TKR "ROM still comes after 3 months".

The BoneSmart folks must get tired of saying ,"We told you so!" :heehee:
This made me chuckle.

What we NEVER get tired of is seeing our members realize they have some control over their pain levels by listening to their bodies and responding accordingly. You’re doing just great with that!
@medogal Thank you! I come across a lot of your posts, and you have provided a lot of wonderful support and information. I've been reading thru a lot of threads, and am learning so much! It's fabulous!

Another question for the forum: There is so much talk about elevating and icing. I elevate a lot, because I sit sideways on my sofa and often keep my leg up on the back of it, simply for comforts sake. I have a bit of swelling, but looks like it's very manageable compared to many others at my 9 1/2 mark. I ice it when it feels warm, usually after exercises or prolonged activity. But for the most part, it is not warm - should I still be icing it even then? :chinstroke:
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Hello and Happy Sunday, marmarmish!
You can ice whenever you like for as long as you want, always placing fabric between the ice source and bare skin. Let us know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for sharing your recovery here, I hope you have a great week!
If you feel that icing helps, then do it. If you don’t feel it helps, then don’t. It’s really a personal decision. Many love it, others don’t. (I was one of those that don’t) We even have one member currently whose surgeon told her not to ice, and she hasn’t at all, and is doing very well. So, it’s really up to you.
Ice is great as a pain and swelling reducer. As long as you have either one of those you should be trying to ice. If it is effective, then keep on using it. If not, then you can stop it.
@Layla Looking at your photo, I haven't decided if you are an angel or a friendly ghost!
I'm going to go with angel... :angel:
Whew! Good! I don't think I want to be a ghost, lol. :wink:
Wow! I so wish I found this support group when I first started this journey! I am 2 mos. in and it has been the toughest 2 mos. of my life! The first 2 weeks post-op were as expected, but I had a rehab therapist coming to my home 2x/week and a nurse came 1x/week. Then I had an appointment with my dr's PA.
After that, I was left in the middle of nowhere with no roads or sign posts to give me direction. And the journey got really, really tough! I expected pain, but not on this level up and down my whole leg - from hip to ankle. Unfortunately, the nurse contact at the dr's office offered no direction, no advice, nothing. I felt abandoned. The only place I could search for answers was the internet, and what I learned caused me a great deal of anxiety. According to what I read, I should be getting # amount of flexion by 6 weeks or MUA etc. etc. A lot of disparate misinformation - but what did I know!? (My outpatient therapist didn't have much in the way of answers to all my questions.)

So, for the next 6 weeks I went through an emotional roller coaster ride with increasing anxiety. I worked hard on my exercises, but progress was minimal. The more I tried, the more the pain built. I became so despondent! Finally, I saw the PA again and was assured I was doing fine, and not I would not need MUA. Phew!!!

But I still despaired as my ROM was 95 on my own, and 102 with assistance, with 8 degrees extension. Not great. I committed myself to find the perfect balance of exercising to the limit, without overdoing it and ending up in pain. Still fighting with the anxiety of getting to at least 120 flexion before the 3 mos. "limit".

While searching the internet for reasons why I seemed to have stalled out at under 100, I came across this forum. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to read about so many people's experiences, and the assurances that EVERYTHING I was going through was all par for the course. The fears and anxieties, the emotional meltdowns, the stiffness and pain, the exhaustion etc., I could relate to it all! But what gave me the MOST comfort, was learning how improvements can be made well past the 3 mos. mark. This has given me room to stop pushing myself so hard, and to let the healing process unfold with gentle assistance and patience. I am so grateful for this! I hope my recorded journey can contribute to this forum in a meaningful way.

So! I am 2 mos. post TKR. It's Sunday after Thanksgiving and I resume rehab on Monday. Last measurement of assisted knee flexion was 102 - but that was over a week ago. I had to back off my exercises because I pushed too hard and got tendonitis on the outside of my knee. I've learned my lesson, and will have faith that slow and steady will produce a better outcome.

Yes, I have that tight band feeling, sometimes more than others, but I can't say it's so bad. I take a couple of Tylenols PMs to help me sleep. (Sleep has gotten better, but I still toss around a bit.) And in the morning I take a couple of Advils as I tend to be sore, probably from what my knee goes thru with all that tossing around in my sleep. During the day, I'm a bit sore, but not enough for more pain meds. And yes, by evening I am done. I have gone out a few times for dinner with friends, but it gets pretty uncomfortable, and I am ready to go home after a few hours.

Though my ROM isn't great, after reading other people's status reports, I realize I'm not doing as badly as I had thought. And I still have a long way to go, it can only get better!
For those still suffering, I wish for relief and satisfaction to come to you soon!
I’m starting the 8 week mark this week. Agree. This forum has been a life saver. That is why it is here!
Oh man! I had that flare up again on the lateral side of my knee - on the IT band. Sundays are my days off from any exercises, but I was busy in the kitchen for a couple hours and that tuckered me and my knee out. So I sat with some ice and elevated for a while. The exhausted knee eventually stopped it's whining. :) :-) (:

It was feeling stiff so I tried to bend it a little. I held my leg straight up and very gently, let it bend at the knee. I did not push, I just let gravity do it's thing, feeling a gentle stretch. I felt it most on the outer side of my knee and the muscles above the knee. Did this a couple of times.

