One of the most frustrating surgical after effects for the patient, the physical therapist, and the surgeon is the development of a stiff knee following surgery. While, this may occur unexpectedly after almost any knee procedure, it is not an infrequent problem specifically after a total knee replacement.
Between 5% and 7% of patients develop stiffness in the knee post-operatively. In my experience with patients in physical therapy, post-operative knee stiffness is a more common after effect of total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, surpassing the combined prevalence of infection, thromboembolism and early mechanical failure. One study that supports this is one that reviewed over 5,000 TKRs performed in over 4,000 patients between 1997 and 2003. Manipulation under anesthesia was required in 399 cases (6.9%). Similarly, in another recent study it was reported that among over 1,000 consecutive TKR patients, 63 (5.3%) developed stiffness. Of the 56 patients in this study available for analysis, 46 patients required manipulation and 10 (0.84%) required revision surgery for stiffness.
Over the years, the definition of stiff TKR has changed reflecting patient and physician’s high expectations for function and range of motion (ROM) after surgery. Patients require a knee flexion of 65° to walk, 70° to lift an object from the floor, 85° for stair climbing, 95° for comfortable sitting and standing, and 105° for tying shoelaces, and 115° to squat and pick up an object.
In some of the literature, the definition of stiffness after TKR is a flexion contracture of 25° or a total arc of motion less than 45°. Other literature defines stiffness as a total arc of motion less than 70°. One final source defines stiffness as a flexion contracture greater than or equal to 10° or a total arc of motion less than 95°.
Many of these patients that meet these definitions for post-operative knee stiffness, especially those with severe limitation of ROM, have severe disabling pain that interferes with their activities of daily living and quality of life. As a consequence of the previously discussed issues, and despite the use of modern TKR implant designs that allow for high flexion, the relative frequency of stiffness still exists in many cases.
Stiffness after TKR is a multifactorial, poorly understood problem in which preoperative, operative and postoperative factors can be considered. Identification of predisposing factors allows surgeons to better address patients’ expectations for postoperative ROM.
Some research studies have reported that patients with a history of post-traumatic osteoarthritis, those who underwent a high tibial osteotomy, those with multiple knee surgeries, and those who present with a limited preoperative ROM are at an increased risk of developing postoperative stiffness. The role of obesity is controversial as to whether this is a cause of a patient developing postoperative stiffness.
Operative factors that could lead to stiffness after TKR can be categorized in the following groups: retained osteophytes in the posterior condyles, imbalance of the flexion and extension gaps, malalignment, improperly sized components and inaccurate patellofemoral joint reconstruction. These issues can often be detected on plain radiographs and can be differentiated from other sources of stiffness.
Postoperative factors potentially leading to knee stiffness include poor patient motivation and/or selection, deep infection, heterotopic ossification, pain management regimen and aggressive anticoagulation therapy which may result in the development of intra-articular hematomas with secondary stiffness.
Some patients who develop post-operative stiffness require manipulation under anesthesia to address this issue. The best candidate for maninpulation is a motivated patient with a restricted ROM detected within 3 months of surgery. A minimum of 90° of flexion is required to negotiate stairs and sit comfortably; therefore, patients who have failed to achieve at least 90° of flexion following surgery are candidates for manipulation.
In my experience with patients I have seen in physical therapy, manipulation has seemed to work better to correct restricted flexion than to overcome a flexion contracture. During manipulation, increased motion is achieved through mechanical lysis of intra-articular adhesions, thus manipulations that are performed within the first 3 months of surgery tend to be safer and more efficacious than those performed at a later time. In additional, the first manipulation tends to be more successful that subsequent ones.
It is paramount that the patient initiates an intensive physical therapy program after manipulation. Post-manipulation, patients typically participate in a physical therapy program with five visits per week for 2 to 3 weeks, followed by three visits per week for an additional 2 to 3 weeks. It is also crucial that patients perform home exercises , use cold packs and have good pain control.
Manipulation is successful in controlling pain and increasing range of motion in 75% to 90% of cases. Unfortunately, some patients, even a few without predisposing factors for stiffness will develop arthrofibrosis, a complication that is still poorly understood.
Overall, patients who get between 128 and 132 degrees of knee flexion seem to have good function for everyday activities. Anyone who engages in activities requiring kneeling, squatting, or sitting cross-legged may need additional rehab to obtain enough motion to accomplish these tasks.
Sarah Bicknell PT, MSPT, ATC
I have had two knee surgeries in 2012. First in July and 2nd in October. (Meniscus tear) The 1st one is coming along nicely, still limited though. The 2nd knee is giving me problems with stairs, sitting comfortably, lying down in bed. I dont know a comfortable position either way. I am awake most nights with the stiff knee. I have been back to my orthopeadic surgeon twice and he says to rest and give it a chance to heal. I am doubtful about this as the other knee is comforatble. Iknow I will never ever run, jump, skip squat, cross kneees again. I just want to be able to arise from a chair from a seated position and be able to walk normally without limping with the pain and stiffness that goes with it. What should I do? Give it another month and go back again to surgeon as this is no joke and way to live.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:02 AM by Sharri
Having had as much bad advice as good, medically speaking, it may be worth seeking a second opinion. Compromising the quality of your life is not what you or the doctor want as the final product.
I had total knee replacement in early December, did my exercises and pt faithfully, but never got beyond 95 degrees of flexion. I too had stiff knee, thought I was going to fall when I walked because of my uneven gait and inability to bend my ankle either (ankle fusion a few years ago).
I just submitted to knee manipulation today. I know it's early, but I have less pain now than I did before the manipulation because the stiffness is gone! Mind you, I am 10 weeks out from the TKR, and was still extremely uncomfortable and stiff, sitting, standing, walking; you name it.
Tomorrow I start back in P.T., a chiro who manipulates, massage therapy next week and exercise here at home on my bike to keep what I gained today.
The key: don't give up! If you don't agree with what you hear, do the research and find someone whose opinion you trust.
I wish you the best, Sharri!
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 5:07 PM by Lori
After the six weeks of PT that followed my double knee replacement, my range of motion was 0 to 130 degrees in both knees. My surgeon told me to stop forcing the bend, work on strengthening the legs, and that the bend angles would increase on their own. They did not, gradually worsening over time, so that today, 2 1/2 years post surgery, my maximum flex on the left knee is around 90 degrees, and on the right about 110. Recent physical therapy on the left knee has helped moderately, as has the use of s dynasplint at night, both gaining me a few degrees, but I'm not satisfied. I may turn to a more specialized surgeon, but do not want to undergo revision surgery. Anyone out there have any ideas or similar experience?
Posted @ Monday, March 04, 2013 11:15 AM by Jack
I am curious about the dynasplint. I have not heard of it. Could you elaborate?
Before I left the post-op from my knee manipulation, I called the nurse and told her to ask the doctor why I couldn't bend my knee as far as they did under anesthesia. (They took pre and post op pictures.)
The nurse went back and ask the doctor in surgery, and his response was that they were able to do that under anesthetic, but I shouldn't try to push it that far.
I started p.t. the next day.
I have moved from 90, pre-op, to 103 post op. I am not satisfied. In fact I am very disappointed! It is now over 12 weeks past the replacement, so I don't know how much more progress we will make. I desperately want to get up above 115 so I can ride my exercise bike. I also would appreciate being able to climb stairs comfortably.
My physical therapist claims that it can take up to a month after the manipulation to get good numbers. I just passed two weeks. Does anyone else have any experience with manipulation and moving so slowly to increase flexion? (My extension is only 1 degree off.) Thanks! And good luck to you, Jack. I'm with you: No Revision Surgery!!
Posted @ Monday, March 04, 2013 5:27 PM by Laurie J
Laurie J asked about the dynasplint. Go to dynasplint.com for their information. I have been sleeping with it strapped to my left knee for about three months. It's supposed to keep your knee bent for 6 - 8 hours so that scar tissue can be loosened - at least that's the theory. It may be responsible for a slight increase in my ability to bend my knee, maybe 5 degrees, although I have worked very hard at forcing the bend during that time, as well. Hope that helps. Jack
Posted @ Tuesday, March 05, 2013 11:45 AM by Jack Shepard
I am 3 weeks post op did not achieve 90%before I left hospital. I can manage 70% only. My consultant is not happy i find the movement impossibly painful.
He is threatening me with manipulation if I don,t manage it in 4 weeks time.
My knee has been very swollen but is now settling. Any advice on achieving that 90%?
Posted @ Thursday, March 14, 2013 2:33 PM by Dot littler
Hi. Had meniscus surgery on Oct 17,2012. Had pt for three months before surgery to see if it would heal on its own. Have had pt ever since my surgery, including aqua therapy. I'm no better now than before surgery. In fact, I'm much worse. I also have a dynasplint. I've been using it three times a day for 2 hours. This has been going on since July 3,2012. I'm at my wits end. I'm extremely depressed. have been walking on crutches ever since July. All I want to do is walk. Can't do it without crutches. I have a bad limp. What is next for me?? Any hope at all? I don't even know which doctor I should approach. Any advise would be helpful. Thanks.
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 8:01 AM by Elizabeth
You hang in there and keep working on it. My doc and p.t. person have both said, "Take pain meds before you come". They are right, as far as I'm concerned. It does help what you are able to tolerate.
As for the manipulation, my doctor said that they do those between 8 and 10 weeks, so you have time to improve your flexion.
I had my manipulation at 10 weeks. Pre-op I was barely 90 degrees. I'm now 3 weeks post op, and up to 116 on my own! The doctor's goal for me was 120, and I know I can make it. It is a slow (and not very pleasant) process, but it's so worth it! Take care. Laurie
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 3:37 PM by Laurie J
I had a knee replacement on March 11th. As of yesterday before therapy i measured 123 and 1 on flatening the knee straight out. But the pain is there all the time. I can't believe that it is so painful after 5 weeks out. I have to take pain meds to do my exercises. I walk on the treadmill 15 minutes morning and night. I do all the bending exercises and strengthing exercises twice a day. It take a hour each time. I just get so depressed because of the pain. Am I expecting to much to soon? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:15 AM by susan mueller
I know what you mean about the pain. I was on vicodin for at least 9 weeks. You are so fortunate to be able to get to 123 on your bending so soon!
The pain at 5 weeks isn't surprising based on my experience and that of my peers and family. However, if the pain changes- gets worse- or if you get any sort of fever or illness-related symptoms, check with your doctor to make sure you aren't into some infection.
Not to scare you, but I had an infection. My doctor's p.a. refused to give me a different antibiotic after the first one causes problems for me. I turned to the holistic community and took Barlean's Olive Leaf syrup faithfully until the symptoms dissapated. If you do the research on olive leaf syrup, it is amazing. The ancient Egyptians used it for fighting all sorts of maladies related to infection and inflammation.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:44 PM by Laurie J
I am right at 8 weeks post-op TKR. My right knee bends ok but the straightening is not good at all. I go to my Dr on Tues and think manipulation is in my future. My problem is I can't take pain meds. They all make me extremely nauseous as I cannot tolerate anything codeine related. Any suggestion on what I can take for pain?
Posted @ Saturday, April 20, 2013 6:53 PM by Dottie Elder
I had an ACL & Meniscus repair in July 2012 for my right knee. After a few weeks my bending didn't improve much so I had a 2nd surgery in December 2012 because the Dr. said I developed scar tissue. I continued Physical Therapy, I bought an excersice bike to work out at home and I joined the gym to use their machines. I did everything possible to gain ROM in my knee... Well its been 9 months and my knee bends at about 100 degrees. My Dr. never has any answers to my questions and does not know what is going on. My knee problems have caused major stressed and I am getting depressed over this because I was very active in sports and I am almost sure I will never be able to play any sports again! I have gained weight ever since my surgery and cannot do anything to loose it (activewise). I have just requested to have my Dr's refer me to a different hospital. I emailed 3 Dr's and no one has responded yet. It's frustrating, depressing and so stressful. Oh and my knee has been swollen ever since my 1st suegery in July and my Dr's think its nothing serious! I have knee pain everyday and It's so painful to go up and down stairs. I also have a limp when I walk. Any advice?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:46 PM by Rocio
I am just about 1 month of HTO, also to fix a lateral meniscus tare in my knee. I hit 90 on the CPM but therapy is not going well. I can finally, with pain in knee lift my leg slowly on my own. Pain was so excruciating bending yesterday we only got to 67 with me balling like a baby. I don't know if this is normal, and it is so stiff. Not sure what to do. I wish I had a knee replacement instead. I am 45 and tired of this.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:15 AM by Linda Blevins
I had TKR on my left knee on March 11. Because of some stiffness, I underwent manipulation on April 15, which has made the problem much worse. I have been in PT since release from the hospital, plus doing the same exercises at home. We tried a CPM after the manipulation, but it caused more pain. (Just FYI, Medicare does NOT pay for a CPM after a manipulation. It's $10 a day rental!) I have been using a Dynasplint for about 2 weeks and am seeing very limited increase in flexion. The maximum flexion I've reached is about 109, but most of the time it's less than that. It sounds like lots of us are having the same frustrating problem, and our doctors are stumped as to treatment. Dottie, I also cannot tolerate codeine related meds, but was given Dilaudid for pain control and it has worked very well. It's hard to find, as lots of drug stores don't keep it on hand, but it's worth the search.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:14 AM by Jerry Manley
HI! My name is MaryAnn. I had TKR on June 6th and knee Manipulation on July 11. I am doing therapy 5 days week X2, So today is the 4th day since the manipulation. I exercise at therapy 9:15 daily, then exercise numerous times a day.
