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TKR Suggestions needed for “tight band” feeling

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@Tykey: just one more, non-knee-related thing. I see you’re in Sheffield. My sophomore yr roommate in college (in Pennsylvania) was an exchange student from Surrey! We still keep in touch...she now lives in Cheshire.
 

Tykey

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Surrey is one of the very posh areas of England, where the rich folks from London live. Cheshire is where all the millionaire footballers from Manchester live and drive their Rolls Royces! .
You move in posh circles!! Ask her about Jam Roly Poly, or bread and butter pudding which I've just eaten.
Sheffield and most of Yorkshire isn't posh, but it's nicer. But I'm biased!! We have hills
On the knees front, I've been doing some DIY today, and this has involved different movements of my knee. It's, of course, gone stiffer. It will pass in a couple of days
 
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@Tykey: haha! Her dad was, I believe, in shipping! I once, in exasperation, said, “do you have a tennis court?” to which she sheepishly replied, “only one!” She was and is one of the nicest, down-to- earth Persons I’ve ever known. I should have suspected something tho when her parents flew over in the Concord! Btw I have a friend here from Chester. (I need to see where all these places are!) I will ask her abt jam roly poly, which is good for my knees (wink)!
 
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@judgar, @sistersinhim: just got bone scan results. All normal. There are no other tests that can be run (I’ve had bloodwork, x-rays and bone scan and all are normal). Suggests getting the novocaine injection to see if it helps and, if it does, proceeding with the nerve block. Said about 5% of people who have TKR have pain afterwards. I’m very dismayed by the fact that my tightness can’t be explained or corrected. Hoping that the moderators will weigh in. I DID ask about a one-time cortisone shot but he said they don’t recommend for new knees. I’d welcome ANY suggestions (I’m nearly 10 mos post-op). Tks!
 

sistersinhim

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Some knees take more than a year to heal and stop swelling. The tightness is swelling. You might not see it outside, but it is inside. That's a mighty small area in there, and any fluid will make the knee tight. I wouldn't recommend a nerve block. I tried one a few years back and I ended up much worse with extreme burning in my upper thigh. I'd say just try and forget about it and go about your daily living. If you can get your mind off of it, you'll soon forget it.
 

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I agree with sistersinhim. I had a lot of stiffness and poor ROM my whole first year, among other things. I am now more than 3 years post op and my leg is so much better, though I still have some issues.

I had 2 second opinions who found nothing to fix.

You’ve look into every possibility and now you just have to accept that your knee is just going to take its own sweet time. My leg improved after one year, and improved even more after 2 years, and even improved after 3! At 10 months post op I didn’t think that could happen, but it did!
 

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I agree with Jockette and sistersinhim. You had a lot of major construction done in a small space. Different parts heal at different rates. My hubs had a knee done last September and is now starting to get some new tightness. When I mentioned healing takes often well over a year he decided he wouldn't worry about it for awhile. I too, perceived significant improvement well into the second year. It is annoying now, but one day you will suddenly realize it is no longer there. :spin:
 

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I was eating dinner tonight then instantly my knee became very tight. It happens to me for no reason at all so frustrating. My other knee it’s been 6 years since that one was done. One in a great while it will do it to. How are you doing on steps.? I was doing good then all of a sudden coming up the stairs kills my knee have no clue why. Seems like some days iam going backwards
 
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@judgar: honestly, my knee is tight from the instant I get up (not too bad since it has had 7-8 hours of rest) to the end of the day (a lot tighter). BEFORE surgery 10 mos ago today, it only got tight after I stood for about 45 mins or longer. So I am much worse post surgery, which is beyond discouraging. I walked for about 20 mins today and I noticed a LOT less strength in my left knee. Everything hurts, going up and down steps, standing, walking, but to varying degrees. Standing (like when making dinner) though is the worst!! I see my general practitioner in 2 weeks for a check up and I’m going to see if he can get me a referral to one of our local university hospitals.
 
