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stiffness after surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by bushstreetkid, May 7, 2007.

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  1. bushstreetkid

    bushstreetkid new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    I am in my 5th week of recovery after total knee replacement. I have a 90 degree bend, am walking up and down stairs, using a cane. I have some stiffness in my knee. The doctor says this is normal and will eventually disappear. Is this normal and how long do I need to put up with it. It is difficult to sleep at night.
     
  2. Lindac

    Lindac new member

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    I had my surgery om March 21st. Sleeping was pretty bad until last week. I did get into bed every night with an ice pack on my knee. I would be up 2-3 times every night because of pain and discomfort. The ice pack is my salvation.
    Last week I was able to finally go to bed without any ice and actually stay in bed all night. I might wake up a few times when I'm trying to re-position, but it's much better than before.
    I push to do my exercises every morning and afternoon. I'm not using the cane anymore. Stairs are still very hard for me - going down is the worst - I still go down on only my bad leg - can't manage the normal one foot after the other yet.
    So, sounds like you're right on course.
    The knee gets stiff if I don't change position enough, or push my range of motion. Right now I have good extension and can flex to 110 degrees.
    I'm 55 and overweight - so the exercising is really helping me all the way around.

    Hope you continue to do so well.
     
  3. Jannie

    Jannie new member

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    My knee replacement was 9 weeks ago and am wondering how you are doing.
    My knee is so stiff when I set down for just a few minutes that when I do get get up it feels like my knee is going to tear. Have you heard of anyone going back to work full time before the 3 months? I hope to hear from you or anyone that can shed some light on the pain when setting.

    Thanks, Jannie
     
  4. bushstreetkid

    bushstreetkid new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    HI, My surgery was 7 weeks ago. Still have stiffness. I think it is getting better. My doctor ***ured me it would gradually leave, but could take a couple of months. A friend of mine was away from work for 12 weeks. I do not work outside the home, but would not be ready at all at the point where I am. Be sure you keep icing your knee. Do not rush recovery. I still cannot walk up stairs normally, have to take one step at a time. I did too much around the house yesterday without taking some breaks and paid for it with an ache that night. I get impatient. I do not need a cane anymore, but do take it with me if I go to the store, etc. like my security blanket. Let me know how you continue to improve. A knee is much slower to recover from than a hip replacement, so be patient. Have a good day! Diane from Red Wing, MN.
     
  5. Jannie

    Jannie new member

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Hi Diane

    Thanks so much for your reply, today I am making the decision to give my 2 week notice at work. I really don't feel I have no other choice, since they have me schedule to start training at least 8 people the 1st of June. I thought my leg was getting better but now it feels like there is a band around the middle part of my knee and someone is twisting it when I walk, do you have any insight on what this could be? I am determined to give my knee as much time as it needs to get back to where it was. As much as the pain is, I would have the TKR again. I was bone on bone and they have give the 3 shots in the knee I forget what they were, then I went to another orthoped and he said no amount of shots would have ever helped me since I had no cartlidge in the knee and that is what the shots are supposed to do, build cartilidge. I am right now at 125% range of motion with 0 (I can lay the knee flat). It was hard getting to this point, alot of pain but am so glad my therapist worked as hard as she did with me and over looked me alot when I said I couldn't handle the pain.
    I am done with physical therapy and they suggested that I go get in a warm pool and take water therapy, went to our local wellness center and the pool has helped so much. Hope this can help. Looking forward to hearing how you are doing. The only suggestion I could tell you is hang in there with phyiscal therapy. Jan bjmw@scrtc.com
     
  6. flex

    flex new member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
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    I had surgery on 5/2 and still have limited flexibility, have that "band" feeling around the knee and a lot of pain during PT. I stretch, exercise the "quads", and try bending, but it's so stiff. Very discouraging, when so many people zip into the 90 degrees right away! Muscle relaxants, "manipulation"?? Any other suggestions?
     