As soon as I stop exercising, my leg stiffens immediately and I walk like I have peg leg. Any idea how long this will last. I am getting so depressed. I just want to walk normally & eventually bike ride etc.
Posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 1:21 PM by Mary Ann Roberts
I am now 4 1/2 mos post-op from TKR.I had surgery 2-25 and manipulation 4-24. The manipulation was no help at all. I have lots of scar tissue which they said is causing th stiffness and lack of ROM. My Doc wants to do arthroscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue but cannot guarantee me it will not come back.I have decided not to have that done since the manip didn't help and I am obviously predisposed to scar tissue. I would love to have better bend but think I'd better be content with what I have which is not much over 90 degrees. The pain is sporatic but I have had manipulation, wore Dynasplint, used neuromuscular stimulator and immobilizer to aid straightening, went to therapy for 4 months and have had it.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:34 PM by Dottie
I had TKR in October 2011, a rivision of a partial knee replacement in 2009. My flexion is ok (about 100 deg.) but my extension is 10 deg. short of straight. It is causing me to have low back pain, and although my ortho says it has nothing to do with the TKR, I also have pain in my foot on that side that has been persistent for over a year now. Has anyone gained any extension this late (almost 2 yrs) after TKR? Just wondering if anyone else has this problem and/or has found a solution. Maybe there is some kind of orthopedic device to correct the gait? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:22 PM by Suzanne Holland
I went to my ortho Dr today (been 5 mos since TKR) and my extension is 5 degrees and my flexion is 106.I also have had foot pain but have found some help wearing a heel lift. It has also helped my back pain a lot. My TKR left that leg longer than the other one.Hope this helps.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:39 PM by Dottie Elder
Thanks for responding, Dottie. I have had my legs checked for length difference, and they are exactly the same length. Before checking it though I did try a heel lift, and it just made my knee and hip hurt, probably because they are already the same length. *sigh* Don't know if I'll ever find a solution!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 8:38 PM by Suzanne Holland
I had a TNR in 2011 then had to have a revision in 2012 still having problems with range of motion and bending my knee my life is on hold pretty much can't function with activity any one have any advice
Posted @ Friday, July 26, 2013 10:43 PM by Renee
I had a partial knee replacement in April. I am just finishing up PT. I have a lump on the side of my knee. Doctor says it is stitch. Can take 6 months to go away. To me it almost feels like bone. My knee is still stiff. More times than not. Dr. Said can take 12 months. I am just afraid something is wrong. Any thought
Posted @ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 1:58 PM by Sheila
When you say you have a lump, does it appear to be swollen? I found with my TKR that sinovial fluid gathered in some pretty weird places. Is the stitch the doctor says it is inside, under the skin? You may want to see if the lump goes down with ice, compression and elevation. If it does, it's swelling from healing, I would think. If there's pain in that area, I would ask for x rays to rule out your concern that it's bone.
My thoughts. Good luck, Sheila!
Posted @ Thursday, August 15, 2013 10:40 AM by Laurie J
When you say stiff, do you mean your range of motion is limited, or that it just doesn't move easily? I have a lump on the side of my knee too (almost 2 yrs post-op) that never went away. Dr. never tried to explain it. I have very limited ROM (12-105), and stiffness/pain as well. I agree about the XRay. Keep up your PT and strengthening, too. You're not alone!
Posted @ Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:33 AM by Suzanne
No it doesn't appear to be swollen. I do ice a few times a day and elevate. I have ti say when pused on it used to hurt and feel sharp now it doesn't. So hopedully he is right. I really am not having any pain just a lot of stiffnes when I walk! I do have a little fluid on the right side of my knee. Which I had before the surgery which was caused from pseudogout. Thoughtnitnwould be gone. Going to rheumotologist in a few weeks hoping they can giveme so,ething to get rid of fluid. Ortho dcotor said doesnt want them to drain it because of partial replacement. I am not sure if I am nit just givi g it time and being paranoid. The xray I had 6 weeks after surgery said it was perfect, doctor said it was one xray he would show to students or at a seminar. So thnking id it was mis aligned it would have showed up then. Sorry if I am rambling I just don't k iw if it is me
Posted @ Thursday, August 15, 2013 12:28 PM by Sheila
My range of motion I think was 120 I think might have been more. My extenson is still not 100% but it wasn't before surgery. I have stiffness when doing stairs and walking.
I do exercises PT gave me evwry otber day. Try to give it little rest in between. Still icing a couple of times a day. When I do bending exercises it pulls in the back of my leg. Just. Nice to kniw I am not nuts. Dr. Says its ok. I kniw they say. 12 to 18 months for it to heal. Maybe I am para oid nd am expecting too much. Thanks for responding.
Posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 9:08 AM by Sheila
I am thrilled to have found this website with all of your blog comments regarding knee stiffness. I can see I am not alone on my journey. I recently underwent TKR surgery (right knee) on June 25, 2013 and eight weeks later my knee is still stiff (with a tightness feeling). I felt the "tightness" two days after my surgery and mentioned the awkward feeling to my Doctor's assistant (prior to my Hospital release). I was told the "tightness" is normal following a TKR procedure and it would eventually go away. (Really? When?) I'm still struggling to regain my pre-surgery flexion (108 degrees)and strengthen my thigh quad. I still use a walker to get around and am unable to drive. Losing my independence has depressed me. I have to lean on others for care-taking. To add insult to injury, when I went in for my post-surgery appt.(5 weeks later) my Ortho-Doctor made me feel as if the stiffness and swelling were my fault. His comments were "brutal" as he expressed his disappointment because I was still using a walker. It took me 5 years to find the courage to have the TKR surgery and had I known about post-operative knee stiffness...I would have kept my damaged birth knee. At least, I was functioning in my life (w/o assistance)and still somewhat active. This TKR surgery has wiped me out. It has been an unexpected life-changing event. I've had knee issues since I tore my ACL due to a sports injury at age 13. Little did I know that was the beginning of the end. You definitely bounce back quicker when you are young. I don't remember this kind of pain or stiffness. I've had 5 knee surgeries (maybe 6) in the past 40 years so I had lots of scar tissue in my knee prior to my TKR. In my previous surgeries, I always had a speedy, successful recovery. Not this time. My Doctor has threatened me with manipulation surgery. However, I am reluctant to have more surgery on my injured knee. I don't think I can handle the post surgery pain, swelling, pain meds and sleepless nights (again). However, at the same time I want to be able to walk (w/o assistance), drive and bend my knee (comfortably). I'm currently at a 70 degree flexion and 3 degree extension. Is there an alternative to the manipulation surgery? I'm afraid I will lose my straight leg extension. Should I continue to go to PT twice a week, perform my daily exercises, continue to elevate and ice 3 to 4 times a day, and hope for the best? Am I concerned about my knee stiffness too soon? Will this "tightness" feeling ever disappear? Thanks for your advice. Much appreciated.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 7:39 AM by Crystal
Your story sounds much like mine. You are only 2 months out from your TKR, so I would say there is hope. Keep working hard at PT. Don't worry about strength in the quads right now. That can be achieved later. Focus completely on Range of motion. I found out (too late for me) that early quad strengthening can inhibit range of motion gains. If I had it to do over. I would not do any strengthening until I had achieved my goal in range of motion. Forget about what your doctor thinks. It is not his knee to live with. He just doesn't like you still on the walker bc it makes him look bad! Use the walker as long as you need to, but focus your energy in PT on range of motion. Take control of your sessions. You are the boss of your PT, and if you don't like what he/she's doing, switch. I had a bad PT early on, and I blame a lot of my problems on her mismanagement. I was uninformed, and trusted her. Do your homework! Also, ask your PT about myofascial release. This can be helpful in relieving that tight feeling. I hope this helps, and no, you are not alone! I am 2 yrs out from my TKR with 110 flex and 10 degrees short of full extension. This is permanent, and is causing me issues with all the joints in the lower body chain, from sacrum to toes! Be glad you only have plus three. Extension is much harder to get than flexion, in my opinion. Focus on what is good about your outcome, don't panic, and trust your body's ability to heal. Expect a good outcome, but don't be fearful of a bad one. That fear will inhibit your healing, trust me.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 9:15 AM by Suzanne Holland
Oh Crystal,you are despairing way too soon.I do agree that 8 wks post-op and still on a walker is not good.You will get to be dependent on it.I had my TKR 2-25-13 and felt the same depresing feeling you have. Now I know that I expected too much too soon. It is a VERY long healing process and hang in there with your PT for as long as you can. I went for 4 months as I also had the knee stiffness you are dealing with and lack of extension.I had a manipulation 4-2-13 and I saw NO improvement at all with that.I do however, think your quad muscle strengthening is VERY important. Without that I would think you'd not be able to lift your leg. I had to use a neuromuscular electric stimulator for 2 weeks to get my quad muscle to "wake up".It worked!!I still have only 106 degree flexion, butI can walk 1.5 miles, climb a step ladder and do most things I want to do.I also felt like I had lost my life and wished I'd never had it done, but time will take care of all of that. I promise.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:19 AM by Dottie
I had a TKR 13 months ago and had very limited mobility to the knee - barely 80% at 7 weeks. At 7 weeks out I had a manipulation then PT. I got to 103%, but had a LOT of pain. My therapist said there's no sense continuing the appointments until my pain diminished by 80% because I was unable to do the exercises. My doc did an xray to verify there hadn't been any loosening and said there was no sign of it. But, the pain has worsened and so has my flexion. Now I'm only about 95% and I've kept up the exercises. I still elevate it and use a JAZ splint to force the flexion, but the pain can be excruciating, especially when I first stand on it. It's also tender to the touch. Now they're going to aspirate the knee to determine if it might be infrected, or has loosened, or has adhesions. Has anyone experienced this?
Posted @ Thursday, August 22, 2013 5:27 PM by CZ
Greetings Suzanne and Dottie! Thank you so much for your responses above. Both of you have given me valuable information and renewed HOPE! I asked my PT about the myofascial release and although their office does not provide the myofascial massage technique, they could refer me to another office that does. Unfortunately, my medical provider does not cover the myofascial release procedure so I have decided to pay out of my own pocket. It will be worth it to get rid of the "tightness" in my knee. My medical provider does, however, cover durable medical equipment so my PT has recommended the DynaSplint or JAS Splint to stretch my knee and break up the scar adhesions. So, I am happier today and believe I can see some light at the end of the TKR recovery tunnel. I had a good PT session yesterday and my flexion is up to 73 degrees. Three weeks ago, I was barely at 50 degrees. So, I am hoping to get to 90 degrees within the next month so I do not have to undergo manipulation surgery. It seems like the manipulation surgery is 50-50 based on the information I am reading in these blogs (and extremely painful). Dottie, my PT told me it is better to regain my "range of motion" before I work on strengthening my thigh quad. Therefore, I am still using my walker for support. However, I am extremely interested in the neuromuscular electric stimulator you mentioned in your blog. Is that something your Doctor ordered for you or was that electric stimulator provided to you by your PT? I am eagerly waiting for you to respond (again). Thanks so much for cheering me up. You and Suzanne really made my day! I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery not only for myself, but for so many others who are struggling with knee mobility issues especially after having the TKR procedure.
Posted @ Thursday, August 22, 2013 7:38 PM by Crystal
CZ, I can relate to your problem. I had TKR on 3/11/13, followed by manipulation on 4/15/35, because I just could not gain the flexion I needed. Everything went downhill after that manipulation and I continued to lose flexion, along with muscle tightness that began after the manipulation. After 38 visits to PT, I had another manipulation followed by arthroscopic surgery to clean out the scar tissue. This was done 8/12/13. With almost two weeks behind me after that procedure, I am still struggling to get to 110 degrees and the muscle tightness has returned. I am doing 4 hours on the CPM every day, wear a splint to hold my leg in a flexed position, and continue to do stretches, flexion exercises, icing and elevation. I, too, have lots of pain upon first standing. The thing I've learned from all of this is that forcing flexion in PT is NOT the way to go. As long as I do my exercises and keep up the CPM and splint (for the time being), I feel that this knee will eventually become flexible again. I've considered changing therapy clinics, but have had a hard time finding one that can take me because of the cutbacks on insurance and benefits for their employees. They just don't have the personnel to handle all the patients that need help!
Posted @ Saturday, August 24, 2013 10:24 AM by jm
The neuromuscular electric stimulator was ordered by my Dr when he saw that I could not raise my leg. My insurance paid for it and I only used it 2 weeks. 30 min three times a day. It was not pleasant but it sure helped.I also used the Dynasplint for straightening. Not sure if it was helpful or not since I was still going to PT.
