TKR Pulled Ligament in Week 6 recovery

And a very good point about looking at my own progress rather than where I am not. It IS better. So today I will readjust my expectations and count my blessings.

Yes!!! Everytime I get anxiety about my 12 week appointment I remind myself each week it is getting better. I did this course a few years ago and one thing that stuck with me was Mental Toughness module. Gabby Reese (former prof. Volleyball player) talked a lot about perspective and she said “If I flip me, I flip my environment” and how we should focus on what we CAN do and not what we can’t.
@mtnplayva well, we will be snails together! Isn't it nice to have permission to just heal gently and slowly? I keep forgetting to look forward so these wise folks are a life saver.
Just an update to my wonderful supportive friends here. It is week 16 for me and I'm still a bit impatient but am still sticking to my common sense, practicing patience. Where I live it is hot as hades and walking outside even early morning is not doable. I have ordered an inexpensive treadmill so I can do more sustained walking since I feel that is what is lacking. I am getting more strength from my exercises, my flex is nothing to write home about in improvement but it is improving slowly ...bit by bit. My walking is concerning because I still have stiffness and a bit of knee buckling and REALLY have to practice not limping.

My heel/calf is just stiff and I do stretches but I can tell it causes a limp. The good news is by the stretching previously seems to have cleared up the heel/plantar fasciitis thing that was happening.

Never went back to PT, I continue doing my ADL and am slowly adding the continuous walking into my routine (once the treadmill comes). I want to be able to measure my walking ...for instance a mile, etc.

Still experiencing stiffness and "the band" but getting less, still have inner knee pain if I do too much - usually trying to flex beyond my capacity at this point and outer knee - which is just a stiff IT band I imagine. Stretching relieves that. Oh...and I can do my stationary cycle now 15 minutes at a reasonable resistance. LOL...even that is slow on building my time. I add 2 or 3 minutes every week! Talk about snail pace. My head says I am common sense says, "carry on".
Question my friends. So I got the treadmill and I just did 10 minutes at a slow speed yesterday but today my knee cap (at the bottom) is tender and a bit painful when walking. I imagine that even 10 minutes was too much???? I've had the tenderness/pain before when I bend my knee too much or too much walking. I'm not trying to be concerned but thought I'd throw it out to you guys. Anyone else had this? I'm trying to build up my walking in longer stages because I find I've gone through shin pain, plantar facilities "stage", tight IT bands - all which slowing down a bit and stretching have moved me out of this and made it better. I guess this is a new stage that will pass? I'm just now focusing more sustained walking and getting that limp under a bit more control. I've added in me just walking up steps "normally"...nothing crazy. I do just a few at a time a couple of times a day. Yes, I'm icing and elevating. :). Man...snail pace!!!!! I am still doing my stationary cycle 18 minutes a day now...yeah...improvement. Now I'm 16 weeks I am definitely now doing excessive exercise. Mostly ADL. I'm thinking of skipping the treadmill today and tomorrow just do 5 minutes. LOL.
10 minutes at a slow speed yesterday but today my knee cap (at the bottom) is tender and a bit painful when walking. I imagine that even 10 minutes was too much???? I've had the tenderness/pain before when I bend my knee too much or too much walking.
I get that same pain spot when I do too many stairs. PT told me it's the patellar tendons. I took a few days off of extra exercises and went back to single steps to go up/down our stairs and it really helped. I'm 3 weeks farther along than you and I am 2 weeks of being able to walk without a cane or much of a limp. I really worked with PT to get my gait normal, arm swing correct and lose the swaying I was doing. I really had to think about what I was doing - seems like walking should be simple after 63 years but I guess not!
Oh thank you, @mtnplayva ! You know I was back tracking my last few days in my mind and realized it might be the steps! You just confirmed it for me. I remember I've been adding going down the steps a bit the last few days and feeling a stress under the knee cap and I did that this morning, too. I will back off the steps for a while and just go back to single steps. Of all the things I'm trying to accomplish - the steps can wait. Thank you and it is really reassuring to know someone just ahead of me in recovery is taking it slow, also. Cheers to your recovery and thank you for your support.
I have another question, @mtnplayva ...if you don't mind. Did you continue a stationary cycle as you recovered from the patella tendon strain? I'm just wondering what I continue to do while I try to rest this knee a bit. Thank you!
I have another question, @mtnplayva ...if you don't mind. Did you continue a stationary cycle as you recovered from the patella tendon strain? I'm just wondering what I continue to do while I try to rest this knee a bit. Thank you!
Yes I did - I do it at PT for 10 minutes. I wish I had one at home!
Thank you, @sistersinhim. Apparently you are in tune with my surgeon's assistant. Because I thought it better to check out the knee cap pain for peace of mind, he suggested the same. He took X-rays today. When I mentioned the treadmill, he said he would advice a stationary bike over a treadmill. Much better for the knees and my left knee also has osteoarthritis but not as bad as my new surgical right. I do like recumbent but since I have a stationary I will continue to use that one and maybe donate the new treadmill to someone. (Or try to get my husband to use it...:) He said everything looks great, my recovery is right on schedule and normal for where I am in healing. He agreed that the pain was probably due to me trying to go down steps too early and it was too stressful. Get this...he said, "it will all come in its time, don't worry". I felt like I heard my fellow Bonesmart friends in that. He said continue what I'm doing and I will continue to get stronger. He also reassured me and gave me a heads up...that the swelling will continue to get better but it can last for several months. All normal and part of the process. Now where have I heard this before?
Update and I am at 5 months+ and am slowly getting better at a snail's pace. I still get pain at that lower knee cap area if I do too much walking at a an extended time. Now I'm not talking miles...I am talking a botanical garden walk of about 25 to 30 minutes and at a moderately slow pace. I am not sure if it is the pavement or the continued stride? I'll be okay and in the next 24 hours that knee cap is very sensitive and aches and I also sometimes have those nerve/tendon kind of popping and jumping a bit. My surgeon who I had checked with on this said it is just the stress on the new bone and it will get better but it sure is happening very slow. I back off the activity and let it rest a bit but it seems I can't make a good progress with this. Now the limp especially in the morning has just about disappeared and I can do short distances, without hills and inclines going to restaurants or a grocery shopping trip. I really am moderate in my physical exercises - still doing once a day strengthening for quads, hamstrings, etc. I am still doing my light and gentle knee bends to slowly keep increasing ROM. At this point I don't even worry about the ROM...I just want to be able to walk MORE and without pain at the lower knee cap area. I do stretches for that area to prevent it...but alas it still feels like that bone area gets stressed by walking pressure. I had gotten a treadmill but do NOT do that anymore because it really stresses that lower knee area. I am still doing my stationary cycle but nothing extreme.
Anyone else experience this still at 5 months+?
Hi @BlueSkiesHere Thanks for sharing your update. You sound a bit worried about your recovery, even though your surgeon has said everything looks fine.

