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TKR Runningfree’s Recovery Journey

As I didn’t have a heart attack I cannot go to the heart rehab gym. But the consultant who did my TKR saw me last Monday. He said I have a good range of movement and no limp but I need to get my quad muscles working. I’m now waiting to get into the weekly PT gym classes. Can only hope I will get some muscle back, it’s much harder to do the older you get. My knee can still be painful and stiff at times, but it’s not very swollen.
 
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Sorry to hear about your heart issues. Good luck at quickly getting back into PT. I'm a month ahead of you after my second knee replacement and my knee is still painful and stiff at times. One just has to be patient and keep moving.
 
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It's quite common to have some stiffness for months (sometimes even years) after a knee replacement. You may especially notice it when you first stand from sitting or lying down, but it will usually improve with walking or other movement of the joint. It can also occur when going up or down stairs and feel like a tight band running around your knee. Here is a short article that explains a little more about that tight band feeling:

Tight Band feeling across the front of my knee

I do hope you are able to eventually get into cardio rehab. When I had problems with AFib and it was treated with cardioablation, I was allowed to participate in the program. I had to ask my heart doctor for special permission and it was granted because I was very fearful of exercise and the potential of the AFib returning. If this doesn't work, physical therapy will be the next best thing for you to get your muscle strength back. It may be a bit slow to come after this much time, but it will come.
 
I'm sorry to read of your heart issue and lengthy hospital stay.
Thankfully you're back home. I hope you're able to get back into rehab and increase your fitness level in the New Year. Wishing you only the best.
Happy Four Month Anniversary and Merry Christmas too!
:xmas-wave-smiley-emoticon: @Runningfree
 
Thanks for the encouraging replies, I’ve had my first physio gym session, it went quite well I thought, I will be offered at least 4 weeks, probably a few more if the class still has spaces.
 
Well it’s 7months since my TKR. My knee does stiffen up and can be a bit painful at times. However, I can now climb the stairs properly (with some effort. ) My walking is increasing. This is because my heart condition has improved. Not sure where I should be in the knee healing range as I lost muscle while in hospital and it’s taken this long to get some strength back. I have a reasonably good bend in my knee and can walk comfortably tho not fast anymore. My thoughts on this are if I had not had the added pressure of a problem with my heart I would have done physio, exercised my new knee regularly as suggested, it would have been a work in progress, as it was I was unable to do any of this, no physio would give me exercises, my leg became secondary to my heart problems. So has the enforced leg rest hindered the healing by much?
 
I think that you're doing well, all things considered. I agree that prioritizing your heart health was the right thing to do. It sounds like you're in a posistion to put more emphasis on rehabbing the knee.
 
I think that you're doing well, all things considered. I agree that prioritizing your heart health was the right thing to do. It sounds like you're in a posistion to put more emphasis on rehabbing the knee.

Thank you, I walk every day and on different surfaces, grass, paths, sand and I’ve started the low sand dunes. However, after 7 months I’m wondering if this is it or is there any more flexibility to come. I can live with any discomfort I sometimes get (I can still remember the pain before surgery.) Wondering if there would be more improvement beyond 7 months.
 
I think that you're doing well, all things considered. I agree that prioritizing your heart health was the right thing to do. It sounds like you're in a posistion to put more emphasis on rehabbing the knee.

Thank you, I walk every day and on different surfaces, grass, paths, sand and I’ve started the low sand dunes. However, after 7 months I’m wondering if this is it or is there any more flexibility to come. I can live with any discomfort I sometimes get (I can still remember the pain before surgery.) Wondering if there would be more improvement beyond 7 months.
Should have asked you how is your most recent knee? Any pain/discomfort or issues. Thanks again
 
Hi, I had my left knee done on Aug 15th a couple of days before you. I think you are doing great! As the weather gets better, I feel we will continue to improve because we will be able to get out and about more. There is a little park down the street from me that has some nice walking trails that are mostly flat. I don't dare to try my neighborhood that has lots of hills and my steep driveway yet. You are doing much better than me with those sand dunes! You are right it is more discomfort at times no pain. If I do too much like moving my family room couch my knee will swell but not like it was in the beginning. I did have to sit down and rest in-between vacuum cleaning. My stamina isn't what it was and slowly we will get it back. You have been through a lot and every day it will get better. Why? because we are determined!
 
However, I can now climb the stairs properly (with some effort. )
That sounds like real progress. Seems you are doing really well given the heart issues and loss of quad strength.
I am sure you are right to focus on the heart and the knee will improve with gradual exercise.
Can you go downstairs correctly?
I am 5 months post pkr and am still struggling with this.
 
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However, after 7 months I’m wondering if this is it or is there any more flexibility to come. I
Oh yes, most definitely! Here are just two examples of how your bend can improve:
One of our members, Bertschb, kept a record of his ROM process. He agreed for us to post it for those of you that are afraid you're stuck. The key is to have patience! Bertschb says:

I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
Don't worry about your ROM Be patient - VERY patient!!!