Posted @ Monday, August 26, 2013 8:05 AM by Dottie
I also used the dinasplint, but because of a severe flare of hip bursitis, I was not able to continue after just a few days. Very frustrating. I didn't have the problem of muscle weakness, just the range of motion. One word of caution to Crystal--work hard at flexion, but don't neglect extension! I was so focused on flexion ( I wanted to be able to do the stairs in my home comfortably) that I neglected extension. I mean I worked at it, but not enough. I ended up with plus 10 degrees (10 deg short of straight) and the problems I am having now are much worse than having only 90 deg of flexion. Without full extension, your gait is altered, and it causes problems all the way up the chain. I have low back and hip pain from it, and cannot walk very far without knee and ankle pain. Get that extension!!
Posted @ Monday, August 26, 2013 2:36 PM by Suzanne
After reading all these posts I guess I am not the only one with problems. I had a partial knee replacement 5 months ago in September I am still having knee stiffness when walking and climbing stairs. I do my exercises ever other day giving myself day in between. I get a tightness or stiffness behind my knee when I climb stairs. I am worried something is wrong. I have a little fluid in my knee from psedogout. Not sure if this is from psedogout. I am so discouraged. Anyone else still have stiffness and little pain? Thanks!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:35 AM by Sheila
My mother got a TKR in the month of May, she had a physiotherapist for the 2 months after which she has been doing the exercise herself, however she has been complaining about heaviness in her knees ever since she got operated, is that normal?
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:43 PM by Priyanka
i had tkr on 7/25/13 ,my range of bending is at about78. the therapist is talking manipulation. my knee is still swollen and stiff. i don't know what to do. i go to therapy 3 times a week and exercise at home. what can i do to get the range of motion in the 90-110 range.any suggetions
Posted @ Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:02 AM by joyce
I had partial knee replacement on June 4, 2013. I walked just hours after the surgery and the next day I started physical therapy. For the first two weeks I did my own therapy exercises thanks to some youtube videos. After the stitches were removed two weeks following surgery I started physical therapy with my therapist and started to ride a bike at the gym in order to help me with bending the knee. By 6 weeks post op I was at 155 degrees and could straighten the knee 100%. My surgeon told me to focus on ROM first and once that was accomplished to start to work on strengthening the leg muscles. The most important thing post op is PT, and yes taking pain meds prior to PT is crucial, especially to get the ROM to 155 degrees. I will not lie in that the pain to get the knee to bend was the worst part. There were times that I thought my therapist was going to break my leg. I just gutted it and took my pain pills an hour before my appointment. Helped a lot. My doctor's staff call me their "rock star". I do still have stiffness but it has not affected my ROM. My knee replacement was with a Conformis implant. New technology in that my parts are based on a Cat Scan taken of my entire leg. The parts were engineered just for me. I am waiting for my Conformis knee implants for the other knee and hope to have the surgery done in October. I continue to ride the bike at the gym 4-5 days per week as well as exercises to gain strength on the quad muscle. Exercise, PT, ice, elevation, and a lot of patience. My surgeon tell me that the true recovery time can take up to a year. I hope this helps others. My plan is to play lots of Golf this December.
Posted @ Sunday, September 01, 2013 1:13 PM by Tressa
Since April 2007,I have had three total surgeries, one revision and one temporary component while recieving introvenous anti-biotics all on the same leg.As of present even after completing therapy, my knee will only bend 90 degrees.
Atotal of five surgeries and still with constant pain
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 7:30 AM by Peter R. De Santis
My mother had tkr done three and half months back, still having stiffness on the side of knees, when does it disappear? while getting up from chair also it pains.
Posted @ Friday, September 13, 2013 6:09 AM by lalitha
I had a LTK Nov 2011. I still have stiffness at times( feels like a metal brace),No swelling, extension is 0, but flexion is barely 90. I am very active,did my PT and home exercises for 3 months. I workout 6days a week, dance 3nights a week, work full time(OR nurse), do all my housework and yard work. My Dr never wanted to do a MUA, said flexion would come if I kept working at it.(thought he would fracture my femur- his words). Going down steps slow is difficult, I want to ride a bike again. Am I asking too much?
Posted @ Saturday, September 14, 2013 9:54 AM by CLA
I had TKR 3/29/13 and started PT immediately. After my therapist was able to get me to an ROM of 100, two months ago, I am now only able to reach 90 on my own and 95 with his assistance. I am scheduled for manipulation in three days. I still have PT three times a week but nothing seems to relieve the extreme stiffness and peg-leg walk I have developed. I understand that perhaps the manipulation would have been more effective had it been done sooner, but my surgeon was hesitant. I don't want to have unrealistic expectations - but I hope and pray this gives me more mobility. Any advice?
Posted @ Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:26 PM by BeJa
BeJa--IMHO, it is too late for a manipulation to be more beneficial than harmful. More surgery = more scar tissue, more inflammation, more pain. I would work really hard at the PT. Make it the whole focus of your life for 6 weeks. You would have to do this after manipulation anyway. Research, go to different therapists, try massage, myofascial release, supplements, anything you can find that will reduce inflammation and stretch those muscles and ligaments. I really think, based on what I've read and understood, that manipulation past three months post-op has the potential to do more harm than good. Stretch, work, and be diligent. More surgery is probably not the answer at this point.
Posted @ Monday, September 16, 2013 7:35 AM by suzanne
I am encouraged to know I am no alone in my quest for post surgery expectations and conditions.
Left TKA 8/2012, had MUA post 8 wks (flexion was 114 under anthesia) and I was hopeful. OS kept me in therapy longer than most and I worked so very hard. (prof. fitness background before surgery) I knew how important the exercise and daily work at home to continue getting good flexion, but I am so discouraged now. I am due to go back for my 1 yr. recheck.
I am grateful for the life w/o arthritis pain but the stiffness and weakness in the tka leg is wearing me down. I had 3 surgeries prior to the tka for various tears and damage over the years and I was told I have lots of scar tissue. I don't know what to do next. I can live this way if I must but its very difficult having had a active lifestyle and now I am so limited. I'm only 55.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:58 AM by Leisa
Had a partial knee replacement on Aug. 1, 2013. Rom is between 125 and 127. Clicking noise now in the area of the partial plus still having pain. Also have a small knot on the right side of my knee that moves when palpated, He says this is fluid. Doctor says the clicking is scar tissue and the pain is from inflammation and synovial fluid, and that this will eventually go away. He prescribed Mobic for the inflammation (it will take 3-4 weeks to work) and wants to see me in a month (Nov. 1) If I am still having the pain he will give me a shot. He also said that on in rare instances they have to go back in with the scope and remove the scar tissue. Is this normal? My hobby is competitive dog agility and I hope to get back out there. I will be 64 in November, I realize that it takes time to heal, but I am starting to wonder if this is normal. I am a nurse and work in a nursing home with lots of walking, am supposed to go back to work later this month.
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 7:05 AM by Sandy
Hi. I am age 61. Displaced patella fracture 6/17/13. Surgery 6/20/13. Started PT at 4 weeks. Having problems with ROM and stiffness, and still not walking unaided. Can force ROM to 110 degrees with much pain, but can only use about 90 degrees freely, and with pain and stiffness. Will the pain and stiffness go away in time? OS wants to do MUA... seems a bit too late for that? Don't know if I want to risk it. Trying to gain more ROM with PT at this point seems to be a waste of money and time, and the pain of forcing the flexion is severe. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions.
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 6:32 PM by Ron
Glad to also hear I am not alone, not that I want any of you to suffer. I am 5 weeks post op and have only 55 degrees flex. My knee bled a lot after surgery so I did not have any bending physio as such for three weeks. The stiffness is very frustrating, it feels like you take one step forward and three steps backwards. How much force does it really take to bend the knee? Or should it just be given time with the normal exercises and the CPM? Some days are good and some are not so good!! Any advice will be very welcome and strength to one and all!
Posted @ Friday, October 11, 2013 6:51 AM by Angela
I had T.K.R on the 12th august & I'm experiencing a lot of pain & stiffness,I had fluid taken from my knee& still having problems,I'm not sure,if the next course is manipulation,will this improve my problem of constant pain & stiffness,
Posted @ Saturday, October 12, 2013 4:54 PM by pat.blow
I had a surgery 5 years back, i acheived an angle of 95° by exercises, i discontinued special exeercises, and i m still with same ROM, but now i want to increase my ROM, is it possible after 5 ears of surgery, please suggest
Posted @ Saturday, October 12, 2013 5:10 PM by tarun
Angela, I had 2 manipulations before I was able to get past 110°. It was very frustrating. Be encouraged, after 5 weeks post-op I was @ 45°. I'm considering getting the other knee done bit to be honest, I'm afraid of going through it again!
Posted @ Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:46 PM by Barbara
Had total knee repl. in 2006, stiff knee right away; no improvement after MUA; had partial revision 2007 with heavy scar tissue removed but afterwards scar tissue became even worse. After 7 years I am still suffering with extreme stiffness and ROM which is not even 85. Surgeons tell me scar tissue is "like cement; once it's there it's there for good"....is there any hope I can get some relief? The knee replacement ruined my life.
Posted @ Sunday, October 13, 2013 8:48 PM by Carole
pat.blow. All I can say is the manipulation I had 3 months post- op TKR, did absoutely nothing for my knee stiffness.I don't want to discourage you, but if you're taking a poll,that was my experience. I am almost 7 months post-op and still have a stiff knee..not much pain though.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:01 AM by Dottie
It has been 6 weeks since my PKR. I have been experiencing the stiffness like everyone else. I am doing pretty well but of course wish I could walk normally. I almost feel like my leg is not real. My real problem is at night where I am so uncomfortable. Toss and turn and quite agitated. My leg is so achey and a little painful. I am off all meds except for the occasional Percocet at night, which now does nothing. Does anyone else have achiness (sp?) at night? I would kill for a good night's sleep! It is great to hear everyone's experiences. I have been going to PT twice a week and to the gym twice a week. My PT said yesterday when I had trouble stepping up with my operated leg that my quad has forgotten how to work properly. Wow. It is true, I cannot step up without locking my knee. I was athletic before and thought I would recover so quickly. It has only been 6 weeks but I have read that you are pretty much back to your normal activities at 6 weeks. I don't know what that means exactly but it can't mean back to playing tennis. Can't walk my dogs yet. Should I be able to now?
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:37 AM by Janet Knowlton
Janet, I had TKR in Feb, so I can't compare my problems to yours.If your quad is not "awake", I suggest E-stims...a neuromuscular electric stimulator to wake it up.I used it for 2 wks and it worked.Your PT should be able to get that for you. My husband is scheduled for PKR Oct 30, so we'll see how he does and we will get back with you. His Dr told him he should be completely recovered in 2 months.Sure hope so.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:05 PM by Dottie
For Janet Knowlton: It will be 11 weeks tomorrow and I am still having pain. The pain tends to move around from where the replacement is, down the leg and on the outside of my knee, that started during PT. Got a sharp pain while doing squats, thought sure I torn the meniscus on the outside, really hurt for several days. The DR. says it's fluid, but there is a small knot there that you can move. The clicking is still there (scar tissue) It did feel better today. I take Tylenol #3 @ night, but I think ibuprofen would do the same thing. I haven't slept more then 3-4 hours @ a time since the surgery. At first I couldn't get comfortable because I had to sleep on my back and it hurt to sleep curled up on my right side, now I think it's habit. My doctor keeps saying this is normal and that it was major surgery. I am going back to work on Saturday, as I said in my previous post, I am a nurse in a nursing home and am on my feet 6 hours out of 8. I also plan on going back to dog agility class the middle of November. I'll just be careful. I have very good ROM, but I am not pain free. Hang in there.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:40 PM by Sandy Golden
Thanks for the info. Dottie - After my PT sessions my PT puts on some electrical things and then the ice pack. Is that what you are talking about? I did ice my knee before bed last night (which I have not being doing) at the advice of my PT. That helped a bit with the achiness until later in the night. He also broke up a lot of scar tissue yesterday along the scar. Wow that hurts! PT is tough! My ROM is good I think. He measured it at 120. So glad to have found this site! Nobody knows how this feels until you have been through it...
Posted @ Friday, October 18, 2013 7:46 AM by Janet Knowlton
Janet, 120 sounds great for flexion. I do well to get 106. I also have a lot of scar tissue. Had manipulation but the scar tissue came right back. The electric things you are using sound like E-stims but I had to use mine for 30 min 3x a day.Your last statement is oh so true!!!
Posted @ Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:18 AM by Dottie
Seems like everyone posts about flexion when they talk about ROM. I have about 110 flexion, which is functional. My problem is extesion. I am 2 years post-op, and my extension is plus 10, that is, ten degrees from straight. I don't expect any improvement in the extension, but just wondering if anyone else is living with an extension deficit, and looking for any tips about compensating. I can walk ok, but my knee starts hurting if I go very far, and my hip is often achey too, from the altered gait. If anyone has any experience or tips, I would love to hear from you. I also have a torn tendon in my ankle from trying so hard to straighten my knee.