  7. Joanie

    Joanie junior member

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    25
    Gender:
    Female
    Is the stiffness much worse than the stiffness you had pre surgery. I am 46 and have been offered a bilateral knee replacement so I'm at the stage I'm asking lots of questions as I feel I need counselling to help prepare me mentally. People will be sick of me asking questions on this site but it's great to speak to those who have already had it done.
     
  8. Lindac

    Lindac new member

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Had my knee replaced 3/21. Still get that "band" feeling, stiffness and swelling frequently. I find that Mobic really helps. I have to do my exercises every morning and that helps too. My ice pack remains my best friend.
     
  9. Lindac

    Lindac new member

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Joanie - bilat knee is a good idea only if you are in top physical shape. I can't imagine having both done at the same time. I'm 56, in fair physical condition and doing them 1 at a time was best choice for me. Good Luck.
     
  10. bushstreetkid

    bushstreetkid new member
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    I had my surgery on April 6. Still have stiffness is I sit too long or ride in the car for a long time. I still cannot walk up and down the stairs normally, have to take them one at a time. Went to my doctor on June lst. Said I was doing just fine. He said I am 75% healed and the other 25% will take a year to heal. Do not get discouraged. I could not sleep through the night for the first 6-7 weeks. Keep icing it when you can. Walk as much as you can. Sometimes I think I can feel the metal in my knee. That will leave eventually also. Knee replacement takes longer to heal from than a hip replacement. A large portion of my knee is numb. My doctor at the Mayo clinic said that could take up to 2 years to resolve itself because they cut so many nerve endings that have to rejoin. Hang in there, it will get better. The best exercise for me was sitting in a rocking chair and rocking and bringing that knee as far back as you can. Keep me posted on your recovery. Diane
     
  11. Joanie

    Joanie junior member

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Gender:
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    I currently go down stairs one at a time and like a crab (sideways)- is this the way everyone was prior to knee surgery?
     
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  12. dids

    dids junior member

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Do what ya' have to - that's my motto! There's no correct or incorrect way. Everyone has their own way of coping with things and what works for one person is fine. I've had to do the sideways thing when my knee is in a flare-up and I certainly did it after my scope. Happily, when I bought my present house, the previous owner had installed a strong rail on the stairway so I can hang on with both hands when I navigate the stairs. That's been a real life-saver! I also had a friend who ended up going up and down on her behind! Well, it worked for her!
     
  13. flex

    flex new member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    I like the rocking chair idea, haven't tried that yet. Maybe the 2 years is more realistic considering that I couldn't bend it before the surgery anyway. Thanks for the note and hoope you continue to get better. Jean
     
  14. flex

    flex new member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Lindac, what is Mobic? a medicine? The vicodin doesn't seem to block the pain when the therpists try to really push the knee. I thought that by 6 weeks I'd be walking and bending freely.Disappointing.
     
  15. Jannie

    Jannie new member

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Hey Everyone
    I would just like to Thank everyone for your posts, it has helped to get me through just to read how everyone is doing with their TKR, and it lets you know that you are not the only one experiencing whatever, it seems like someone outhere is having some of the same results. Sheds light and hope for me.
    I'm 12 wks out, having problems with it buckling but the DR says that is normal for up to 1yr.. One day I will be great the next it seems like it is back to the drawing board for what I may have done wrong.. pain,pain

    Again just want to say Thanks to everyone for sharing

    Jan :)
    God Bless
     
  16. Lindac

    Lindac new member

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Flex'
    MOBIC is a medication that helps relieve discomfort and swelling. I get those horrible knobs behind my knees - even my new one when it flares up - and this med is a lifesaver! It goes far beyond what Aleve can do and I use in combinaqtion with my Vicodan.
    I credit my first post-op therapist with my current full range of motion - she pushed me through one wall after another and even with all my tears it was worth it. Use ice often and try bending after using the ice - hope this helps.
     
  17. flex

    flex new member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    thanks for the info, but have to have a "manipulation" now, the knee just won't bend - any thoughts on that??
     
  18. Lindac

    Lindac new member

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Sorry, no. Hang in there and try to not get discouraged. Once they get you back on track it will all be worth it.
     
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