TKR Share Your Knee Straightening Journey

My request is to share YOUR journey to a straight leg. Did you exercise? Did you achieve it through everyday activities? How long did it take?
When I was at 8 weeks post-op, I could NOT straighten to 0 (with or without help)! But, I hadn't been able to straighten that knee for years, so I didn't worry about it and just went about my recovery. I focused on what I was able to do (climb stairs, go up an incline, walk for a mile) rather than "the numbers" (which are pretty arbitrary.) I honestly don't know when it happened, but my knee easily goes past 0.

We all recover at different rates, so don't compare yourself to anyone else.
 
@benne68 - Thank you for sharing your experience. I try not to focus on the numbers, but some days it is difficult. Your words are encouraging!
 
The way I helped my extension was to walk with a longer stride with a heel-to-toe gait. This can throw you off balance so be sure you have a walker or something else to grab on it if you start to fall.
 
@sistersinhim - thank you for the great idea! I will practice this indoors before moving outside.
 
Good luck and be careful. It is very easy to lose your balance but it does work. It won't happen in just a few days but does help to get the knee straight and without a lot of pain.
 
I am almost at 4 weeks now and while my flexion is good, extention seems tougher. I have a fantastic PT who was not interested in degrees and assures me straightening will come in time with patience and as healing progresses. For those of us that gotta be moving it can be hard to slow down for the duration. I use the mantra "This too shall pass" with great trust. It does not always make i any easier. :)
 
You all sound like you are doing pretty well to me. Don’t rush things…there is a lot of cut up tissue under your skin that also takes time to heal. I had my left TKR on May 3, 2021. I was very lucky to have had almost no pain; however I still followed all instructions which were to keep my knee elevated at all times when I wasn't exercising and use no ice. My surgeon told me stop if an exercise hurt and he gave weekly exercise plans to me and my PT. I was lucky to be back playing 18 holes of golf (with a motorized cart) at 9 weeks. My knew knee is great and painless.

I have some friends who have also had tkr’s since mine. All of them had issues but none of them followed instructions 100%…I.e. trying to do normal things too soon after surgery, not keeping knee elevated, doing painful exercises. However, they all seemed ok at the 6 month mark!

Stick with you post op programs and you will be back to normal before you know it!
 
keep my knee elevated at all times when I wasn't exercising and use no ice.

Hi @OhCalcutta -- Did your surgeon really tell you not to ice? Or is this a typo? Just want to clarify this, since most surgeons encourage icing and elevating to reduce pain and swelling.
 
To help with extension I did the exercise where you lie on your stomach with your leg hanging off the bed (edge of the bed is just above your knee). That's it, gravity does the work. Initially I could only stand it a few seconds at a time, now I can go for several minutes before I get bored. I also walked consistently during the week while paying close attention to my gait and stride, extending my distance week over week as The Knee permitted. My PT's favorite extension exercise had me sit with a chair in front of me and place my leg on the chair so my calf was halfway on the seat in front. I wasn't so fond of that one because I had to drag the chair before I could do the exercise.

At 5 weeks, I think you're doing great. Consider that you are 5 weeks into a 52 week recovery. Slow and steady wins this race.
 
You all sound like you are doing pretty well to me. Don’t rush things…there is a lot of cut up tissue under your skin that also takes time to heal. I had my left TKR on May 3, 2021. I was very lucky to have had almost no pain; however I still followed all instructions which were to keep my knee elevated at all times when I wasn't exercising and use no ice. My surgeon told me stop if an exercise hurt and he gave weekly exercise plans to me and my PT. I was lucky to be back playing 18 holes of golf (with a motorized cart) at 9 weeks. My knew knee is great and painless.

I have some friends who have also had tkr’s since mine. All of them had issues but none of them followed instructions 100%…I.e. trying to do normal things too soon after surgery, not keeping knee elevated, doing painful exercises. However, they all seemed ok at the 6 month mark!

Stick with you post op programs and you will be back to normal before you know it!
I've never heard of not using ice! Did your doctor recommend not icing your knee? Amazing you had almost no pain. Congrats on your year anniversary!
 
I found ice to be my best friend and some nights still do. I am swimming again and did 3 alternating days last week for 40 to 55 minutes and average of 1500 yds. I got the recommended ice pack from Amazon and put it on my knees when I go to sleep laying on my back. I eventually move and it moves off but have been finding it helpful less soreness in am. I think the weight of the 2# pack also helped with stretching.
 
My nurse team kept me in ice packs when I was in the hospital after both TKR surgeries. I still ice my knee many evenings after sitting for 8 hours at my desk and especially if I've done some new or extended activity or exercise. I wake up much fresher (less pain, less crankiness) when I ice in the evening. :heehee:
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Jamie
    Staff member since Feb, 2009
  • Jockette
    Staff member since March 18, 2018

Forum statistics

Threads
64,828
Messages
1,591,585
BoneSmarties
39,157
Latest member
Scaredtodeath
Recent bookmarks
0
Back
Top Bottom