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 7:29 AM by Suzanne
I'll have to find out about e-stims. I only have them on twice a week for 10 minutes at a time. New issue! Two weeks ago I had 3 internal stitches that were supposed to dissolve poke through the suture line and it looked like I had an infection. Sure enough. The doctor opened up the scar and pulled up 3 and cut them off. Went on antibiotics for 10 days. Well two days ago that same area looked like it was getting very red again. I actually wondered if all the is massage on my scar was causing this redness. It looks like it did 2 weeks ago so off to the doctor I will go this morning. This is so frustrating because I feel like I keep taking two steps back. Has anyone else had this happen? I suspect the infection never fully went away.
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 8:00 AM by Janet Knowlton
I am so glad to know that I'm not the only one going through this pain and continuous stiffness in my left knee. I had TKR in April 2012. I began therapy at a local rehab hospital because my surgery and doctors were about 30 miles away. My doctor was not pleased with my progress after 7 weeks. He recommended and performed knee manipulation in July 2012. I had to start therapy all over again but this time at their rehab clinic (within their office complex). All went well until my Nov. 2012 follow up. I had gone from 0 to 120 ROM. But still experiencing stiffness, swelling, and pain. The therapist recommended maintenance. I had to pay that "out of pocket." He suggested that I didn't use all of my rehab days allowed by insurance. Well, since that time, my husband changed jobs and insurance. That's another long story. End result; my general practioner recommended another MRI to be done in June 2013. But my foot doctor (same orthopedic clinic) recommended foot surgery on the right foot (osteoarthritis, bone spurs, etc.)Deductible of $2500 had to be paid. So I opted to have foot surgery first; then a month later, get the MRI on left knee (TKR). Insurance company denied because they said that it was "not a necessasity" because it was more than 4 weeks after the initial therapy ended!! I had the dynasplint but I sent it back because it cost too much to keep renting ($395!!!). I want to go back to work full time but I can't sit or stand for long periods due to this stiffness and pain. I thought that TKR at least after a year would remedy pain. I need this MRI to prove that "something is not right." I am medically and financially bankrupt from paying copays and fees and etc. and getting no better. I try to walk and stretch and exercise to help it but somethings that makes it worst. Any suggestions. I am so tired of this.
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 4:58 PM by Cheryl
nice in one breath to know I am not the only one but also sad that we are suffering, I am 51 had a partial oct 2012 lucky as in the UK and supported by national Health service, had the surgery to mobolise joint about 3 months ago and three weeks ago steroid injection, knee is still worse than prior to surgery and now the other knee and hip is suffering I would imagine as a result of all the extra work I am on 15 ml oramorph 3 times a day and MST 3 at night and 3 in the morning along with ibubrofen I could easily in crease the morphine meds as still in pain, even though we have the nhs financially I am suffering as unable to work I must say all I can conclude is that this is for the longhaul, I was told after the first op that the reason I am struggling is I have fibromyalgia, part of me wishes that I had been informed earlier that this would impact on my recovery I may have postponed it for awhile.
Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:02 PM by Alison Parr
Hi my name is Jen 3 weeks ago I had alc surgery on my knee exercises and recovery are all going well about from one straight leg rise exercise I am finding impossible to do. Have tried everything to be able to do it by myself and nothing. Any advice on how to be able to do them?
Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:36 PM by Jen
not sure which on e you mean, do you mean sat upright and raising straight leg a few inches from floor/bed, I find this one easy but still after a year not completely straight, I think you have to ensure foot is straight also so knee not twisting,if I remember back initially very hard as the knee felt so heavy and thigh muscles rendered useless even though did pilates etc prior, I think it may be a case of keep trying but I am not a medic very early days for you, I was told to keep the meds up as these help you work harder whereas if in pain harder to do the exercises, maybe chat with a physio best wishes Alison
Posted @ Friday, October 25, 2013 4:10 PM by alison
I had TKR August 21st, I am stiff-legged too, my surgeon was going to do manipulation but my PT said not to do it, so we worked on my ROM which the surgeon liked when I went back. Now I am back with a stiff leg again, I try extremely hard to walk properly but my leg feels like a block of wood once I have been sitting. I too went through weeks of insomnia due to pain, I now take two Tylenol for arthritis at night, they are timed-release so keep me asleep for a good few hours...what a relief. Just starting water therapy, it feels good but the benefits don't seem to last too
long. So many of us here seem to regret having the surgery, I know I do.
Posted @ Friday, October 25, 2013 6:02 PM by Ann
Ann, if it's only been 2 months since your TKR, plese don't despair. It's been 8 months since mine, and yesterday I walked 2 miles, mowed the yard and washed windows. Except for not so great of a bend, I can do about anything that I was used to doing before. Please, give it some more time. I'm still giving it a year for a complete healing.Hang in there.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:46 AM by Dottie
Ann - I just cracked up reading your post. It is NOT funny but you nailed it on the head with your leg feeling like a block of wood. I am too going thru this. had my surgery Sept 4. I am so sick of not walking properly.I just can't keep from walking with a straight leg. I am trying to take longer walks and then it seems my other side hurts obviously because of the not walking correctly. it is so frustrating to be doing all this PT and exercises and then five minutes after sitting it's like none of this did any good. Does anyone have trouble walking down stairs like a normal human? I still have to go down one step at a time. My surgeon said "oh this is an easy surgery" and you'll be back to playing tennis. I honestly cannot see me every playing tennis. It's been 8 weeks. Still don't feel like I can walk my dogs! The insomnia is killing me. I'll have to try the Tylenol for arthritis. Nothing has worked so far for this horrible night pain and thrashing around. I do hope I can look back and say I am glad I did the surgery but not now. I still can't tell if this worked or not because of all the surgery pain...ugh.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:55 AM by Janet Knowlton
Ann: I agree with your PT; don't do the manipulation. For me, it just put me back to square one. Work on your exercises....in addition, the manipulation is very severe and can possibly damage the prosthesis...You are only 2 months from surgery....way too soon to worry. Good luck.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:49 PM by Carole
Hi Carole, Jane and Dottie !!
Thanks for the words of encouragement, I guess I never expected my recovery to take so long, I was healthy and fit when I went for surgery now I feel like an old lady !! Saw the surgeon yesterday he grabbed my knee and tried to bend it, of course I resisted and he said my ROM was not as good as before...of course not, I wasn't expecting him to do that. Water therapy is very nice and feels good afterwards but I am soon stiff again. I got some exercises today for my ham strings, which the PT thought might be causing the pulling feeling at the back of my knee. Let's hope it improves.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:47 PM by Ann
I've read all the way down the blog, every one of your experiences, and relate to each of them. Thank you so much for posting. I had TKR October 1 and I am still in therapy--two weeks to go. I am coming along slowly, but surely. I have a flex of 100--with the therapist pushing hard and an extension of plus 3. Like so many of you, I sleep terribly. My PT thought I'd do a lot better than I have. He expected I'd be 90 flexation at about 10 days. That never happened. I hope I can accomplish 115 flex at the end of therapy, but I don't see how that can happen either. It is truly a slow process for me.
Posted @ Saturday, November 02, 2013 5:52 PM by Muriel
thanksgiving 2011 I had tkr.almost 2 years later I only have 70%.i have also been addicted to pain killers and have 22 months of sobriety with the help of aa and na.im normally very active at 55 years old.im afraid if I have the manipulation I will relapse.dont know what to do
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 8:01 PM by richard l
So what is everyone's definition of stiffness? Might be a weird question but does it also involve the feeling of squeezing, like something is tied really tight around your knee? Also, what about numbness? I still have that and it is creepy. Lastly, does it drive anyone else crazy to have sheets touch your knee area? I am constantly trying to prop the sheets up so they don't touch it. I spent the weekend walking quite a lot as we attended my son's college parents weekend. My leg feels so foreign and walking certainly does not loosen things up.
I so wish it would bend correctly when walking. Unlike a lot of you, I have very good ROM @120. 2-3% extension. BUT things do not seem to be getting better but staying the same. Still going to PT although this is my last week. PT wants me to go another 6 weeks. That will make 12 weeks plus the 2 weeks at home right after surgery. For those of you that feel normal, how long does this really take to walk normally and feel no pain?
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 8:14 AM by Janet Knowlton
Had TKR ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2013. After six therapy visits I couldn't bend my left knee no more than 63 degrees. My orthopedic doctor recommended manipulation which was done November 1, 2013. Went to therapy the same day as told and the therapist bent my knee back to 100 degrees at least ten times. The pain was horrible I pulled a muscle in my thigh. My entire leg is swollen and I am not able to at least walk the same as before the manipulation. I refuse to go back to therapy. What shall I do? Also was the therapist supposed to bend my knee back that far causing me extreme pain?
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 12:19 PM by Myra Minor
I think it is way to late to have manipulation, can you go back to Physio? Can you walk normally? if so, ROM doesn't matter.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 6:48 PM by Ann
This is my 3rd post.It will be 14 weeks on 11-7-2013 since I had my Right PKR. I am on my second month of taking Mobic for inflammation and it seems to be working. I can still feel the scar tissue, but he says it will go away. Pain is much less, only really hurts if I am on it for very long periods. Only taking ibuprofen or Tylenol arthritis. Went back to my doctor on Nov. 1, he told me it can take up to a year for your leg to feel normal. I also had a lot of pain on top of the incision. I still wear sweat pants instead of jeans most of the time because of that. ROM is still good. What bothers me most is driving for more than 30 minutes @ a time. I am slowly starting to feel better.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 11:20 AM by Sandy Golden
Richard--It is definitely too late for manipulation. That would do more harm than good at this point. Janet, I had that tight feeling too, about the first 3 months, then it went away. I have numbness on the outside of my knee from the partial knee in 09. It never went away, but didn't get worse with the full knee in 11. I envy some of you with the ROM over 110, and especially your extension being 2 or less. My extension is 12, and tht makes it hard to walk right, or especially to stand for any length of time. Very frustrating. If you have full extension, or close to it, be happy about that! I would trade a few degrees of flex for a straighter leg!
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 11:34 AM by Suzanne
Myra: I do NOT believe forced bending is the answer. I had MY TKR in 2006 and unfortunately developed heavy scar tissue right away despite the CPM machine for 6 weeks and immediate PT. It should not be necessary to bend the knee forcefully but it should be done gently and little by little. I did not return to the therapist who insisted on severely bending my knee. I am now seeing a therapist who uses myofascial release which is a form of gentle soft tissue manipulation and I am not in agony afterwards. If you can, try swimming. It's a great and gentle way of bending knee without force. Good luck.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 3:48 PM by Carole W.
Myra:- That is a horror story about the PT bending your knee like that, mine did a little but if I said ouch, he stopped. Could have done untold damage.
Sandy:- Everyone is different, I have friends who recovered in no time, but I am still stiff and cannot stand for too long without pain, a friend who had it a year ago told me to work for 10 minutes then sit for 10 minutes and I think she is right! I can bend my knee no problem but once I stand it seems to lock. I am doing pool therapy and it is helping (I hope)
Posted @ Wednesday, November 06, 2013 6:14 PM by Ann
I had Total knee replacement on 8/5/13 and immediately had the stiff knee and I walked stiff legged. I am 66 years old, a farm gal, and weight 134 lbs. On October 8, 2013 I had manipulation and the doctor took a picture showing that my knee bent to 140 and since then not much improvement. I am 100 days after surgery and I can ride the stationery bike at therapy, the CPM machine at 125 and get up and walk down the hall and the leg is straight, the pain has been terrible, restless nights, any suggestions from anyone. I go to water therapy also. I feel the knee is like a tight rubber band and I believe after researching the high flex joint that was put in is to tight. Thanks for any help. I enjoy reading all your comments. Good luck to all. This has been the worst experience of my life.
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 12:56 PM by Lil Simon
Hi, I had a meniscus repair 2 1/2 weeks ago and developed aDVT (blood clots )within days of the surgery. I am now on blood thinners for at least 6 months and my pt has been postponed until my blood level (INR) is in a therapeutic range. This "simple" surgery has turned into a nightmare! I currently have very limited range of motion in my knee and it fells rather stiff. My primary concern are these clots in my leg as if they move, my life is in jeapardy. Has anyone had a similar experience? I am concerned about scar tissue forming and being crippled now for the rest of my life! I am just 46 years old
Posted @ Friday, November 15, 2013 3:26 PM by Karen SAul
wow, the comments are great and most insightful...thanks.
my TKR was 10/02 thank god i rid myself of the walker and cane. I have been very concerned about the pain killers... doc said some stay on em for a YEAR...not me.
it was strange, before the tkr i swam every other day...like a dolphin...yet today, my almost 3rd swim... my knee felt totally frozen. i could do laps, yet the more i relaxed and swam it was frozen??
re the BIKE, in p.t. i shocked myself and the p.t after 9 session i could go round 5 seperate times on the BIKE. When i tried this after a 40 minute warm up and p.t.
exercise sets at the gym...only 2 rounds.
i know this knee thing has great results [a neighbor with cancer had two and walks 3 miles daily].
i havent liked walking for decade,only long ocean swims and biking...guess i must change my vogue.
regardless, i could stand and wax my suv for 2 hours, and do dishes in the sink. Maybe i need a shink? jajajaja BE happy we got our knee done before obamacare... blue shield canceled me in 2014 so im in a hurry to get better. fast.
also, remember the KNEE IS FAKE, thats why it must be awaken''... and work with the positive daily results.
my operation was done 80percent by robotics, and i got a 30 yr. guarantee...wont be here to force that contract.
