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TKR Recovery Confusion

newlybionic

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Most OS won't do a manipulation once you are able to get to 90 degrees. So you don't need one now. 99 is not a bad place to be at at this point of your recovery. You can still increase your ROM as time goes by. Remember it takes a full year to recover from a TKR.
 

Susie-Q

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I will say I'm only about a week ahead of you and I still wake up with a stiff and sore knee every day. It works itself out walking around. We are still healing (remember, it takes 12 weeks for bone to heal and we all know what was done to our bones!) and it's going to take time. My ROM is only a little ahead of yours at 110. I was stuck at 105 for at least 2 weeks+. It will come. Try not to overdo (easier said than done), keep icing and remember: two steps forward, one step back

(As I type this to you, I'm also reminding myself of these words.........)
 

Catalien45

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SusieQ-Thanks for this little tidbit! 12 weeks! I knew that there is a blood supply in the bones, & that recovery is slow. My husband had a bone spur surgery years ago in his shoulder.. it was painful for some time. Years before, I had a cyst that had attached to my hip bone, & had to be scraped away. The pain in that bone lasted Far longer than my full abdominal incision, months, so this 12 weeks makes sense. And, why my current pain does feel more like bone pain.......also, why my Dr pointed out that there is a Lot of blood involved in this surgery.....
 
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Tryhard

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@Susie-Q thanks for the reassurance. It’s so nice to hear from someone who is at a similar stage. I need to stop worrying that I’m doing something wrong and that my pain is “abnormal.” I feel progress and that should be enough!
 

hawk2go

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I'm only about a week ahead of you and I still wake up with a stiff and sore knee every day. It works itself out walking around.
Me too. Mobility is increased if I saran wrap the leg during the night though the wrap itself is sometimes annoying. I also think walking helps the lubrication, so the leg doesn't stay stiff all day.
 
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Tryhard

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I’m trying to figure out whether it is scar tissue that is making it difficult to bend my knee or if the tendons are so tight that they won’t let it bend. Does anyone have experience with this? I massage it regularly but when I put my hand on my knee it feels so hard and tight. Is that what it is like for everyone at 8 weeks post-op?
 

hawk2go

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@Tryhard, I still have pain in my knee and tightness when I wake, when I stand or after activity. It's hard to compare your symptoms to mine but it sounds like you have several concerns about what's normal. This is my 2nd TKR and although my first allowed me to have more insight into what's going on, when I needed to be assured about something specific with this recovery I contacted my surgical care team. I'm on a first name basis with my PA (as I was with the PA for my last knee). Have you asked your care team about your symptoms?
 

Jockette

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You are still in the early weeks of this year long recovery. What you are feeling is normal. You have swelling which limits ROM. Also, Stiffness/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 is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.
 
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Tryhard

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My recovery has been steady. I’m at 11 weeks and decided to stop my formal PT. Every other day, I ride my stationary bike and do my strengthening exercises. That said, I have a couple of worries on my mind…
First - I find that I get tired very easily. I start my day with a stiff knee but energetic enough to do my daily household tasks. By late afternoon, I’m so exhausted that I can’t do much. Is this a typical after effect of the surgery? I’m not sure whether it warrants a trip to the dr. I did not get so easily tired before surgery.
Second - My calf and shin are somewhat numb. I’ve mentioned it at my appointments (to everyone BUT my surgeon who I forgot to tell) since right after my surgery and have been told that it should go away. My knee is not numb. I don’t notice any improvement and am wondering if this is typical?
 

Jockette

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The exhaustion is very typical, you are still healing and that is using a lot of your energy.

Numbness is also typical, it eventually either goes away or lessens to the point you don’t notice it unless you touch it.
 

hawk2go

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I find that I get tired very easily. I start my day with a stiff knee but energetic enough to do my daily household tasks. By late afternoon, I’m so exhausted that I can’t do much. Is this a typical after effect of the surgery?
I am not back to a truly normal day but I am getting there. There are still many tasks that I avoid (like laundry and floors) because of the energy needed in short bursts of time. I sit at my desk for 8 hours and have to remind myself to take frequent breaks or The Knee gets super stiff. I have had success doing many ADLs because I extend them beyond the normal time expected. So washing dishes takes twice as long, that mile walk takes longer than when both knees work well, I cook in stages and allow time for rest between recipe steps, so cooking takes a lot longer. I am typically in bed earlier than before surgery because I am exhausted at the end of the day but am fortunate enough to sleep all night.

My calf and shin are somewhat numb.
I never had much numbness in those areas but both knees were numb in spots after surgery. With the 6yo knee the numbness subsided after a few years but still does not feel like the rest of the knee/leg. With this new knee, the numbness is already subsiding but again doesn't quite feel "normal". When I questioned the numbness on my 1st knee, my surgeon explained that nerves were severed during surgery, some of those nerves find their way back to their mate, some forge new alliances and some never match up. I imagined my separated nerves reaching out for one another like the fingers on each hand trying to match up - some making it and some not. He concluded I might get the feeling back or not but that I shouldn't worry, so I don't.
 
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Tryhard

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I’m wondering about stairs. I can go up them normally alternating feet. Coming down stairs I have to lead with one foot as I cannot bend my new knee enough to alternate each foot. I’m at 12 weeks today. Is this normal? I try to alternate feet coming downstairs but my knee is just too stiff and hurts to do it.
 

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Totally normal! Going downstairs naturally without pain is a long time coming. No need to push it, it will come when your knee is ready.
 

Susie-Q

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Yes, totally normal @Tryhard . My therapist explained to me why going up is easier at first but the only thing I can remember from that conversation is your glutes are helping on the way up, which is why it's easier.
 

hawk2go

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Just covered this today, normal for me right now.
 

CGOS

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I’m wondering about stairs. I can go up them normally alternating feet. Coming down stairs I have to lead with one foot as I cannot bend my new knee enough to alternate each foot. I’m at 12 weeks today. Is this normal? I try to alternate feet coming downstairs but my knee is just too stiff and hurts to do it.
I watched a video the other day about sitting in the third step from bottom with feet on flour a good way to help vend knee then ultimately can you sit next step down. I'm week 7 I've been alternating showers and baths in the morning when I'm in the bath I raise my knee up and down in the warm water it's soothing and enough movement to get a little bend also some stretches in the water! By the time I'm dressed I'm ready for ice pack and sofa elevate and rest but I'm convinced it's helping.
 

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