Remember that we all heal at different rates and this recovery can take a full year. Having stiffness, soreness and achiness at 5 months is not uncommon. It takes 9 months for the deep scar tissues to heal completely and as long as 13 months for nerves to fully recover.

I see some real milestones in your report: Walking for 25-30 minutes, even at a slow pace is great. So is the fact that your limp is gone.

Try to be patient a bit longer. The rate of improvement does slow down a bit as we get further into the recovery. But you will continue to improve. Keep doing what you are doing and trust the process.

Thank you @benne68 ....again. I think you guys have to tell me the same thing every month or so. :). You are right, I do get worried. It seems the longer I am into recovery, the more I feel alone because everyone else is moving on with their lives and I'm still a bit of a snail. Not that I don't have support from my dear husband. Yes, you are right. There are improvements as you noted. I just feel like I'm feeling my way in the dark sometimes and it's a bit discouraging.
Again, the support of you wise souls ...what a great gift you guys are.
I just passed 6 months and there's a big difference. I was a snail of knee replacement recovery and was off of work for 5 months because my knee gave out all of the time. I went back to work (5 hours of standing but not much walking) and the swelling returned full force but I didn't have problems with the knee cap pain unless I did stairs. Most of the time my knee just feels like my knee. I don't think about it much. Give it time, some of us are just a lot slower than others. I remember a few months ago I was so depressed, discouraged, and frustrated. You are listening to your knee and that is a good thing. Don't try to rush the process because I found it only causes more set backs.
Thank you @mtnplayva! I went back and read your story and you did have a rough go there! That means a lot you have taken the time to reassure me and share your own experience. I know that if you can get through a rough patch like you had, I can also. I've been slowing down since my posting and taking your all's advice. I've backed it up on the walking and will move forward slower to manage the new discomforts.
Hey @BlueSkiesHere -- you wrote on my thread recently, and I have since read yours and agree that we do seem to be with similar recovery experiences! How are you this week? I would think that your pulled ligament at 6 weeks has contributed to a slower recovery for you, starting out. Also, the fact that your doctor says your current pain is bone pain might help ease some anxiety? I have no explanation for mine, except that I am a "slow healer."

I am at exactly 28 weeks and still very sore most of the time. My extended recovery creates some anxiety for me. I have nothing at all that would prevent me from experiencing a "normal" recovery (like everyone else I know with TKRs) -- I have had very little swelling, I was walking without any assistance at 2 weeks, I haven't limped, and my ROM is good. I can ride a bike comfortably and walk well, but not after a lot of other activity. I simply have pain during the day (not while sleeping), and now it is a dull soreness that can get intensely achy if I have previously overdone things.

When my knee is forced to "perform" such as walking distances in an airport while traveling, or hiking up the side of a mountain (these are rare occurrences), I have learned to medicate a little beforehand. I don't like taking meds and I don't regularly now, but this helps if I am going to be more active. I've been taking a collagen supplement and eating very healthy. I am thin and in good health. I use a TENS unit, but it only helps to take my mind off my knee for a while. I use Voltaren gel before bed. I now use an iwatch to gauge my activity level, and I was shocked recently to see how much I walk while doing ADL. On busy days, it's 2.5 miles, but on average it's about 1.5 miles. That's more than I would have guessed. I really do have to hold myself back from doing what comes naturally, and that's so frustrating. I have been in this holding pattern for many months with little improvement, but I have traveled and hiked on separate weekends, and I know that has slowed my recovery.

I want to offer my support in that we are all in this together, and we WILL come out on the other side! Hang in there and let me know the latest with your recovery. Take care!

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