3 yrs ago, drs' in bangkok said the usa replacement only last 10 years ...not now.
best wishes to all of you brave folks. keep moving.
Posted @ Friday, November 15, 2013 11:04 PM by paul
Lil, I totally understand your frustration. Unfortunately, many like us do not have those miracle replacements without any problems. Some stiffness will just NOT go away as in my case 7 years after the surgery. The last surgeon I saw told me scar tissue was "like cement; once it's there it's there for good"....that is NOT what I hoped to hear, but sadly it's the truth....at the risk of repeating myself, I would NOT recommend MUA as it can really damage the prosthesis and make matters worse. They REALLY jerk your knee pretty violently during a manipulation and I still believe whatever is done should be gently. I am going to continue the myofascial release therapy to see if there is any improvement. Good luck to everyone and don't give up.
Posted @ Saturday, November 16, 2013 8:39 AM by Carole W.
I thought I was alone with my knee stiffness. Three and a half years later, several hundred pounds spent on PT, regular visits to the gym and the pool and here I am, about 75 degrees bend. Problems from the start; Manipulation under anaesthetic helped a bit, and 6 months later, I had the knee opened and scar tissue removed. After this I did manage to get nearly 90 degrees once but no longer. No idea what to try next but I must do something as the other knee, is becoming very painful and the flex very poor.
So, do I push to have the first removed and replaced, and do I have the second one replaced?
Stairs, sitting down putting socks on and even putting trousers on is becoming hard. (golf is tough too!)
Question, would you risk a second knee after all the problems with the first? The thought of two non- functioning knees does not make me feel this decision is easy! And who says knee surgery has over a 95% success rate!
Posted @ Sunday, November 24, 2013 12:32 PM by Steve Sanders
Hi everyone, I appreciate all of you who write in and share and I thank you all for responding to my problems. After my TKR on 8/5/13 and Manipulation on 10/8/13, I have gone backwards. I go to therapy 5 days a week and also to water therapy. I still cannot walk normal, of course the doctor will not take blame. The high flex joint he put in my knee I feel is to tight. I am going to Mayo for a evaluation. The thought of another surgery makes me ill. I have tried to remain positive, but it surely takes a toll on you. My PT has been wonderful and has tried so hard. My doctor and his staff are so rude. My back is now hurting me and I guess it is from the way I am
walking. Good luck to everyone. Lil
Posted @ Tuesday, November 26, 2013 9:08 AM by lil simon
Statistics show that most people lose about 10 degrees of ROM with each revision of total knee. So, if you don't like your range now, wait till you have it rivised! I had a partial knee that was just never right, always painful, but my ROM was good. (0-128 deg) After two years of PT, pain, and no change, I decided to have it revised to a total knee. What a mistake! I was never able to get past 110 degrees, and now, two years later, I have about 100 on a good day. Also never got the knee straight, and I am no living with a "functional" 12 degree flexion contracture. In other words, my knee is always bent to about 12 deg. This makes it difficult to walk and to stand, and I have hip and low back pain if I try to do very much. I should have just made the best of the partial knee, or better yet, never have done it at all. I would much rather live with a painful natural knee than a stiff, messed-up fake one! Just my two cents. I would try rehab and the pool and reducing my expectations before I would ever have another TKR!
Posted @ Tuesday, November 26, 2013 3:57 PM by Suzanne
LIL:- So sorry to hear of your problems, I too have suffered similar problems, I had my TKR on Aug 21st and had the the usual Physio, pool therapy etc., my knee refuses to bend when I put weight on it, but is fine when sitting down and laying bed etc., I am seeing my PT next week for an accessment, so will see what he thinks....and NO, would never had it done if I had known and will not have my other one done.
Posted @ Thursday, November 28, 2013 6:13 PM by Ann
I am slightly more optimistic now about the frustrations I am feeling regarding this whole TKR I had done. I had my left knee done on 10-21-13 and I woke up during the surgery on 2 separate occassions to the sound of hammering...I should've known from that point on things were going to be rough.
I try to tell my friends about how the doctors treat you like an object on an assembly line with this recovery and expect everyone to be at the same recovery point with in the same amount of time and if you're not, they're mad at you about it and threaten the manipulation.
I'm glad I have read through all of the comments cuz I have to go back to doc in a few days and the manipulation will coome up again and from what I've been reading, it's no guarantee. My gut tells me not to do it just yet because there's just something wrong in my mind with using such unnatural force against your body like that. Reading everything everyone has said has given me the courage to tell the doctor on Tuesday that I need to prolong the manipulation procedure. Basically buy more time to try and work on this thing more slowly. I see my chiropractor tomorrow, a day before the follow up with the knee doc, and he is going to try to use the electrical stuff to help me out. Better to try all conservative methods before doing the manipulation.
I'm not going to get caught up in the numbers with ROM because we have to be where we feel comfortable and functional. Isn't what this is all about no pain (comfort) and able to walk and be active (function)?
Thanks for everyone's input and if I find something that helps me improve my ROM and tight muscles I will share.
PS: Please, from my experience, anyone who takes Hydrocodone regularly for pain be VERY careful, you might not know you are addicted to it. I was having side effects of heavy depression and thoughts of hurting myself from it which scared me so I took myself off of it cold turkey and went into withdrawls which lasted for a solid 5 days and as of todays I still feel slightly nauseous. It's like you're mind isn't addicted (oh I've got to have it) but it seems like your body gets addicted without you really knowing it, until you don't take it anymore and then it just goes nuts. Anyway, that was just my experience with that particular pain med. Now, I just take Oxycodone(1 pill) prior to PT and that's it.
Good luck to all and if anyone wants to support each other on a more one-to-one level here's my email address:firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a disposable account so anyone thinking about spamming me it's useless cuz all I have to do is delete this one and create a new one :-)
Posted @ Sunday, December 08, 2013 7:22 AM by Paula P
Paula, it looks as if you were spammed already as your e-mail address is not recognised. I'll reply to you on this site later.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 5:45 PM by Ann
Long story I'll try to shorten it. I was injured 6/20/13 at the time the only issue that showed up was a DVT in my left leg. My leg bent and stayed that way. In August they finally decided I needed PT (couldn't walk or straighten my left leg) now in December finally received a MRI I have a torn ACL and meniscus. But before they can fix it they want to fix the incredibly stiff knee. By manipulating it. I was wondering how painful is this going to be...
Posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:09 PM by Linda
Knee is finally doing better. I had a PKR on Aug. 1, 2013. Swelling and inflammation had greatly decreased and then I missed the last step going to my basement. I stepped out, thinking I was at the bottom and my leg jarred and bent more then ususal. I didn't fall, but it became warm and swollen again. This happened on the 3rd, It is now feeling better again. I do notice that the cold and damp weather make it more painful. Anyone else have that problem? On a positive note, I was able to run my dog in a dog agility trial on Black Friday and it didn't bother me.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:35 PM by Sandy
Sandy - so do you have any stiffness at all? I had my partial a month later than you. Yes I do think the cold freezing weather makes my knee hurt more. My PT agreed. What about walking completely normal. Are you? I still am pretty straight legged. It's been 3 months. That's great you can run! I sure couldn't. I just hope that I can get back to playing tennis in the spring.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:49 PM by Janet Knowlton
Didn't realise that this was a blog mainly aimed at the USA. Not an issue, but the drugs mentioned seem different to the ones offered in the UK.
Just to add a couple of observations:
Manipulation Under Anaesthetic (MUA) did nothing for me. BUT, I think it would have been successful if the machine they strapped to my leg to bend the knee had been left working for longer. It was used for about 15 hours and at that time, I was achieving nearly 90 degrees. Within a day of coming off, I was back to 80 and now back to about 75 degrees.
So the message is:
It doesn't hurt as you are under anaesthetic
Ask the doctor to put you on a bending "gizmo" and try to keep it on for several days. I am sure this would have helped.#
By the way, I also had an arthroscopy on the knee and much scar tissue was removed. Didn't help!
Good luck from a damp, but sunny winter day in the UK.
Posted @ Thursday, December 12, 2013 6:09 AM by Steve
13 weeks post op. right TKR, lot of swelling and stiffness. Sleepless nights are rough along with nerve pain shooting up to my hip. Back to work at 11 weeks. Still in therapy 3 times a week after work. 51 year old male and walk as if I'm 90. Been reading a lot of post that it'll take close to a year to completely heal. I spent 6 years bone on bone prior to the TKR. My Quad muscle still isn't anywhere back to normal. My PT is using the tens unit to "wake up" the Quad. This has helped a bit. best feeling in the world is elevation and ice. ROM is at 105 flexion and +3 extention. Sure hope with more therapy it get's better.
Posted @ Thursday, December 12, 2013 11:59 AM by Chris
Janet, Yes, I still have some stiffness, especially after being on my feet for a long time. I am a nurse in a nursing home and am only working part time right now, but after 8 hours I am stiff, plus if I bake or do anything in the kitchen where I am on my feet a long time, it gets stiff. I find if I wear Asics instead of house slippers it helps. Although my doctor told me I didn't need one, I wear a brace when I run and it's not like running a marathon, you only run 2-3 minutes @ a time in class and at a trial, you only run for a minute or so. It still hurts when I go up and down stairs. I have scar tissue also, he says that should go away eventually. I am on Mobic for inflammation, it does help. I walk fairly normally, I do limp a little @ times. It seems, I have good days and bad days as far as pain and stiffness. The only other med I take is ibuprofen. I still do the dog leash exercise, the one where you hook the loop around your foot and pull your leg and drag your heel until your knee is bent as far as possible and then pull it a little bit more. This does help with the stiffness and pain. My ROM is 133 now.
Posted @ Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:22 PM by Sandy
Janet:- I am three months after a TKR and still stiff legged, my PT cannot understand it and is going to try me on the treadmill next week, it is so frustrating when I can bend my knee when sitting or in bed but once I stand it is like it locks up. I was in the Mall today and had to frequently stop due to pain mainly in the back of my knee. What fun eh?
Posted @ Saturday, December 14, 2013 6:56 PM by Ann
Hello all,It saddens me to read all of this. I had tkr 20th august 2013. I have a total straight leg. Cannot bend it at all. In severe pain 24/7.Had MUA on 9th December 2013. Pain much worse, cannot sleep. Please help. My life has been turned upside down.
Posted @ Sunday, December 15, 2013 5:27 PM by Catherine
Had Tkr Oct 1 2013 started therapy at hospital . Could not stand food for 24 days . After much pain for three weeks and unable to do therapy properly Surgeon took me off pain meds and told me to only take Tylenol only as Ibuprofen slowed the bones from healing .
therapist And I figured out I came out of surgery with a disc problem in my back . After 6 wks therapy , back is better but knee has fallen behind . Can't straighten -15 but bend is useable .dr want to do manipulation under anesthesia . I'm afraid of back problems again. He say if I don't do it now I run risk of permanent bent knee or breaking the leg bone trying to do later than 10 wks . I probably will stick with therapy for another mo . Because of back. Had knee pain at night , sheets hurt due to nerves on surface of skin . Therapist said to rough it up with a scratchy towel 3or 4 times a day which got rid of the nerve pain. I think quads help straighten leg but might work against bending.i need to straighten . Lay on a Stomach with leg off bed at thigh hurts like hell but I believe it helps some 5 mins at first now 10 mins with 5 lb weight. Thinking about a dyna brace . Does it work? I believe the knee won't work without some pain . Stretching everything hurts. I ha ve scar tissue like gravels and it hurts now but will stretch and even tear as the flexion and straightening gets better. Swimming sounds good . May join YMCA. I feel for all of us . I guess it takes time for some of us . My wife had a TKR years ago and stayed on the CM machine . After 3 weeks she didn't even need therapy any longer. My doc didn't believe in it so I didn't get after hospital . I believe it would have helped knee but with the back problem maybe not. Keep working thru the pain and pushing the muscles and tendons to stretch and pain will go .ROM will improve . Knee is artificial so pain is from tendons and muscle and swelling . I have to Ice and reduce swelling to get anywhere but they are grAdully stretching.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:17 AM by David Odum
CATHERINE:- I am so sorry to hear of your distress, we have all felt the same - and some still do after months. Have you been back to your Doctor? I couldn't sleep properly for a long time until I found Tylenol Arthritis, I took two right before bed and I usually slept for about 5 hours straight, which helps with the healing. You definitely need help though.
DAVID:- Isn't it frustrating when someone close to you recovers in no time, my husband did, so he cannot understand why I have such problems with my walking, although he is sympathetic. It's not too long since surgery for you so don't push too hard.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:44 PM by Ann
I had partial. Knee replacement. On the 15th nov 2013 many sleepless nights feeling so low. After reading your blog i know im not on my own, thankyou sont much x
Posted @ Monday, December 30, 2013 4:20 PM by susan hurney
I am a 54yr old nurse who use to work in the operating room and can honestly say that TKR is the most brutal surgery that I know of. I am currently 7+weeks out from bilateral TKR on 11/13/13. I had 10 days of inpatient torture (I mean rehab) that left me in tears daily. Had 90-97 degrees Flexion & 3-7 degrees extension after rehab. I currently have 6 weeks of outpatient PT under my belt and progression is slow at best. A week ago I started having increased pain above the left knee cap and left outer back/bend of the knee which persists at this time and appears swollen. Haven't been able to lift the left leg without a lot of coaxing due to the pain. Am keeping it elevated and applying ice a few times daily. The right knee seems to be doing alright so I am keeping up with daily exercising when not @ PT. Have a follow-up with the ortho Dr. in a few days which hopefully will identify the source of pain.