Here is my ROM history (more or less):
1 month - 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees

I spent waaaaay too much time worrying about ROM. I thought I'd be riding my bike a couple months after surgery but it took SIX months! Looking back on my surgery, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have worried about ROM.

This is what one of our members wrote about the slow development of her ROM. (Thank you, @Campervan ) As you can see, her flexion continued to improve for a long time.

"I had a slow recovery. Here's my flex measurements at various points:
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
128 – 6 years "
 
Should have asked you how is your most recent knee? Any pain/discomfort or issues. Thanks again
It's doing quite well. The new knee still feels tight near maximum flexion and less ROM than the older knee. My morning mobility drill includes some rocking on hands and knees which tests ROM in comparison with the other knee which was measured at 128 degrees during the PT for the new knee.
 
Hi, I had my left knee done on Aug 15th a couple of days before you. I think you are doing great! As the weather gets better, I feel we will continue to improve because we will be able to get out and about more. There is a little park down the street from me that has some nice walking trails that are mostly flat. I don't dare to try my neighborhood that has lots of hills and my steep driveway yet. You are doing much better than me with those sand dunes! You are right it is more discomfort at times no pain. If I do too much like moving my family room couch my knee will swell but not like it was in the beginning. I did have to sit down and rest in-between vacuum cleaning. My stamina isn't what it was and slowly we will get it back. You have been through a lot and every day it will get better. Why? because we are determined!
Hey the sand dunes are only little and I’ve only just started to do them, I’m unsteady and conscious of the uneven ground. I have a dog, she loves chasing a ball round the dunes, I mostly stand, throw the ball, but I’m pleased I can walk to them and go up. Honestly they are small. Your right we will get through because I won’t accept the option. Good luck and thanks for your interesting post.
 
However, I can now climb the stairs properly (with some effort. )
That sounds like real progress. Seems you are doing really well given the heart issues and loss of quad strength.
I am sure you are right to focus on the heart and the knee will improve with gradual exercise.
Can you go downstairs correctly?
I am 5 months post pkr and am still struggling with this.

I go up and down using both legs properly but, it takes effort, it’s not easy yet. I’ve only been coming down the stairs properly this last week. Do you have any pain/discomfort? Good luck with your recovery.
 
However, after 7 months I’m wondering if this is it or is there any more flexibility to come. I
Oh yes, most definitely! Here are just two examples of how your bend can improve:
One of our members, Bertschb, kept a record of his ROM process. He agreed for us to post it for those of you that are afraid you're stuck. The key is to have patience! Bertschb says:

I'm 12 months out from my surgery and have some advice based on my experience:
Don't worry about your ROM Be patient - VERY patient!!!

Here is my ROM history (more or less):
1 month - 60 degrees
2 months - 80 degrees
3 months - 85 degrees
4 months - 90 degrees
5 months - 90 degrees
6 months - 110 degrees
7 months - 120 degrees
8 months - 125 degrees
9 months - 130 degrees
10 months - 135 degrees
11 months - 140 degrees
12 months - 140 degrees

I spent waaaaay too much time worrying about ROM. I thought I'd be riding my bike a couple months after surgery but it took SIX months! Looking back on my surgery, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have worried about ROM.

This is what one of our members wrote about the slow development of her ROM. (Thank you, @Campervan ) As you can see, her flexion continued to improve for a long time.

"I had a slow recovery. Here's my flex measurements at various points:
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
128 – 6 years "
Wow that’s bought a smile to my face, thank you so much posting this. It seems I’m not too far off with my new knee and now my heart condition is stable I can continue to exercise and improve the flexibility in my knee.
 
Do you have any pain/discomfort? Good luck with your recovery
Thanks.
I still have some medial twinges on stairs.
I can do it pain-free going up a couple of times/ day- but coming down or going up when I am tired is uncomfortable/ slightly painful.
 
It seems I’m not too far off with my new knee and now my heart condition is stable I can continue to exercise and improve the flexibility in my knee.
Hi Runningfree, I am just over a week ahead of you and still gradually gaining flexibility. For me, it has been extremely slow, but it is still continuing to improve! I am doing my own pt at home, as my wonderful therapist is still not patient enough for me. My knee really doesn’t like to be rushed! All that to say, yes, you CAN keep improving :)
 
It seems I’m not too far off with my new knee and now my heart condition is stable I can continue to exercise and improve the flexibility in my knee.
Hi Runningfree, I am just over a week ahead of you and still gradually gaining flexibility. For me, it has been extremely slow, but it is still continuing to improve! I am doing my own pt at home, as my wonderful therapist is still not patient enough for me. My knee really doesn’t like to be rushed! All that to say, yes, you CAN keep improving :)

I really appreciate this site, I would have been a lot more worried about my lack of exercises and use of my new knee for months if I had not been recommended to this site. Judging by the replies I’m getting it seems my knee recovery is about right which proves your knee will heal just as well if you don’t push it beyond what you can comfortably do. Take your time JusticeRider and good luck.
 

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