Wouldn't you know it - it flared right back up again. (This has been an issue for a while, but I thought I had let it heal as it didn't seem to be bothering me lately.) I had to get up in the middle of the night to down a couple of Advils. This area is giving me the hardest time, heel slides also really aggravate it!
Is this just temporary? Has anyone else had this problem?
I am getting that too. I am doing gentle bends as well, not even trying to get increased ROM but just movement. I also get pain right above my knee. And at the top of my scar. Yesterday, it was down the front of my calf. Seems like it likes to move around and make me crazy!
Wouldn't you know it - it flared right back up again. (This has been an issue for a while, but I thought I had let it heal as it didn't seem to be bothering me lately.) I had to get up in the middle of the night to down a couple of Advils. This area is giving me the hardest time, heel slides also really aggravate it!
Is this just temporary? Has anyone else had this problem?
Just about every one of us has had this problem at less than 3 months out. This healing takes an average of 1 year. It might looked healed on the outside, but it is not on the inside. With time and patience you will be able to do a little bit more each week, and I mean a little bit! This is one recovery that can not be rushed. Your knee is in control and will throw a fit if you do something it's not ready for. But, when it is completely healed, you will love it! It will be well worth the time you spent babying it.
On my first L TKA, nope. On my newer R TKA yep. At five months I still have tightness and, in the evenings, deep aches affecting that lateral section of the quad and the ITB.
It doesn't affect my functional ROM. A 3 to 5 minute walk in the house loosens mine. I also do self massage to the area.
@CatieViv Saw my physical therapist today, and talked to him about this issue. He explained that the front of the quads get a good stretch when we walk normally - as we lift and bend the knee with each step. But because we are not walking with that full ROM yet, they are tight - hence the pain there when we bend our knees.
BTW, the scar above my knee pulls tight and hurts as well when I bend. And yes, sometimes the ache goes down the outside of my shinbone too, tho much less than it did before. I'm sure all this will resolve as we use it more and more, especially with proper walking. :dogwalk:

As far as the lateral side of the knee pain, it's due to a tight IT band. We need to stretch it several times a day, but it will take some time for it to respond. He suggested massage, particularly the muscle just above, where it attaches to the tendons on the outside of the knee. I found this article very informative"

Administrative note: There is also a comprehensive article in the BoneSmart Library:

What is tricky, is they say to rest it and let it heal for 4-6 weeks. I don't know how we can do that while rehabbing the knee.

Hope this helps. If anyone has anything to add, advice is always welcome!
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I've done the stretches for the IT band in the past. I will have to try again and see if Miss Knee allows it! She's really fussy about some movements! I read the Bonesmart ways to massage the band. I have one of those rolly things. Going to try it.
I did some really gentle flex exercises last night, paying close attention to not aggravate the IT band on the lateral side of me knee, and finished with a firm massage on the area. OMG! Not sure which did it, but I could not move my leg for a while the pain was soooooo bad! :oyvey:

Luckily I had a dr's app't today, and she told me to stop exercising for a while and put me on Meloxicam to get the inflammation down. She ordered x-rays, but I don't know what they will show as it is my understanding they don't show soft tissue??? Anyway, not surprised I was told to stop the exercises, but worry about my knee stiffening up and losing the bit of ROM I've managed to keep.

(BTW, question: I've read various threads where people talk about being very swollen, yet they still have great ROM.
How does that work? I thought the swelling interfered with ROM...)

I think I will focus on strengthening the muscles that attach to the IT band. Found a video on youtube that looks really promising. Hopefully, this will relieve me of this issue and I can get back to focusing on me knee.

I hope everyone is doing well and moving forward in their recovery. For those still struggling, I hope the stories and advice from our BoneSmarties give you strength. :friends:
not surprised I was told to stop the exercises, but worry about my knee stiffening up and losing the bit of ROM I've managed to keep.
I bet you will find the opposite to be true. Letting your knee rest allows the inflammation and swelling to go down.
I've read various threads where people talk about being very swollen, yet they still have great ROM.
What my definition, yours, and someone else's of a very swollen knee is is different. For one person a very swollen knee might be just a swollen knee. If a knee is truly very swollen, it is nearly impossible to get a good bend. The fluid is in the way where no place to go. It is like a water hose that is full of water with the nozzle closed. Try to roll it up. It won't do it. Open up the nozzle and let the water out and it rolls right up. Knees are the same way.
I'm experiencing the same thing. Extreme swelling and pain when I try stretching. I am resting and elevating.
Re swelling and ROM...
Some of us have hypermobile or at least very loose joints (I'm in the latter category), and can have unusually good ROM unless the swelling is quite extreme.
It's a mixed blessing as we are also more prone to injury....

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