I sometimes think I bit off more than I could chew....but I am hopeful to conquer what I feel is the greatest challenge of my life (bilateral TKR). My personal goal(s) is/are to be pain free (eventually) and to participate in activities with the grand children instead of observing from the sidelines due to being a victim of pain.
Would like to wish everyone participating in this blog the very best with their ongoing recovery. My new motto: One day at a time!
Posted @ Saturday, January 04, 2014 3:26 PM by Lorri
Had total right knee replacement on Nov 5, 2013, rom is 115 and extention is 10. My problem is the stiffness and the numbness. I cant sleep at night, I cant walk, stand or sit very long. I am still going to PT but nothing seems to help. If I could just get rid of this stiffness my life could return to normal.
Posted @ Saturday, January 04, 2014 5:13 PM by Patsy Boudreau
Lorri, I had a TKR in Feb of last
year and brutal is a good way to describe it.For you to endure a bilateral TKR makes you a hero.You will have a special place in Heaven, because you have done all your suffering here on earth. :-) Good luck with your recovery. I know you will be glad you had them both done when all is over. My sister-in-law had hers both done at the same time and she said it's a good thing she did because they'd have never gotten her back in there again.
Posted @ Monday, January 06, 2014 3:12 PM by Dottie
Follow up to Dec 17 posting .
I didn't go thru the manipulation and have been doing therapy on my knee in earnest now for about a month. today I got 114 degrees ROM and full extension for the first time since they got my back better with therapy. Riding the bike has helped with the tightness and ROM the most but just taking it easy between twice a week therapy seems to have helped the most with the pain and swelling .more than ice for me .when the swelling went down the pain whet down also and the ROM has increased greatly . I finally feel like I am getting somewhere and believe the worst is over. 97 days since surgery. Keep working at it and have patients and it will happen
Posted @ Monday, January 06, 2014 4:35 PM by David Odum
You are both in early stages yet, it is one step forward and two back with knees, I had right TKR in August and still some days I am very stiff, keep doing exercises and walking a little at a time, not too far yet.
Patsy, try Tylenol Arthritis, take two at night just before you go to bed, they are timed-release and will help you stay asleep - not all night but a good few hours.
Posted @ Monday, January 06, 2014 5:44 PM by Ann
I'm very happy to have found this site. It's been 5 weeks since surgery and sleep eludes me most nights. I'm going to try the arthritis medicine suggested here. Like many folks I can't take any of the narcotics as the make me very sick.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 07, 2014 6:38 PM by Debbie Savage
Hi all. I had a left TKR on Dec 10th 2013. I am on month out today. Still having pain with exercises that bring tears to my eyes. Have had a lot of spasms and a lot of tenderness and tightness behind the knee. I can do 105 on my own and 112 with assist. Not sleeping at night.
Also very cold most of the time. I though that would cease after surgery but continue to feel like an ice cube. Also very emotional. Cry at the drop of a hat. Is all of this normal???? There a moments when I truly regret having the surgery done. I have never experienced pain like with this surgery. And I am no stranger to surgery This is my 9th one in my life. Had bilateral breast reconstruction and that was a walk in the park compared to this one.
Good luck to all and hope we all start to feel better and get some quality of life back soon
Posted @ Tuesday, January 07, 2014 7:44 PM by chris
My surgery was June 20, 2013. After surgery, my flexion was 60. After twenty days inpatient rehab, my fexion was 90. After three months outpatient PT, it was 100. My physical therapist has has given me a set of exercises to do at home that are fine, but include few excercises that force the bend. When questioned about this, he said that he did not expect that I
could increase the flexion. I discussed this this with my othopedic doc and he felt that I should add exercises that force the bend. He stressed that I have a year to increase my flexion and it was important to include these exercises in my at home program. I am exercising two to three times a day at home and doing many exercises that force the bend, including using the NuStep once or twice a day. With the NuStep and certain other excercises, I can really ‘force the bend’, but I am concerned that in doing so, I might damage to my knee. I would appreciate any feedback as to should I increase the force on the bend as much as I can physically tolerate it or might this damage my implant or cause damage to surrounding tissue. Tks Doug
Posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 3:23 PM by Doug Fehr
October 2012 yes 2012 had partial knee am aged 51 now, osteo arthritis was the reason, was a runner, wish had never had it done, only recenrly getting more mobility feel like carrying a brick around where my knee should be, I can walk better now but after 20 mins with the dog walking knee then bad for rest of the day and night, only thing left now is a full knee but so worried recovery will be as bad or rather lack of it, I would advis e any one thinking of having a new knee to really think about it and if you have fibromyalgia like me really really think about it
Posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 4:27 PM by Alison Parr
p.s Have just had trigger finger surgery after repetitive strain injury created by the crutches so please be aware and change to palm crutches.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 4:52 PM by alison Parr
DEBBIE:- Let us know if the Tylenol works, it did for me and I can't take anything either !!
CHRIS:- Depression is very common after TKR surgery, especially in woman who are used to getting on with things and not sitting around. You should try the Tylenol Arthritis too, it was a Godsend to me.
DOUG:- Don't push the knee too far but keep on trying. Sit on a chair and push your operated leg back with the other one, do that a few times then rest. It helped me no end. Also laying in bed on my side and bending my knee really got it going well. Good luck all.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:48 PM by Ann
hi i had undergone open communited patella facture surgery before weeks and am unable to fold my knee and unable to lift it by myself what is the problem behind it. what should i have to do?
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 12:59 AM by ashok
Hello all. I had a partial on both knees, one in June 2013 and the oter October 2013. The parts were made by Conformis based of catscans of my legs. Both of my knees are very stiff and the patella (Knee cap) of both knees moves whenever I bend my knees. They make a clicking kind of sound. Have any of you had this same experience????? If so, please let me know how you are doing.
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 12:45 PM by Tressa
My right PKR was Aug. 1, I also noticed clicking or a gravelly feeling after about 4 weeks and thought it was the metal, but my Dr. says it is scar tissue and it should go away. I have gotten along fairly well according to some of the posts. My ROM or whatever is 133. It is still stiff @ times and now I am having some pain @ times down the outer part of my leg. I am able to run my dogs in agility class, but I am cautious of how I twist and turn. I am a nurse in a nursing home, can't stand to work more then 2 days in a row., because it will start hurting more. I am on Mobic (meloxicam) for inflammation and @ times it is still swollen and warm. I also take Tylenol Arthritis at times. My Dr. told me it could take up to a year to recover. I am scared to death of slipping on the ice this winter and falling on it. I am much more aware of how delicate knees are now.
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 7:20 PM by Sandy
I had my TKR back in October and already had one manipulation, I am doing all the exercises and going to my PT faithfully and I am still very stiff, I am at 75 flexion and 15 for extension. I am so frustrated, I don't know what to do, and my surgeon is throwing up his hands saying he doesn't know anymore what to do either. I am in constant pain, the pain is not a normal pain it is like a torture pain inside the knee, I am a veteran and my surgery was done at the VA. Any advise, please, anything!
Posted @ Wednesday, January 15, 2014 4:29 PM by joe
I had open wedge HTO on my right leg on 20th November 2013. My physiotherapist started my exercises the day after and hopping with one leg on walker support. After about 3+ weeks he started exercises with 1/2 kg and 1 kg weigh lifting straigt leg. Also I started walking with partial load bearing on opertaed leg. After one month he made me to do many exercises with even 1.5 kg weight and I got pain on the outerfrontside of my knee. By 6 weeks I was walking with almost 80% weight on operated leg.For pain and stiffness I used hot water bottle heating and I feel my pain and stiffness worsened. Also I don't have any sensation on the outerside along surgery stiches on the knee.
While walking I feel as if my muscle have got entangled and locked at that point - a very weird feeling.
I afraid if the implant inside got heated with hot compression has damaged my muscles and tissues inside as I was not having heat sensation may be it got overheated. Now its almost 3 weeks but there is no change.
What I can do to get rid of pain and stiffnesss. I tried ice pack, pain relieving gel but no improvement.
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 1:41 AM by upama darshan
Hi everyone - I want to offer some words of encouragement as I am finally feeling some! I have written above with all the same complaints of pain and stiffness as you all. It's been just over 4 months since I had my PKR. About two weeks ago I finally can walk completely normally. I also stopped PT at that time as I had 4 months of PT. My PT said it was "mental" that I could not walk correctly. As soon as my brain made the connection I have begun to completely walk normally. I am now walking my two Labs (strong dogs) for a good hour at a fast pace. I still have stiffness but the pain has really subsided. I am convinced this thing takes up to a 6 mos. to a year to get rid of all pain and stiffness. I still do my exercises and go to the gym. There is hope for the first time. I do not, however, know when I will feel like I can play tennis but I am hoping by March. So, I can now say give it TIME.
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 7:51 AM by Janet Knowlton
It is a sad fact that knees are very difficult to replace and heal from, everyone is different in their recovery time too. If you are not happy with your progress, get another opinion, I changed PT's as I had a stiff knee, I walked stiff legged for months, I am walking better now but still stiff in the morning and after sitting. My surgeon is happy with me and said it takes some people a year to fully recover. Try not to rely too much on pain meds except when doing PT. do your exercises every day. I had my TKR in August 2013 and still recovering.
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:06 PM by Ann
Janet, how encouraging to hear some positive news.I had a TKR (rt knee)in Feb of '13 (soon to be a year). Other than now having only about 106 flexion,mine is doing great. I was an avid walker for the last 25 years or more and was beginning to go for at least 2 mile walks again. Then about 6 months ago, I started having a lot of foot pain in my left foot. I went to the docs 5 times and had 3 xrays and they saw nothing.Finally it got so bad they ordered an MRI and found 3 stress fractures. I am sure I got them from pushing myself up from kneeling or sitting positions trying to compensate for the right knee.Now I am in a "boot" for 4 months til they heal.I am so depressed that after all the knee recovery, highly motivated so I could walk again, that I am back to not being able to exercise as I used to.Anyone else have such a situation?
Posted @ Friday, January 17, 2014 4:33 PM by Dottie
I have stiffness after knee repkacenent. I have the strength to clinb stairs. Have 97 degree fkexability. No real issues except for stiffness. Just saw surgeon for 6 week check up xrays look good. I was told to keep working at it by physically working on movement of knee and massaging t break uo scar tissue. Seems like it is working . Still concerned about stiffness or is thi normal since I am over weight
Posted @ Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:08 PM by bev yakimuk
I sustained a fracture of the distal end of femur in a car accident in September last year after which I went through surgery. Implants were use as the femur shattered into multiple fragments. My leg was put in full cast after 2weeks of surgery and subsequently removed after 6weeks. After 8weeks post surgery I commenced physiotherapy. Its now about 14weeks post surgery and I still have a range of motion less than 40Degrees despite physical therapy. Please is there anyway I through which I can get full range of motion. I am weight bearing already with serious accompanied by lots of pain. I need help.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 7:21 AM by Bayo
I sustained a fracture of the distal end of femur in a car accident in September last year after which I went through surgery. Implants were use as the femur shattered into multiple fragments. My leg was put in full cast after 2weeks of surgery and subsequently removed after 6weeks. After 8weeks post surgery I commenced physiotherapy. Its now about 14weeks post surgery and I still have a range of motion less than 40Degrees despite physical therapy. Please is there anyway I through which I can get full range of motion. I am weight bearing already with serious accompanied by lots of pain. I need help.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 7:26 AM by Bayo
I just wondered if anyone suffers with the knee still being consistantly stiff after partial knee rep 16 months after, feel like tight band around it carrying a brick all the time not pain now but just this constatnt stiffness/ache is this now to be how it is, surgeon has said nothing more to be done, had manipulation which freed it up a lot,finding it quite debilitating now on a permanenet basis,can't kneel,bend properly feels like this is now how it is, wish I had never had it done used to be so active,pilates/kettlebells/jogging now it is just walking the dog drugged up on MST and co-codomol just hoping some one out there can come bck to me and say they thought it would never end then one day they woke up and felt great, I am 51,reason for pkr WAS osteoarthritis.Thanks for reading
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:41 AM by Alison Parr
BAYO:- I would expect your recovery will take quite a bit longer than normal have had such an injury. Just keep doing your exercises and it will get better. What does your PT say about your progress?
