TKR Why is my knee still warm


new member
Nov 19, 2022
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Good evening, I am 5 months post op and am still in pain. I know pain is expect for some time however my knee still gets quite warm at times. The back of my knee is very painful when I try to bend my knee back. Are these symptoms normal, any advice please will be welcome.
My OS told me that I can expect my knee to stay warm for a full year. What you’re describing seems very normal. For the pain I would suggest frequent icing. If you have an ice machine, use it as much as you can. If not, I’d suggest getting one. That’s was and still is my best pain control.
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@Patstrat, welcome to Bonesmart! I agree with panammaniac, all your complaints sound normal. Spend time reading lots of different threads and you'll get an idea of what is normal.

Each person is different as is their recovery. Most find that the Bonesmart approach works best for them, but others find that a more aggressive therapy helps them more. It's your recovery and your choice on how you recover. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect. The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started.

If you want to use something to assist with healing and scar management, BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.


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:
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
the BoneSmart view on exercise
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for TKRs

6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital

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.

Try out our great new opportunity to improve your gait. It's OneStep. It's free and you will find it to be a huge help to you. Click here: OneStep
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Please tell us the exact date of your tkr, and which knee it was. I will add it to your signature for you. Having this information in your post makes it much easier for us to be able to advise you.
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Thank you for your replies, much appreciated. My TKR operation was on the 8th June 22 Left knee. I have an added problem that I had a bad ankle sprain about 18 months ago which has been aggravated making it more difficult to walk. I am doing exercises for the sprain. I am in the UK
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Hi and Welcome!

I’m sorry about the ankle sprain. Is it on the same side as the TKR? What exercises are you doing for it?

The back of my knee is very painful when I try to bend my knee back.
You may be overdoing the bending. What exercises are you doing for the knee?

Regaining our ROM does not require forceful bending or painful exercises.
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.
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Good morning Jokett, unfortunately the ankle sprain is on the TKR leg.
the PT has given me a series of exercises. They are a bit hard to describe but involve putting a bit of pressure on the ankle by a sort of lunge. Ankle on the good knee and pointing toe then pushing the toes back. Standing March , Taking each leg to the side then back. standing up on toes then back down.
the knee exercises include straight leg lifts, pushing knee down into the bed. Getting up and down from a chair unaided. Sliding knee back and forward whilst sitting in a chair. Laying on the bed and trying to bend knee towards the buttocks ( this is the hardest and most painful exercise) .
i have been doing a beginners 8 minute Tia chi programme found on youtube (recommended by PT). I haven’t been pushing myself too far letting the pain tell me how far I can go, it’s good to hear that I don’t need to overdo the exercises. Thank you
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I would say you are doing way too many exercises. If it was me I’d stop it all and let my ADLs ( activities of daily living) be my exercise. Your knee needs sone gentle treatment and time to “just be” so it can relax and heel. I’m sorry they‘ve given you so many to do. :console2:
Getting up and down from a chair unaided. Sliding knee back and forward whilst sitting in a chair. Laying on the bed and trying to bend knee towards the buttocks ( this is the hardest and most painful exercise) .
These are all unnecessary and can cause more swelling and pain. Getting up and down from a chair at your early stage is really hard on a new knee.

Doing your normal daily activities is all your knee needs for a successful recovery. I have had 12 knee surgeries due to birth defects, 6 on each knee, and never took any formal PT after any of these surgeries. My tkr on the right knee has been completely successful and am praying that I never have to have one on the left!
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Getting up and down from a chair unaided sounds pretty extreme. I’ve been specifically told to not even try doing that for quite a while. Both my OS and my PT told me they want me pushing off with my hands when I stand up until they tell me otherwise.
Hi, I am now 12months post TKR. I am still getting pain in the front of my knee and pain and swelling at the back.
i have had a scan to see if the swelling is a baker’s cyst which was negative. The knee is still warm. My surgeon said that’s as good as it gets so got to live with it. Any advice will be welcome. Thanks
@Patstrat, Sorry to hear that you still have pain, I do wonder how many of these surgeons would just like to live with ongoing pain. Mind you, on a facebook group I'm on, one woman said it took her two years to be right. Maybe you could ask to be referred for a second opinion or if able pay for a private consultation with another surgeon, usually about £200 TO 300. If they find a problem they can refer to the NHS list, a woman on that other FB group did that. The national Joint Registry gives surgeons. Wishing you all the best. xx
Some of us are never completely pain-free. I'm not, but my OS told me that I wouldn't be but that I'd be better than I was. I am, so I am happy about that. You aren't quite a year out and will probably still have some inside healing and adjustments your knee is going through. So, it's very possible that you will continue to see improvements for quite a while.

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