TKR Start of my knee journey


junior member
Feb 11, 2023
Australia Australia
Just had my op today,I spoke about being awake for it! No problem at all,was very relaxed, didn't feel a thing and just listend to my music.Now I'm starting my recovery journey


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Welcome to recovery! Your incision looks great and swelling is minimal. Keep us posted on your recovery.
You're a brave one! Welcome to the healing side of the forum. I will leave our Recovery Guidelines for you to read when you're feeling up to it. Best wishes as you begin the journey!


As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

2. Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
Just had my op today,I spoke about being awake for it! No problem at all,was very relaxed, didn't feel a thing and just listend to my music.Now I'm starting my recovery journey
You should have watched the OP and listened to the chatter from the care people.
When they sliced a slab off my red Tibia bone, someone behind me said, that's a good steak for the Bar-B-Q.
Another, you can't take those bones home to your dog tonight.
Wish a quick recovery.
Omg the pain is awful. I'm on Tapentadol, icing and on anti-inflammitories. Had op this morning.
I hope the pain doesn't last too long, I'm trying to push past it.
I'm sorry you're off to a rough start! Continue icing and let them know if your pain is intolerable. I hope it eases up for you soon. :console2:

Please notice that I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. Having your recovery information contained in one place will make it easier for you to reflect back on. Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here.
Hugs and best wishes.
Hi Twinny. Glad you’re on the recovery side of surgery. Poor thing, you shouldn’t have to have all the pain right “out of the gate.” Talk to your doc, nurses, anyone you have access to so they can help you get the pain managed. They can try different things.
Of course icing and elevating should be ongoing. One day at a time and you WILL endure. ☺️ You have to be your own advocate, pain management needs to be priority #1! Prayers for you that a gentler recovery is just around the corner.
Maybe your nerve block wore off? You should have good pain meds and take every 4 hrs. If the meds don't control the pain, call your docs office. They can give you something stronger. It happened to me first tkr. Don't let it go too long.
I hope the pain doesn't last too long, I'm trying to push past it.
Don't push through the pain, you'll only make your tissue more inflamed. Now, is the time to get a lot of rest. Sleep, ice, and elevated as much as you can for the next month or so. This gives your knee time to heal before stressing it with exercises.

Don't be surprised if your pain level is pretty high in the next two-three months. As you heal, the pain and swelling will go down. But, as you have read, it takes up to a year for complete healing to occur. It's important to listen to your knee and stay away from what will make it angry. The happier your knee, the more it can heal.
Just to echo what others have said, do not try and endure the pain - this early after the op you need every painkiller they can provide you with.
Just got hm today,I'm icing and resting as I over did it yesterday. I'm just going to take one day at a time as it's very swollen.ive been very sooky today as I think reality has set in.
Early days @Twinny ! Please ice and elevate as much as you can. Ice is a natural pain killer. 45-60 minutes per session several times per day. And take any pain medication around the clock, as prescribed. Better days are coming!
Glad you’re home, you’ll probably be more comfortable there. In addition to pain and swelling, feeling “sooky “ which probably means sucky, down, lousy and emotionally shaken, that’s all normal and to be expected. Read the guidance on “the blues” here on Bonesmart. Hang in there Twinny, each week will be better. ☺️
Dose anyone have a good sleep position? I'm sick of laying on my back.
I think it's early days to lie on your side, within a week or two you could try placing a soft pillow between your legs keeping your operative side on the top
I found using several long pillows either side of my body helped me relax more xx
@Twinny, I actually found a side position that worked very well early on with both replacements. I call it the scissor for lack of a better description. Lie on your surgical side with the leg straight then put your other leg across in front of the surgical leg. I didn’t use a pillow between my legs but I guess you could if it puts too much strain on your back. Personally I found the “stretch” of my good leg across felt good on my back, kind of a gentle stretch.
I also slept on my side about 2 weeks post-op. I found that sleeping on my surgical side was more comfortable with a super fluffy pillow between my knees. It just felt good to stretch my body on a bed. For me, the surgical knee was more supported. The non-surgical leg was either in front or behind the surgical knee but never on top. Maybe I used the scissor technique mentioned by FourCats? It does stretch the back as they mentioned as well as my leg muscles. In fact, I still sleep this way 3 months later.

It doesn't feel like it right now, but it does get better. We've all been where you are now. Hang in there.
found that sleeping on my surgical side was more comfortable
Agree. I rested my cryocuff sleeve on the knee and then had my good leg bent and resting on a pillow in front.
Thanks, guys I'll give it a try. Is it normal that I can't bend my knee yet? Day 5 I'm walking with crutches, I can put weight on my knee when I walk, still lots of swelling, I now have my pain under control, I'm icing about 6 times a day 60mins, and always elevate.

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