A lot of people have stiffness - I did for a long time, but my Physiotherapist kept working on my bending motion and it got gradually better, so keep exercising, 6 weeks is early in your recovery, don't expect too much to soon.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:45 PM by Ann
I meant to ask:- Can any of you feel your implants ? Mine feel like blocks of wood in there.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:47 PM by Ann
I was riding a stationary bike and had it set at ten inches high . After riding ten min.i noticed more range of motion . I couldn't go all the way over the top at first . The therapist said to put my heel on the pedal and point my toes down . Then I could go all the way around . Over the last six weeks I have lowered the seat one inch each week and am now down to4 inches high . Rom has gone from 95 to 118. This has helped me a lot .i also rest knee between therapy and the swelling and pain has gone down since I started resting it allowing therapist to get farther.better than pushing it at home. Good luck to all and keep working at it . It will come
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 10:08 PM by David Odum
Ok; the patients who have recently had surgery and complaint of stiffness - most of you will be ok. But, what about we who are YEARS from our surgery and still are suffering stiffness which never gets any better? I have suffered for almost 8 years and no one has been able to give me any hope that my knee will ever feel better. My entire right LEG feels like a piece of wood and every step I take is uncomfortable. I can't bend it enough to sit in a theatre seat without extending my leg out in the aisle, I cannot walk down stairs normally. It's a hellish existence and I would never submit to another surgery. Scar tissue formed around my knee almost immediately after surgery and despite several arthroscopies appeared again.
Posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 11:16 AM by Carole
Hi everyone, After 5 months from my total right knee replacement and in October doctor did manipulation and things got worse, for some reason the ankle is swollen after the manipulation, I hear they use the foot to hold onto when doing the manipulation, perhaps that is the reason my ankle is messed up.I am still walking straight legged, still going to therapy. My doctor x-rayed the knee and did blood work and said everything is in place and no infection and it is up to me, unless I want exploratory surgery. I am suffering with my back from the way I walk. I have been on a waiting list for Mayo in Jacksonville, I feel I need a second opinion. I can ride the stationery bike at therapy. My knee seems to have knots on the right side. The pain is more tolerable, but so stiff and feels like I have a big baseball sitting on my knee. I am up and down all night. My flexion is 105. Any suggestions from anyone, from reading, it looks like a lot of us are going thru the same problems, thank you all for sharing. My biggest fear is having to have this redone. I would have stayed the way I was,IF I even thought this would end up this way. I get up every day and move around and do not sit around feeling sorry for myself, but it is beginning to take a toll on me. I only take the pain meds when desperate. My therapist seems to think I went backwards after manipulation and he works me very hard, which sometimes I think it makes it worse. Lil
Posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 12:04 PM by Lil Simon
to Carole 20/1/2014
sorry can't find how to respond to an exact comment hopefully you will read this. I am so so sorry and can hear your frustration I just want to wish you well, hard to read as this seems to be where I think I will be,however currently only 16 months of the feeling you have quoted, have just tried to come off pain killers MST,oramorph and co co domol to see if I was imagining the pain as sometimes people try to run that one by me, come to the conclusion my brain is functioning very well and the pain is so very genuine.I am so sorry you have endured so much pain for so long, I mentioned to my Consultant about other people having the same experience of stiffness as he was at a loss which made me feel like a hypochondriac, his comment was you only get people who have had a bad experience contacting forums, he still could not grasp that there must be a reason for this stiffness.I genuinely feel my knee has rejected the alien material implanted in it and is fighting as best as possible, wish I could have it taken out.best wishes and I hope you have some light soon.
Posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 12:04 PM by Alison Parr
to Carole 20/1/2014
sorry can't find how to respond to an exact comment hopefully you will read this. I am so so sorry and can hear your frustration I just want to wish you well, hard to read as this seems to be where I think I will be,however currently only 16 months of the feeling you have quoted, have just tried to come off pain killers MST,oramorph and co co domol to see if I was imagining the pain as sometimes people try to run that one by me, come to the conclusion my brain is functioning very well and the pain is so very genuine.I am so sorry you have endured so much pain for so long, I mentioned to my Consultant about other people having the same experience of stiffness as he was at a loss which made me feel like a hypochondriac, his comment was you only get people who have had a bad experience contacting forums, he still could not grasp that there must be a reason for this stiffness.I genuinely feel my knee has rejected the alien material implanted in it and is fighting as best as possible, wish I could have it taken out.best wishes and I hope you have some light soon.
Posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 12:04 PM by Alison Parr
CAROLE:- I am horrified to read your story:- 8 years??? Have you had a second or third opinion? You should do a computer search for an expert surgeon in your area or even out of your area, what does your Dr. say? What about your PT, could they refer you to someone competent to diagnose you? Please try and help yourself. Post again and let us know how you are progressing if you do decide to see someone else.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:55 PM by Ann
LIL:- So many of us here wish we had never had surgery, but of course, we can't go back. Reading other sites, it seemed too late for you to have manipulation. Anyway, keep doing your therapy, that is the only thing that got me going, I walked stiff-legged for months, I am walking a little better now but still am very stiff first thing in the morning, so it happens unfortunately. I had my surgery in August of 2013.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:00 PM by Ann
I had TKR 11/12/13 and it has not been a pleasure trip. I often wonder if I will see the light at the end of the tunnel. PT constantly forced flexion and got me to 90 but I could never get there by myself even after 8 was post-op. I had MUA 1/13/14 and it helped my flexion as now I am able to get to 101 on my own and extension +7. My extension laying down is better than standing. I have lots of swelling, scar adhesions keeping me up at night in pain and my lower back is killing me because of my inability to walk normally. I go to PT 5 Times a week and they are now working on building my quad muscle as I can't raise my leg on my own, something I was able to do before MUA. It is very frustrating as I thought this surgery would take away my pain but it has done just the opposite. I live in pain but refuse to live on painkillers. I take naproxen or ibuprofen throughout the day. I am going to try the Tylenol Arthritis at night as others say it worked. I am at a loss and everyday is a challenge. I think the doctor doesn't believe me when I tell him about my pain and he can't believe that I still use the cane. He makes me feel like I am crazy sometimes. I am thinking about switching doctors and finding some answers. I can't let this scar tissue take over. I am 44 yrs old and want to go back to work. I am a schoolteacher and stand 80% of y day. How will I ever do that again? I have read many of the posts and can see I am not alone but would love some feedback. Btw I also have used the dynasplint and hate it! It costs a lot of money to rent but causes me to have such great pain that I hate using it. Maybe I should try it at night.....that is a thought.
Posted @ Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:45 AM by Dena
I am 54 and had TKR of my left knee 6/2013 and TKR of my right knee 11/2013 (I'd recommend spacing surgery out at least 6 months rather than 4 months). My left knee had two prior major surgeries and was much weaker than the right. My left knee started feeling much better at 4 months post surgery, and became stiff, tight and sore again when I had the right one done (not ready to carry the load). I was able to get to 0 extension and 125 flexion of my right knee in 4 weeks--it took 4 months to get there with my left knee. It was important to me to be able to ride a road bicycle post surgery, so I pushed on a recumbent bike to help improve mobility and strengthening during winter and pushed even harder to ride my road bike in summer (keeping my seat in normal position and my foot on the pedal in the right place). I tried to walk on a treadmill at 8 weeks post surgery. My doctor recommended I wait until I'm 3 - 4 months post surgery for the treadmill. He encouranged me to ride the recumbent exercise bike along with the other strenthening and bending exercises, and walk as much as I could tolerate. You lose your quad, hamstring and calf muscles with the surgery, so you have to work hard to rebuild them, continue the exercises for months and be patient. My doctor and physical therapist remind me it takes a full year to heal and feel normal. I am still having a hard time finding a comfortable sleeping position too. I find it helpful to take Advil to help with the pain and swelling and still use ice for 20 minutes to control pain and swelling. Every person, every knee, every surgery and recovery is different in healing. My right knee is at 10 weeks now, and I'm optimistic based on my first surgery that in another 2-6 weeks I'll feel a great improvement.
Posted @ Monday, January 27, 2014 2:12 PM by Shelley
Hello! Update, have seen the orthopaedic surgeon couple of days ago. Re my stiff unbendable leg after tkr. He noticed from my x rays taken day after tkr and 8 weeks later that my tendon under my kneecap has shrunk 2cm. Does anyone know why this happened. Consultant seems to think this is why I cannot bend my leg. Kind regards Catherine.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:07 AM by Catherine
I had tkr 10/13, I have been through therapy, and continue to go. I still can't sit without straightening leg out. It feels like something is pinching a nerve behind my knee. I can't even roll over in bed. The pain is so excruciating it collapses my leg. I totally regret my tkr. My doc did not explain anything, just had nurse set surgery date. He also would not answer questions afterwards and totally neglected me. I went to urgent care with an infection because my doctors office wouldn't get me in to see him. The urgent care doc confirmed infection. My docs office called me and told me that doc said do not go to hospital or emergency room to wait and see him the next day in his office further away. Crazy. I went to the hospital, got on antibiotics through i.v., and admitted. My doc did not return the er docs call that night. the next day my M.D. doc showed up and called my ortho telling him to come see me in the hosp. Ortho doc said he would. I told my M.D. he won't show. I was right. Though this quack put me on npo diet (no eating, pre op) He planned on doing surgery again, yet he didn't come in and evaluate me or anything. I still have stiff knee, pain. Regret it big time. Definitely will not do left knee. I would rather suffer the pain from arthritis, meniscus tears, etc. this tkr just wasn't what I had hoped. Waaaaaah
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 1:44 PM by sue
thanks to all who have responded to my post. I guess I have learned I must live with the results of my TKR done in 2006 (with a partial revision in 2007) but it certainly has impacted my life severely. To those who suffer from arthrofibrosis, you know what I am talking about. The stiffness is constant and never lets up. The scar tissue completely surrounds the knee and at this point it is like cement and is NOT going to go away. The surgeon I saw at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC where I had both surgeries told me there is nothing that can be done for people like me who develop such heavy scar tissue. If I had know I would be one of those patients, perhaps things would have turned out differently. As of now, my "good" knee is going to stay with me for the remainder of my life. Every person's body reacts differently to this surgery. Knee replacement is drastic and the replaced knee will never be 100% like the original. Good luck to everyone.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:52 PM by Carole W.
CATHERINE:- Have you had Physio? If not I would think you need it big time, your muscles/tendons shrink if they are not stretched and exercised, especially after TKR.
SUE:-One mistake after the other with your surgeon it seems. Perhaps you should get a second opinion. Has your infection cleared up?
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:53 PM by Ann
Hi everyone, how interesting to read how we all are coming along. I had the TKR on 8/5/13 and Manipulation 10/13, which did not help. I have continued PT 5 days a week and also water therapy. I finally got a second opinion the end of January in Jacksonville, Florida, I took all my operative notes, the new surgeon did x-rays, took lots of time evaluating my knee, watched me walk, etc. He said the only thin he could find my surgeon did wrong, was he placed my knee cap to high, he showed us this on the x-ray, but the good news is I will not have to have surgery, but unfortunately I will have to continue PT another 5-6 months and the knee cap will position itself back in place. Has anyone heard of this. I am at 110 flexion, still walking stiff legged, concentrating on heel to toe as I walk, back hurts and ankle hurts after the manipulation and also ankle swells. I will continue to tuff it out. My other friends after 6 months were up and doing great and here I am 6 months and still suffering, but the pain is more tolerable. Thanks for all the write-ins, as I read all of them and learn from them. Lil
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 8:22 PM by lil simon
Lil -I finally got over the stiff legged walk. I had my surgery 9/4/13. My PT said it was all in my head and that I had to retrain my brain to walk correctly plus of course continue strength training that quad. It hurt like hell when I first really tried to walk with the proper bend but every time I walked I made a conscious effort. It took a few days and then voila I started to walk completely normally. I firmly believe that it is merely a question of retraining the brain connection. I was so concerned about my stiff legged walking starting to mess up other things like my back and gait that I decided once and for all to walk through the pain. I still have stiffness but not much pain. You have to push yourself big time. Good luck!!!!
Posted @ Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:03 AM by Janet Knowlton
Janet Knowlton, thank you so much for sharing, it sounds like you and i have the same issues. You were one month behind me in surgery. I am trying so hard to do the walk as the therapist makes me do, but it still does not let me do it. Are we able to share phone numbers I would love to speak with you. Many thanks to all of you for sharing, as I can only say this is the worst experience of my life and I am no wimp. Lil Simon
Posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 4:52 PM by Lil SImon
Lil - Sure let's talk. Email me and then we can exchange phone numbers. email@example.com
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 7:52 AM by janet Knowlton
I'm 6 1/2 months past my PKR. The knee itself is doing good. ROM 135, but now I am finding that my leg hurts when I run the dogs (dog agility, but you only run for less then a minute) and when I work more then 2 days in a row, I'm an LPN in a nursing home. When I mentioned this to my ortho DR. in January, he stated "you know, your entire leg was realligned when we did the surgery." Sometimes it's the way I sit, sometimes it's the position I sleep in and driving more then 30 minutes @ a time still bothers it. I have scar tissue on both sides of my knee, he says this should go away eventually. Someimes it feels like my leg is going to give away. Is anyone else that had a PKR having this problem? The knee itself feels pretty good.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 8:14 AM by Sandy
Hi! I received a TKR about a year ago. I have developed severe scar tissue, and my knee stiffness is almost intolerable. The pain keeps me awake at night and I can not stand up from a chair without taking a few moments to brace myself. My knee is worse than it was before my TKR. I have been to multiple orthopedic doctors and none have been able to help. I know I am past the date for manipulation, and was wondering if you have any advice for me? Thank you!
