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[PARTIAL KR] Tightness to extreme!

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Highridge, May 10, 2019.

  1. Highridge

    Highridge new member
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    Hi. This is the first time I am posting. I had a partial knee replacement on my left knee on April
    3 of this year while staying in Florida. I am into week 5 and still have swelling and lots of tightness. Started with physical therapy while in Florida a week after surgery. It was brutal with them telling me no pain no gain. Many times I had to tell her to let off her pushing on injured knee. It got so bad that I quit going and was doing exercise at home. I returned to my home in PA three weeks after surgery.

    Started going to physical therapist here. He has the same frame of mind. No pain no gain. Today I had to really scream at him because I couldn’t take the pain. I don’t know what to do. I have all the tools and exercise to do at my home. But my knee is so tight it hardly bends after 5 weeks. I really have no pain unless doing exercise to extreme. I am worried there is something wrong.
     
  2. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    What is wrong is that you've inflamed an already traumatized knee with all those painful exercises. We have found that recovery from this surgery is much better is the knee is treated very gently. Your knee isn't out of shape, it is injured. It needs time to heal from all the trauma it has gone through. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started. As you read more on other members recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect and what not to do, especially regarding PT.

    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
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    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. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


    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.
     
  3. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Highridge - and :welome:

    First of all, "No pain, no gain" is the completely wrong approach to recovery from a knee replacement. It irritates and upsets all your knee tissues, making them hot and inflamed, which causes more pain, swelling and tightness.
    We prefer, "No pain, more gain."
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain

    Your knee is wounded not lazy or unfit, and it doesn't need PT boot camp. So my first advice is to quit PT and give your poor knee a chance to calm down and start to heal. Aggressive PT therapy is bad PT therapy. It does more harm than good.

    It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your ROM is there right from the start, just waiting for all that to happen, so it can show itself.

    There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

    Instead of spending time at PT, spend it resting, icing, and elevating your knee, to try to help it calm down and reduce the swelling. Your knee will get all the exercise it needs at this early stage, just with your normal activities of daily living. Just walking is the best exercise of all,and you'll be doing that.

    Don't even worry about ROM. It will come, as your knee settles down. Since it can improve for a yer or more, you have all the time in the world to achieve good flexion and extension.

    sistersinhim has left some post-op reading for you, with lots of useful and informative articles. Be sure to read the ones about icing, elevation, and activity progression.
     
  4. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    And I'll give you another link to look into Saying no to therapy - am I allowed to?

    I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
     
  5. Highridge

    Highridge new member
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    Yes. Sorry it took so long. I’m new to this posting. It’s been a week since I quit going to pt. Do exercise at home. But even with normal workout and walking knee is still swelling up. Feels better in morning after having leg elavated all night. But as soon as I start normal routine I can feel it getting tight. Would compression socks help. Thanks for all the help. This is really getting me depressed.
     
  6. bill 3/20

    bill 3/20 junior member

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    I had a partial 2 years ago. Like you, I had swelling and pain at 5 weeks. My physical therapist gave me light exercise and light massage to reduce the swelling. I think the exercise and massage helped. I don't think physical therapy is a bad idea, but like everyone here says, stressing inflamed tissue won't make the inflammation go away. My new knee isn't perfect, but it works pretty well. I'm glad I did it. Hang in there.
     
  7. Highridge

    Highridge new member
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    Thanks,
    At this point I need some good news.
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    The good news is that, given time, everything is going to work out all right.

    This early in recovery, it's perfectly normal for your knee to swell up. You'll probably find that it swells after activity for several months yet.

    It takes a full year for complete recovery after a knee replacement and you're only just over 6 weeks into that recovery. It's not just your bones that have to heal, but all the soft tissues around your knee joint as well. They all had a pretty rough time during the surgery.

    I think you're expecting too much, too soon of your knee. This isn't the sort of recovery you can bounce back from in 6 weeks or so. It's a long, slow recovery period.
    Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
    Maybe you were told that recovery from a partial is quicker than recovery from a total knee replacement? Unfortunately, that's usually not the case. Most people find that the recoveries are very similar.

    I see that, although you've taken a week off PT, you're still doing exercises at home. That's really not necessary. Just let walking around and your normal activities of daily living be your exercise.

    Have you checked your normal routine against what we suggest you should be doing in this article?
    Activity progression for TKRs
    It's still important to not do too much in your normal activities.
     
  9. Highridge

    Highridge new member
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    Thank you for all your kind words and incite. I have never been thru anything like this. And everything I’ve been told before about easy recovery sure isn’t true. I am just glad I found this forum.
     
  10. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    We women say that this recovery is worst than giving birth. I know you can't relate to that, but just know that it hurts!
     

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