recovery. You see i have nothing to compare this experience to. So this forum, i am hoping, will assist me with answers, support, and better my optimism.
My next "Thread" as they call it, will better outline my recovery and difficulties in better detail, so that my fellow Post Op'ers can compare their experience with mine. Thank you for you time. TJD
Hi and Welcome!

Yes, to all you wrote, it’s common issues among us knee replacement members!

I’m very sorry your PT injured you. Shame on him, he should have known better. Your pain, limitations and buckling are normal after an injury like that. Treat your knee gently so it can heal from this set back, and then get on with healing from the surgery.

Many of us will agree with you that we are not the least prepared for what to expect in this recovery. That’s where Bonesmart comes in! We are here to support you, and hopefully answer all your questions. Check out other member’s threads and you’ll find a lot of common ground.

Another thing, if the haven’t told you, is that this recovery takes an average of a year for complete healing. 3 months is only a quarter of the way through.
My next "Thread" as they call it, will better outline my recovery and difficulties in better detail,

Right now you are writing a “post” in a “thread.“ It’s like a page in a book. Please don’t start a new and different thread, we prefer members in recovery have only one thread. This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?
I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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. At week 4 and after you should 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.
All sounds normal to us bonesmarters. I am 5 months out and some days I think good thoughts and some days I wish I still had not had it done. I take comfort from others on this site that it will improve and they have not been wrong so far on any advice they have given me. Take it steady and rest as well as keeping mobile doing every day activities.
Patience is really hard but you need lots of it. It takes along time to heal, but it took me way too long to see a revision specialist when my OS was not helpful at all after 2 years of continued appts to see what was wrong. Normal healing takes a long time, so it’s hard to know when it is not normal healing. But if you are worried and don’t like your OS, find a revision specialist. Likely too early but can’t hurt to find someone.
Yes to all. I too was injured at 3 weeks out by a PT who had me on a squat machine and bike with resistance as I presented as doing so well. It was a huge setback both physically and emotionally and there are many of us here who have experienced similar from Therapy. I took 3 weeks of back to first days to heal and I never had another PT appointment with the blessing of my surgeon who said I would do fine rehabbing at home with daily activities and increasing walking.
Nobody tells you that a TKR is major surgery and that healing can take up to a year or more. We all have “friends” who tell you about their cousin who was back on the golf course 3 weeks post op. Ignore them all and look for the small improvements in yourself - it’s your journey, your own rollercoaster. You will get there with patience in the healing process. Now you have found this forum you will get unlimited support and excellent information to make your journey to full recovery easier.
I’m so sorry you‘ve had a hard time. I found Bonesmart prior to my first knee replacement and I interviewed, so to speak, a few physical therapists. One said “oh we’ll get that knee to bend”.....nope. I found a wonderful PT and I’ll be going back to him after next weeks knee replacement.

I just found your thread and I had my knee replacement on March 4th and had a set back also. I twisted my new knee really bad about 5 weeks out and pulled a ligament in the inner knee area. It put me back on two crutches without being able to bear weight. You are welcome to go to my thread to see my experience and questions which are similar to yours.
I would l love to hear how you are doing now. An update would be lovely. I totally understand the frustration and anxiety in a setback and also have a few friends who seemed to whiz by me in their knee replacement recovery. It is difficult not to compare.
I do hope you are doing better and have found a recovery plan that is helping you get back on your feet. As for me I fired my old PT who I believe contributed to the stressed ligament and am with a new PT who is taking things much slower.
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Thank you, I was told by my OS that i could be back on the ice (hockey) in six months. he really did not give me the right impression of my recovery. I had covid two weeks ago. two shots and a booster and still 5 of the covid days i was useless. Here is my latest concern, while laying around and going to the bathroom a lot, I lost a lot of fluids, finally the knee swelling went down but the OS left a piece of bone, an osteophyte, or debree left over from my arthritis debridement. an ultrasound showed the bone left over in my knee. the problem, after the swelling went down the muscle rubbing against the osteophyte we extremely painful. If i moved a certain way, BAM, pain. But now, after coved the swelling is back and the pain is not occurring again. frustrating. im goiind back to PT this week to try to reproduce the pain and then of course ask my doctor whats up with that bone fragment. My own special journey. have you had anyone with bone fragments left in the operative site?

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