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@Rockgirl4: hope you and your knee are doing well. Am wondering how you’re getting along re tightness...it’s been almost a year if I’m remembering correctly...and if there is ANYTHING (besides taking it easy and giving it time) you can recommend to make me more comfortable on a day-to-day basis. I’m 10 mos post-op and miserable. Tightness all day, every day. Been using the heating pad to see if that helps. All tests (X-rays, bone scan and bloodwork) normal. Not exercising at all, resting a lot. Any ideas? Thanks...
 

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I am glad you are going to see your GP for some input re: possibly consulting at one of the university hospitals. I am so sorry you are experiencing this ongoing level of stiffness and pain. Do you find your knee is a little less painful after icing?
 
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@NightQuilter: I’ve actually switched to using the heating pad for the past two weeks but may go back to icing because it’s not helping too much. When I ice, it numbs the pain but it’s still tight, if that makes sense. And through the portal, my GP said that “Ortho doctors don’t like to see other doctors’ unsuccessful patients” and that he didn’t know anyone at either of the two university hospitals, so he can’t help me. (Not that in ANY way would I want a revision, but I’m wondering where people find a doctor to DO a revision!).
 

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This is just something I was told. Not to use a heating pad. I think something to do with blood clots. Just wanted to pass that along.
 
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@judgar: oh no, I had a blood clot in 2017 following a meniscus surgery. But my ortho dr DID tell me to use heat, so I don’t know...I go to see my GP in about 2 weeks...I will ask him and let you know!
 

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@Stiff knee NC Hi again, and there's not a whole lot I can add to what we already know about "waiting and seeing what happens with time". :console2:

Personally, I'll always have a stiffness problem with this right knee, and I have to be happy with almost no pain but definite lack of ROM. The unknown is how much ROM I'll get back, knowing I won't get anywhere near what I want. I can bend to 90, but riding a stationary bike is challenging. It has to be the perfect bike where I can adjust the seat to a sweet spot. My stationary bike (home) is set either too high for comfortable peddling (but I can get all the way around easily) or too low to get comfortably around without forcing it and hiking my hip to the point of aggravating my back. I don't want to spend $600 on a new one though, considering it's only 4 yrs old and works perfectly. Instead, I'm using my elliptical to loosen the knee for 4-5 mins, then riding the bike for 3-4 minutes.. That seems to get me my "best" ROM so far. This bike will never let me ride for fitness/intervals/weight loss though. We're looking at making changes to our home equipment in the fall, so we'll see what I decide then.

Overall, I DID improve during months 11-12. There is no pain/aching when sitting/standing, and I can stand for over an hour without thinking about it (well, except if the other knee is acting up). I can clean for 3 hrs or shop for 3 hrs or cook for 3 hours!!! :santa-dance:I think my move to the new house in February, plus all the work on the old house in March, was actually a Godsend. It forced me to use the knee more all of Feb/Mar/April---and I was surprised at the good results, even if the ROM was severely limited at the end of the day. My surgeon agrees I need to not baby it as much as I did up through months 7-8. If I do too little, I seem to get more pain and stiffness, just like if I overdo it. I think I've finally found a happy medium though. I keep adding more strength-training in baby-steps, and that seems to be a better way for me to advance in my fitness....even if slowly!!

I hate to say it, but I've gained 15 lbs and spent way too much time on the couch all winter and early spring. It was a super stressful time, for so many reasons, and I let my diet and fitness go. :tantrum:Now that I'm back on the healthy food and exercise wagons:walking:, I'm afraid of the left knee getting too bad and needing replaced sooner than I wanted. It's not in the best shape arthritis-wise, but I DO NOT want another TKR anytime soon. We're hoping for two vacations next summer (2021) to make up for 3 ruined summers in a row with knee surgeries and COVID-19. We want my 14-yr old to enjoy some trips with us before heading to college in a few yrs. :old: This all just weighs on me though, and I'm afraid to push the good knee too far and have my left knee revolt.

