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TKR Suggestions needed for “tight band” feeling

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@Celle: I understand what you are saying. I was on my feet today for 1 hr (browsing in a book store). Knee got very tight. Came home, iced, elevated for 5 hrs...and I can barely bend my knee. If the past holds, it will take 2 add’l days of being in the recliner most of the day, icing and elevating, for it to go back to being able to bend and not being tight. This gets repeated day after day w/no progress (I’m NOT seeing that I can be on my feet for a little longer each week before it gets tight.) Is this normal? I’m frustrated bc I see only temporary, limited relief by icing/elevating, and my dr and PT have offered nothing as to what else I can do to get better (except rigorous exercises (squats, leg press etc) that I’m not doing til I feel better. If I saw ANY progress I’d feel so much better. Anyway...I’d appreciate any add’l thoughts and then I’ll take a break from posting...feel like I’m complaining abt the same thing every time. Tks in advance and Tks for your patience.
 

Celle

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I do appreciate your frustration and if it was me (I'm being honest here) I'd probably feel exactly the same as you do. I'd probably be even less patient than you have been. :console2:

Your own surgeon has probably told you to "give it time" and try exercise. That's the standard advice when there doesn't seem to be a reason for the problem.
You're right not to do squats and use a leg press.

You could try looking for a second opinion, but you probably won't have much success until after a year post-op. Most surgeons like to wait until that year has passed.

The problem is that surgeons tend to not see you before then, because of a sort of professional courtesy, so that the original surgeon doesn't think they are "stealing" his/her patient.
The other reason is that many knees that cause their owners a lot of anxiety do seem to settle down and sort themselves out by the time a year has passed.

There's not a lot more advice I can give you, except to hang in there and try to take it day by day.
hugs.jpg
 
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@Celle: Thanks...I must have needed to learn patience to have gotten this outcome :) will touch base in Feb/March. Enjoy the holidays!
 

Celle

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will touch base in Feb/March. Enjoy the holidays!
Please stay with us and don't disappear until Feb/March. We'd like to know how you're getting on.

We'll still be here for moral support, a place to rant, and a shoulder to cry on, if you feel a bit overwhelmed.
Having somewhere you can say exactly how you feel can sometimes be a help, when you can't say it to your family.
 

Starsfan22

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Yes, please continue to post. My surgery progression and yours has been very similar and I'd like to offer support. I need it too!
 
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@Starsfan22: Thanks! I’d like to offer you support as well! :console2:Is there ANYthing your dr or PT suggested that has helped you? I use Spider or Rock tape on my knee (or wear a knee sleeve), get therapeutic massage on knee, and am trying hydrotherapy starting tomorrow...in addition to taking a break from my gym (and avoiding rigorous exercises like leg press and squats). I just don’t want to post and complain abt the same issue all the time!
 

judgar

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What is spider or rock tape.
 

Jockette

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When I was 4 months I was still swelling, still couldn’t walk far, couldn’t stand for any length of time, etc. In addition to all this I had a major setback which put my ROM back to the early days of recovery! The setback took a whole month to even begin to improve. For the rest of that first year my ROM was quite poor.

However, after the one year anniversary, I started to see improvement. My whole leg began to relax. I have even seen an improvement in my ROM after my second year anniversary.

If I knew back then what I know now, I wouldn’t have worried about my ROM. It came back just fine, on it’s own, and in its own time. Yours will, too.
 

Jockette

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And be very careful with hydrotherapy, it’s very easy to overdo in the pool and upset your knee. I didn’t do well with it at all.

Stop trying so hard to improve. Give your knee the time it needs to sort itself out. It will, if you let it. It doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t a constant improvement. It’s one or two steps forward, one or two back, repeat and repeat. Eventually you move forward more than you move back.
 
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@judgar: Spider tape and Rock tape is tape that the massage therapist suggested for me to give my knee support AND (she says) to stimulate blood flow. I’m not an athlete but athletes use the tape to enhance their performance. I put a strip across the bottom of my knee, and then criss cross pieces across my knee w/my kneecap being uncovered in the middle of the “x.” It helps!
 
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@Jockette: I WILL be careful w/hydrotherapy! I only have 2 sessions and I’ve made clear I won’t do anything to hurt or overwork my knee! And thanks, again, for your perspective and encouragement!
 

