TKR Suddenly can’t bend my knee

4joints_2022

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Hello,

Stats:
59-year-old female
Surgery date: March 18th, 2022 TKR (Outpatient) UGH!
Nov 2017 Left TKR (healed well 110 flexion, and 0 for straightening, the same surgeon)

Oct/Dec 2019 RHT and Left Total Hip replacement (same surgeon)

2015- present L4/L5 compressed causing pain, can't walk well when it flares up
causes RHT/Left hip flexor/groin pain and weakness in the legs
back in Chiropractor sessions since March 15, 2022

August 2021 Therapy for back and hip flexors (30% better) did not keep up chiropractic adjustment after October 2021.

I am only at 94 degrees flexion with my right TKR. Having trouble doing certain exercises due to groin pain (leg slides, step-ups)
My knee on the right side remains hard to the touch since surgery, while the left side of my right knee is softer. No feeling to the right of the knee. I can climb the steps at times holding on to the rail one foot after the other and my straightening is about 1 finger.

While sitting on the exam table legs dangling down my therapist can slowly gently bend the knee (with mild discomfort) past the 90 degrees, am I having trouble with heel slides and bending on my own due to my hip flexors being ceased up/weak, etc?

It is now 7 weeks since I had surgery I'm so afraid I will get scared tissue in this already stiff/hard knee. Anxiety is high!

Blessings and thanks so much for this site!
 

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Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Thank you for all those surgery dates, we‘ll make a signature for you.

I am only at 94 degrees flexion with my right TKR. Having trouble doing certain exercises due to groin pain (leg slides, step-ups)
My knee on the right side remains hard to the touch since surgery, while the left side of my right knee is softer. No feeling to the right of the knee. I can climb the steps at times holding on to the rail one foot after the other and my straightening is about 1 finger.
ROM can take a while to return, don’t stress over it, and don’t let your medical team cause you stress over it. We all heal at different timeframes. It will come. Your numbers are fine, and the numbness is normal.


I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
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:
rest
ice
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

6. Access to these pages on the website

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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Jockette

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I am only at 94 degrees flexion with my right TKR. Having trouble doing certain exercises due to groin pain (leg slides, step-ups)
I also have some back and hip issues, so I would think some of your exercises are irritating that issue. My back is manageable until I do something that bothers it, so I declined any exercises in my recovery that bothered it. We all need to do what we feel is best for our own body.

Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

sistersinhim

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Most people worry about scar tissue needlessly. You have to have scar tissue, if not your incision wouldn't heal. What you are talking about is adhesion, which occurs very seldom. Gentle movements doing your normal daily activities and walking every hour or so is all a knee needs to heal and recover ROM. Keeping the swelling down is the best way to gain bend. A swollen knee is much harder to bend than one that isn't.
 
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4joints_2022

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Anyone have issues with this: While sitting on the exam table legs dangling down my therapist can slowly gently bend the knee (with mild discomfort) past the 90 degrees, I am having trouble with heel slides and bending on my own due to my hip flexors being seized up/weak, etc?
 

benne68

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due to my hip flexors being seized up/weak,
Have you spoken with your PT about this issue? I have tight hip flexors (always have) and my therapist gave me some targeted stretching exercises and self-massage techniques. It took some time, but it helped that tightness relax.
 
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4joints_2022

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Hello!

We discussed it and he did some treatment but I’m no longer in Thearapy. I do excercises at home.
 
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4joints_2022

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11 weeks post op (March 18) L4/L5 nerve pain..did Thearapy 7 weeks, 92 degrees flex.
Friday I woke up right leg (surgical) knee cross over left knee, it felt hyper extended. Saturday I had pain, knee was not bending as well as it had when I walk. Laying down shook my foot back and forth and all kinds of noise, at first it felt relieved. I iced, elevated and rested all day Sat. Sunday morning I could hardly walk, I looked like Frankenstein stiff legged walk. I got on incumbent back, just rocked back and forth 20, ice and I can’t reall bend it at all. More pain than usual, taking meds. Also nerve pain in my back same side as surgical knee all the way to thigh. Shroud I see surgeon? I know clicking is normal as I have experienced this with my left TKR (2017).
This is concerning loosing all the flexion I gained.
 

Jockette

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@4joints_2022

Did you start a new activity or a new, at home exercise?

Laying down shook my foot back and forth and all kinds of noise, at first it felt relieved.
I know if I had done this at 11 weeks my leg would have been very upset.

This pain might be from overdoing something, as it doesn’t take much to upset the new knee at this stage, which is 25% healed in this year long recovery. It can take a lot longer to recover from overdoing than it did to cause it, if this is the case. Checking with your surgeon might be a good idea.

By the way, I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread, as we prefer that members in recovery have only one thread.

This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Best wishes on your continuing recovery! :flwrysmile:
 
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4joints_2022

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No new activity. Really painful to move my leg, knee has to be almost straight when I sit.
 

Susie-Q

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Jockette is right, it really doesn't take much to make your knee angry this early in recovery. You can easily overdo it and not even remember how. Resting, icing, elevating are your best options and also see your surgeon if you are really concerned. This recovery a full year for most. Give yourself some grace.......
 

NewRightie

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Has your knee been able to bend more since the time when you posted this? If not, perhaps it's advisable to see your surgeon for x-rays to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be and a new issues hasn't occurred.
 

lovetocookandsew

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While it's more likely that this is one of the downs of this rollercoaster recovery, if you're concerned, I'd suggest messaging your surgeon. In the meantime, some extra icing and elevating can't hurt, and may very well help it settle back down.
 

ShadowMouse

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Hello,

It is now 7 weeks since I had surgery I'm so afraid I will get scared tissue in this already stiff/hard knee. Anxiety is high!

Blessings and thanks so much for this site!
Hi
I am 22 weeks post op and like yourself have been worried but I still have a hard , numb, stinging feeling on the right outside of my knee and the other side is sort of softer. The front feels like it wilk rip if you I try and bend it further back than 110.
Anyway I only just fpund this app and have already had some of my worries helped. Its a slow and not very comfortable journey that is taking a lot longer than I hoped but I'll get there and so will you. :)
 

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