Anyway, I'll leave you with what my surgeon told me at the 1-year follow-up. Many of us with lingering stiffness/swelling/inflammation need up to 2-3 yrs to see the final improvement/final result we're going to get. Sometimes longer. :yikes:He knows the he** my right knee had been through, and he knows the arthrofibrosis/scarring situation I dealt with before in 2015-16 (from super aggressive PT) and following the other surgeries with no aggressive PT. He likes to remind me I'm kind of in a category all my own and to be patient. He said he's seen continuing improvement through that 3rd year post-op, so DO NOT GIVE UP!!!! I don't know where you are stuck in terms of ROM or if it's just a nagging, tight feeling you're fed up with.....but there is still plenty of time for improvement. He gave me hope, as he's seen a handful like me before in his 20+ yrs of TKR revisions and primary TKRs. I once had a normal knee arthroscopy on this same knee take 10-11 months to get back to normal in 1998, and nothing was done inside except explore and see if there was a problem (one wasn't found)....so I know I am a super slow healer and fit no mold.:bored: It is what it is, and I have nothing but time ahead of me to see what happens.

I wish the best for you and hope something here is useful for you. :)

--Lisa
 
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@Rockgirl4: THANKS so much for responding!!! I’m so happy you are doing better!!! It does give me hope. Reading what you wrote is causing me to reconsider my level of activity and find the elusive “sweet spot“ you describe between too little and too much exercise. I walked 20 minutes this week without any ill effects—the first time I’ve walked in at least two months. We don’t have any home exercise equipment, my gym has been closed and the whole “stay at home” order also contributed to my inactivity.

I, too, have gained weight (12 lbs, mostly holiday sweets that I haven't been able to exercise off like I do (sigh) every January-May.

Unfortunately my doctor seems to never have seen a patient like me, which I find very hard to believe. Am going to explore a nerve block, which is a temporary help. I’m reluctant to do anything permanent lest it interfere with long-term (2-3 years mercy) healing.

Did you see that I wear a compression sleeve all day, and that’s the one true thing that helps. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Happy to send you the company name, phone number and style number of the one I wear if you think it will help!

I don’t know what you consider a limited ROM...I’m at 115 or so and no one’s very impressed!

Btw, there are stores around here (Play it Again Sports, for one) that sell used exercise equipment...May be a way to get an affordable piece of equipment sooner. Just a thought...

I will cross my fingers that you will continue to feel better and better so you CAN take those family vacations! As for me, I’m hoping to do some dancing at our nephew’s Oct. 2 wedding, 4 months away. If I could dance for an hour or so without tightness or pain, I’d be one happy aunt!

Take care, stay well and all the best as you continue your healing.:)
 

NightQuilter

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Great report @Rockgirl4 Lisa.
Back on the heat vs. ice - remember that heat is valuable for increasing blood circulation to injured & healing areas and treating chronic pain and stiffness; ice is generally preferred because it reduces swelling, thus dulling pain. Both have their uses for our knee replacements.
 

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@Stiff knee NC Do I have it correct that you have more lingering pain and tightness that is causing you so much frustration???:sad:

I was shocked to see you have 115 degrees flexion!!! I would kill to have 105 degrees that sticks around longer than the hour after I exercise. I just can't get past 90-95 when at rest--meaning not having the knee "warmed up." Even a heating pad applied for 10-15 minutes before exercise only gets me to maybe 98-100 before riding the bike, and nothing I gain from riding seems to last long.

It is definitely odd how some of us can have little pain with limited ROM, yet those with better/average ROM can still have so much pain. It's truly a mystery why we are all so different. :bored:Luckily, I know we CAN vacation now, as long as I keep Lefty happy until next summer. We decided with 100% certainty today that we aren't even going to attempt a trip this summer. My son has a respiratory disorder, so we don't feel like chancing it.
 

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Have found a device called a patellar tendon knee strap has helped with the tight band feeling... it gives stability to the tendons that are involved in the tight feeling.
 
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