ROM: It's Never Too Late To Get More ROM!**


Feb 28, 2008
Ontario, Canada
Everyone, please don't fret about your ROM. It's never too late!

With my 1st TKR, I was at 80 degrees at 3 months, had an MUA which got it to 90. Then with a whole year's more physio eventually got it to 95.

Then just 6 weeks ago, when I had my 2nd TKR done, I had another MUA and with physio I now have 115 in my 1st knee. :wahey:

So it's never too late. We just need lots of patience!!!

This second TKR is very different, I already have 110 ROM and had a lot less swelling.

Good luck with your recovery, everyone. :thmb:
The medical personnel that I deal with insist that people cannot increase ROM after 3-months post-TKR.

Several people on bonesmart have mentioned that their ROM increased up to a year or more. I am hoping to collect these personal observations in one spot to see what the general consensus is. I am not the only person who worries about that alleged 3-month brick wall. It would also be great to know what you think was helpful in increasing your ROM.

What is your experience with this and how did you measure the change (increase or decrease) in ROM? THANKS!!
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

Frankly, I wasn't even close to my current ROM at 3 months! It was more like 6 months before I got the extension near zero and I gain flex in that time too. I think I ended up the 6 month period at about +1 and 120-something.

But, at a year, I had reached zero extension and my flex was more in the upper 120's. Now at 2 years out, I haven't measured, but I know it is greater because I can squat farther down.

You are going to find this is pretty routine with BoneSmart members, I believe.

I didn't do specific exercises past the 6 month mark....just regular activity. But I did try to find ways to bend, squat, move, push and otherwise work with my knee as I went about my daily routine.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

Heck, yeah, my ROM kept getting better for quite some time. Even though I was released from PT, I still had a ways to go,and there were times that I actually said to myself, "Geeze, it didn't bend that far before, wow!" As Jamie said, no specific exercises, but I believe that my daily activities and life-time PT did the trick.

Tim C.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

You know, I am not sure about the exact times, but I think at 3 months I was around 120 and by six months when I was measured again, I was 136.

I just had surgery on my other knee and the doc measured me at 138 before surgery on my left leg. Kellhy
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

I kept gaining ROM for months after the three month mark. The last time I was "officially" measured by my post-surgery PT, I was around 95. Then they set me out into the world on my own. "Be free, newly Cyborginated Human... mingle with your own kind..."

Several months later, I was at a totally different PT for my shoulder pain. After we finished my shoulder work for the day, I asked if she'd measure my knee for me. It was between 110 and 120 (she said she couldn't be sure because 1. the trousers I was wearing and 2. she wasn't the usual person who measured knees).

Here I am, a year later and I'm bending just like a normal person.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

Well, I am trained to use a goniometer and I have measured my own which was confirmed by both surgeon and physio. At 3 months I was about 115 but at one year, I am now about 130. I could probably bend more if my legs weren't so fat! :evil:

You can measure this yourself with a protractor if you wish. However, there is a flaw - a) my leg is at an angle to the lens and b) I didn't include my ankle bone so it's a little bit off but not by much.


Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

At three months June 09 I was 92. When measured by therapist in Feb 10 it was110--would have been more but it was my first day of PT for my NEW knee. So there
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

I wish I could figure out how to measure my ROM. I think just this last month my left leg really took off from its almost 110. I'm very proud of it. My right leg which WAS even with my left leg stopped progressing after the fall almost 1 1/2 months ago.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

Yes, my right knee was measured by my PT at the end of my 6-wks of PT May 2009 at 115. When I started my PT on my left knee in Sept 2009, my Right knee was at l25. Feb of this yr.2110, when I was in for my 6 mo. chkup of my left knee with my OS, he said both knees were at l30. So definetly they have improved after 3 mos. And I must say I never had any PT that was pushing or hurting at all.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

Were you each "officially" measured by a "professional"? Many medical/PTs sincerely believe that there is a brick wall at 3-months were progress shuts down. My PT responded (in effect) to my comment [people claim to increase ROM after 3 months] that they are not being officially measured and are deluding themselves regarding any imagined progress.

I am really interested in the gap between personal experience and the beliefs in the medical establishment.

I think this just goes to show that not every person you meet in the medical or physical therapy profession knows everything. In the end you must make your own decision about what to believe, but to me the proof of reality exists with those who have "been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it" instead of someone who has never had knee surgery.

I've been on this forum for 2 years and can tell you that I consistently hear this same story of increased ROM over time. I have NEVER in that time heard of anyone who has hit a brick wall at 3 months or even 6 months and stayed there.
Re: Survey: Did you increase ROM after 3-months?

I have been in therapy for just over 5 months and my ROM continues to improve. Today I was able to get to 130 without much of a problem. My PT thought if he pushed he may have gotten me to 133 for the first time.
It was a year on 3/27/10. I had my year check up today and the OS was blown away at my rom. I can squat all the way down so that my botton is touching my calfs. I can bend my knee back past the 145 degree.

He said it was fine for me to kneel which I have already been doing.

Just wanted to check and tell all you newbies YOU DO NOT NEED TO PUSH to get rom.

You will see posts from those that push so hard they have to rest the next day. That is not the way to go. When your body says hey no more--- then listen.

I never pushed and I can tell you I could not have better rom.

You don't need to walk miles (until you are really able) and you don't need to bicycle for miles. It will only be painful and you most likely will wind up having to rest the next day.

The most important thing is listen to your body, only you know what it is saying.

If you go to PT remember you are paying them and it does not have to be torture.

I am one of the older ones here so if I can do it, you can do it. Good luck and hang in there it will get better and you will return to life before all the pain.
Re: Entering 5 weeks

You will see improvements for years to come. I am at 1.5 years and still get improved rom each time I check which have become few and far between.
Saw my ortho today. It's been five months. My knee status is equivalent to a three-month post op TKA because of my repeat OR experiences, but the bottom line is that my ROM is somewhere around 0 to 110 (finally!), still gaining, and the OS and I high-fived and will see each other officially at my one-year anniversary. Persistence on both our parts paid off!

I'm still taking it in and plan to spend the month of April celebrating, but I want to thank everyone on this forum for all your support, advice, gentle chiding, and what-have-you whilst (I insert this word for you Brits) I struggled with a slow and difficult recovery.

Still stretching every morning and icing and elevating, but at least now my life doesn't feel as if it revolves around knee rehab. What a long, strange trip it's been!
I know we always say it's never too late for getting more ROM, and there's no need to rush, but it's nice to prove it.

I'm now 16 months out, and my ROM has been at around 125 for the last 14 months.

I've worked hard at the gym , twice a week, but this has been for general fitness, because this ROM is quite sufficient for me, the ROM never changed.

But suddenly, out of the blue, I've gained about another 10deg since early this week. I was able to lower the cycle seat about 3 inches more than I've ever done before.!

So there, you are, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I'll soon be back at the limbo dancing classes:wink1:
Here is a great illustration of how ROM actually CAN occur well after surgery. One of our Senior BoneSmarties, Campervan, posted this schedule of her progress recently:

92 - 8 weeks post op
105 - 10 weeks
107 - 5 months
110 - 6 months
112 - 7 months
116 - 9 months
119 - 11 months
118 - 1 yr
120 - 1yr 2 months

125 - 1 yr 8 months and still this now at 1yr 10 months

So, please don't let anyone tell you that you MUST obtain your ROM by a specific date or the "window of opportunity" will be lost! It just isn't so.

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