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Stiff knee....I was determined to be doing well at 6 wks and was released by both OS and PT. I've made progress but am obviously not satisfied with progress. I've rested, rested, rested knee. Even trips to grocery are hard, causing pain. I'll have days when I'm able to do more but usually pay for it the next few days. I've decided since babying isn't working adding my PT exercises might. Going to try that for a week. We'll see. Starting 17th week today!
 

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I agree with @Jockette ... stop trying so hard to get the tightness/stiffness to go away. It WILL improve with time. I was exactly where you are at 3-4 months, and there was almost no change with stiffness/swelling through month 5. At 5 months, I didn't think I'd EVER stop swelling so severely throughout the day.:bored:I was sick and tired of the peg-leg feeling by 7-8 PM every single day. I didn't care that my stability was great, or my pain was less, or I could exercise more-----I wanted the stiffness/swelling GONE!! I wanted more flexion so I didn't get my foot stuck while trying to exit a vehicle or take my pants off before bed. I wasn't happy with 90% success because the flexion wasn't what I had hoped/prayed for.

Finally, around the 6-month mark, something changed. I keep noticing I can bend my knee more at the end of a day, even if it's just a bit.....but it is improvement. Now, looking back, I can see there were tiny (but definite) improvements from months 5-6, then again the last 2 weeks. My surgeon promised me 2 weeks ago that I would keep seeing tiny improvements, and by 12 months, I'd be pleasantly surprised how far I'd come. Only 5.5 more months to go. :tantrum:

Keep in mind I didn't do anything differently. I'm actually walking more with errands and exercise instead of less over the last month. I truly think it is just the passing of time that all our knees need to heal.:console2: There's just no speeding this recovery along, unfortunately.
 
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@Starsfan22: I’m crossing my fingers that your PT exercises help w/the tightness! If they do, could you pls share what you did? I rested/iced/ elevated most of yesterday, woke up feeling pretty good, then did some PT exercises (quad tighting, ankle pumps, etc) and almost instantly the tightness started. Very weird!
 
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@Rockgirl4: I DID see a change for the better at 3 mos...and am anxious for the improvement (however big or small) at around (5-6 mos)! It is hard to be patient and not be proactive in my recuperation...thanks for sharing your experience...it gives me hope for the mos to come!
 

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Walking inclines and declines in my little neighborhood has really helped and I'm in awe that my swelling/stiffness has gone down. Don't get me wrong, by the end of the day my knee says it's done and becomes stiff on the sides and under the kneecap.
 
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@TheSloth: that’s interesting...whenever I asked my dr abt going on the treadmill, he says, ok but no incline. It just goes to show how contradictory advice can be, and what works for one person may/may not work for someone else! I have not walked...I can only stand for ONE hr and I need that hr to run errands, esp this time of yr!
 
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@Starsfan22: how did your week go w/your exercises? I took it very easy this week (after last Saturday’s 1 hr at the book store that left me very tight and in pain)...went to a craft show today, literally raced thru it bc of my precious one hour that I can stand...now tight/painful. Elevating and icing now! If anything you did this week helped, pls let me know...here’s hoping we both have a good week ahead...
 
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@Jockette, @Celle: I just had my 4 mo check up this week and you will be happy (but not surprised!) to hear that my OS echoed MANY of the things you have been telling me abt dealing w/my tightness. Said no test (MRI, CT) would be able to determine why I was having this. Suggested really taking it easy w/exercise. Also said it was early in the healing process. This ALL sounds familiar He offered a few things to do: take Celebrex; use a “3 x 10” piece of equipment to straighten my leg (he thinks my problem is related to not being able to straighten my leg as much as he would like and as much as I did at the 2 mo checkup...concerning that I’ve gotten slightly worse); and he ordered some “compounding” topical cream/gel. Also said a lymphatic drain (massage) would probably not be helpful...but I could try bio freeze or acupuncture. Just thought you might be interested in hearing this...and appreciate the validation! Thanks to you both!
 

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My knee starts the day stiff and I walk like a robot, then as I do my exercises, bike 5 mins all interspersed with morning routine, I suddenly walk better, tightness is gone! Then as the day progressed it comes back. Time to elevate (at a minimum) and ice.

I treat it as my knee says time to rest. Hubby is still helping with house chores including shopping, of which I am very grateful.

We are going to the toy store tomorrow for grand nephew gifts. We will go as they open with our usual get in and done (little browsing) technique. Helps the no prolonged standing and hubby' S usual "let's get out of here" attitude.
 

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