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 12:04 PM by Molly
Short note just to see if it goes thru before typing my story. TKR in '05.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 7:56 PM by Linda A.
Well it looks like it went thru so here's my story, TKR in '05. My doctor was great but he didn't tell me all the things that could go wrong, if he had I might have reconsidered. I asked a few people who had it done & they said it's the best thing they did for themselves. Well I beg to differ with that because I wish I NEVER had it done. I was very active & I still am but can't do all the things I used to do. I have 0 extention but 84 to 90 flex. I can't take a tub bath, get in & out of rides with my gndsons, drive too far w/o extending,do floor exercises, put on my shoes & socks, cut my toenails or anything else that involves bending my left knee. I got 2 second opinions & was told it's too late for an MUA altho my Cyropractor advised me to go ahead with it. After reading all these posts I tend to agree with the 3 doctors, too late & it won't help anyway. My doctor hates MUA's. Dr. Ponzio, said,"It's very aggressive, dosn't always help & you have to do PT all over again." These posts agreed with that so thanks guys. I also read somewhere that if a doctor wants to do an MUA after years post op., find another doctor. I work out in the gym on machines, water aerobics & my new love Zumba!!! Still afraid to walk tho for fear I'll fall on my knee & rip the scar tissue inside. Knee feels tight inside & it hurts to bend past 90 degrees but after reading these posts I feel lucky I can do 0 & 90. I needed the other knee done but opted for a gastric sleeve bypass instead. I weighed 248 lbs. Had a gastric done in May '13 & lost 60 lbs in a few months. Have lost 10 more since then, even with holiday eating. It's a much easier operation than the TKR. It's still an operation & painful but nothing like the TKR & the recovery time is about a week. I was up & walking the hospital halls the afternoon after the operation & went home in 2 days. It's done laproscoptally (sp) I have no scars & feel great. I would NEVER go thru the pain of a TKR again!!!So anyone thinking of getting new knees consider a sleeve gastric bypass instead. I wish I had thought of that b4 my TKR. This of course is only if you have a weight issue, taking weight off your knees is amazing. My left knee, the TKR, still hurts but a differnt hurt, the right one dosn't hurt as much now. I still have 50 lbs to lose tho.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 8:31 PM by Linda A.
I had my TKR on Oct 1, 2013. It seemed so hard from the beginning on. My knee hurt so badly in the hospital that I cried for pain medicine, which was very grudgingly given. Once out, I could not bend it as far as the therapist wished. They wanted a 90 degree flexation and I could only do 65, then finally 85 but never the 90 they wanted in the first 2 weeks. By the end of 9 weeks I was finally at 105 flexation passive and 118 if they pushed very hard. My doctor suggested manipulation, which horrified me. Break the leg apart again? No! I decided to continue bending it daily because I had read in this digest that doing so would eventually bring results. Well it did. I don't know my degree of flexation because I am south for the winter, but I would guess it at about 120 or maybe even more. I am writing this to encourage others to just keep on keeping on. Little by little flexation may come. At least I think it better to keep trying than to give up. I truly might have given up, but for this forum.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 9:44 PM by Muriel
One more thing, water exercises down south in a pool are helping my bend a lot. I still work on it daily.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 9:45 PM by Muriel
I am now 12 weeks post op. I can get 90 flex and 105 if pushed. (painful)I have been in the pool today it is much better to do flex in water but still painful. Stiffness all the time and tight feeling round knee cap like elastic band tightening. My other knee does need doing but. I am too afraid.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 7:41 AM by susan hurney
I believe there is a solution or at least an alternative to knee stiffness following knee surgery. Our company (along with ortho doctors and PT's) have developed a patient controlled mechanical device that both flexes and extends the knee. Our product is named the E Z stretch and is widely used throughout the Veterans affairs health system. Look at our websitewww.fullrangerehab.com. There are many patients who have benefitted from our product immediately following their surgery, 11+ months post op, and we have patients that use our product as an alternative to knee manipulation under anesthesia.
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 8:31 PM by Chaz Harris
Went back to my surgeon this week because I was worried about the pain in my leg, not my knee(PKR) on Aug. 1, 2013. They did 3 xrays and assured me my knee was fine. The pain is coming from shin splints. He gave me exercises to do to strengthen the muscles and told me to always warm up first before I do agility.It still hurts some, but I was relieved to know it wasn't the knee. Regarding the person that said their knee clicked when they bend it, it's probably scar tissue. I also have that.
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 8:38 AM by Sandy
I am a 73 year old guy who was playing doubles tennis three nights a week before having surgery. I had minisus removed on the knee around 30 years ago, and at the time of the surgery, I had bad reflection of the knee. I had a TKR on 10/22/13. On the 2nd day I was walking the hallway and suddenly felt weak and out of breath. Immediately monitoring showed my blood pressure had gone way down and that my heart rate had gone way up. The Doctor felt I might be having movement of a blood clot , so they called an ambulance and moved me to Methodist for test. Three days later, after finding no sign of blood clots, went home. During the three days at Methodist, I had no therapy of any kind, which kind of set me back some. I began rehab a few days later, going three days a week for over 6 weeks, and then twice a week for another three weeks. For the last four five years, I have some condition , symptoms similar to Fibromyalgia. After a rehab session, I would have low back pain and burning in the knees. Sometimes I would have low pains all over, at times like a small current running through my body. I could not sleep at night, usually getting to sleep at 3AM to 4 AM. I would always make my rehab sessions, but lack of sleep nearly did me in. I have been on Hydrocodone since surgery, but only use it or Tramadol before going to bed. About two hours after getting some pain relief, I get itching fits, about every 20 seconds a new itch starts, could be my nose, my ears, my legs or just about any where. That usually went on for a couple of sleepless hours. Because doing the exercises at home were so difficult at home, most times I did only exercises at the rehab facility. I was able to get to a 115 knee refection at rehab,but at the beginning of the next session, the PT measurements showed I had slipped back to 90. I was able to ride the incumbent bike at only two weeks. After nine weeks of rehab and many many agonizing sleepless nights, I was worse off than I was at 6 weeks after surgery. A couple of weeks ago I started having a stiff knee, and suddenly developed all the symptoms of Type II Diabetes. A Fasting Glucose Test revealed a glucose level of 256, one and a half times more that normal and a A1C of 9.6 (normal under 7.0). For the last few years I have had readings that put me on the low end of the Pre-Diabetes numbers. Further reading on the subject indicating that even if you are Pre-Diabetic, you should not take Predisone or other steroids over 5mg a day since it will cause you glucose levels to spiral out of control. Well, I have been taking 30 mg a day for two months per the Doctor's order. Twice lately the Doctor has drained the knee ahd gave me a shot of Cortisone, a steroid, which continued to drive up my sugar level. The knee is now swelled but the Doctor always re-swells. Yesterday we discussed manipulation of the knee, but I decided against it after reading about it on the Internet. I will continue to try to ride my in-house bike, which I was up to 30 minutes early this week and to walk a mile which I also did earlier this week, My knee bend is about 90 with close to 0 on extension. Afraid my imperfect waking is affecting my back since I now have pains in upper back. As many of you, it is so hard to keep positive and hopeful for eventually regaining our past life.life back to some normalcy.
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 11:30 AM by Carl
Yea Carl, that's what I'm afraid of. Because I only get a 90 flex & favor that knee/leg I'm afraid of throwing off my gait & then other things start to be affected like my hips & back.
Because of that I go to the cyropractor regularly. I am determined to get a better bend of my knee despite the fact that my doctor says I'll have to live with it. I'm too active & refuse to believe that.
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 8:52 PM by linda a
I think the issue at hand is arthrofibrosis, (AKA scar tissue buildup.) This is common following knee surgeries. I dont think the bike will elongate your scar tissue. It simply does not provide enough pressure to the knee joint. The bike is great for building up muscle strength and providing continuos passive motion, which is good for pain modulation. You need something that will permanantly stretch the scar tissue in your knee. The EZ stretch does that. You can use it at home and you can control the intensity of the stretch. As for an alternative to manipulation, THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE. Due to the fact that the EZ stretch can provide up to 350 lbs of linear force to the knee joint, it can permanantly elongate scar tissue, therefore eliminating the need for manipulation. Also, the EZ stretch isolates the stretch to the knee, it does not put any stress on your back, hips or any other oart of the body.
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 9:01 AM by Chaz Harris
I emailed that EZ stretch company and that machine is currently only available to veterans.
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 4:47 PM by Paula
It is so sad so many of us regret having this surgery, I am among these too. I had knee stiffness for months, only through having a dedicated PT did I finally walk better but all along my problem has been that I can feel my implants, most uncomfortable I can tell you. Whenever I walk, go upstairs or do anything involving the bend, I can feel the parts moving/rubbing. Surgeon, family Dr. PT no idea why or what to do. I am terrified that they are going to suggest a do over. I have to go to the orthopedic hospital in May, will see what they say. CHAZ HARRIS:- Is the EZ stretch available in Canada? I need some good exercise as our winter has been so bad, snow and icy roads are so dangerous for walking on so not getting out enough.
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 5:39 PM by Ann
My TKR surgery on my left knee was four weeks ago today. I found this site when I was searching for reasonable expectations for my ROM and because I had some other concerns. As of yesterday at PT, my ROM was 1-104 and I am pleased with my progress. Every time I go to PT (2 X per week) i have increased by about 3 degrees. I have been told that progress slows as we get further along, so I won't get discourages if these increases don't continue at this rate. I do 2 or 3 sets of about 15 exercises with 20 repetitions each day. Today I bought some Vitamin E Oil and am using that when I massage the area around my incision with those little circular motions to loosen the scar tissue. A couple of days ago, I felt a strange lump just below my knee and started to worry that I had done something wrong. Thank goodness for my PT who assured me that it was probably just scar tissue that had loosened and nothing else. (Of course, my imagination had gone wild and I had been thinking I somehow loosened my new knee cap.) It is great to be able to read about how others are doing and to know that I am on the right track. I do find that it is important for me to take my pain medication about an hour before I do my exercises and to elevate and ice my knee afterwards. i am impatient to reach my full range of motion, but realize that it takes time. The worse part of this is this stupid Polar Vortex as it has caused a lot of ice buildup in my driveway that salt doesn't touch, so I have to be extra careful getting in and out of vehicles. I won't do my right knee at this time of the year!! I bought a book from Amazon titled "Total Knee Replacement and Rehabilitation" that was written by an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist. The PT underwent TKR himself and learned a lot from the experience. Although this book was written 10 years ago, the exercises and explanations are still very pertinent.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:18 PM by Elaine B
God im so happy i found this ..Had total knee replacement Jan 24th...5 weeks tomorrow...Started to think i was going crazy..There is no education in the hospital about what to expect.So i just started walking on my own yesterday ,,My range of motion still not that great,,90 last week...think it will be better today when i go to physio...like someone posted above about nerve pain...and its only at night...drives me mad.I sleep with a icepack ....Im 51..im thinking positive that this will be a successful operation ...
Posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 3:05 PM by Joanne Allcroft
Yes, we are currently working with VA hospitals throughout the Eastern US and Texas. However, depending on where you are located there may be a possibility for your doctor to submit a consult for the EZ stretch. Although we are not yet covered by every insurance company, there are certain insurance providers that will cover the EZ stretch. Feel free to email me with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 8:24 AM by Chaz Harris
I had bilateral tkr at the age of 61 6 months ago. after not being able to lift my left leg for 3 1/2 months and me telling the doc that something was terrible wrong, he found my knee was out of place and he had me go to pt for 6 wks longer, which did no good. had to have surgery again on my left knee and was in a stabilizer for 6 wks. after the stablilizer came off I started pt again and I have 3 more wks of that.both knees are were stiff and painfully tight.rom on both legs are 0% and 80%. after 6 months still walking with a walker.Just starting with a cane but very difficult because so tight and painful, Regret having this knee surgery done!!!!!!!
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:27 PM by judy
I had TKR done in '08. Am at 0-90. Just saw my OS yesterday. I was sitting on the chair & he said to get on the table. When I looked at him he was smiling from ear to ear. I said, "What?" He said, "You jumped right up, ran over & jumped on the table." Me, "But my knee still don't bend beyond 90 & I'm not happy with that, there's so much I can't do." Take a tub bath, go on the rides with the gndsons, clip my to nails, do floor exercises, put my socks & shoes on easily, go up steps normally & anything else that requires knee bending. He said, "We're all getting older & you might have to live with it." Well I'm not accepting that so my question is, what can I do about scar tissue? Would an EZ help? He told me to get on a recumbent bike if I'm so determend to get a better ROM. I tried it today but can't go very far around w/o a lot of pain. Another question, has anyone heard of someone breaking thru old scar tissue after such a long time post op? (6 yrs) I'd appreciate any answers on this issue as I am usually very active & this problem has greatly affected my life quality & it's depressing. I'm very sorry I had this done & refused to have the right one done. Had a much easier sleeve gastric bypass done instead & lost 60 lbs. but still can't bend!!
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:37 PM by linda aversa
There are a couple things you can do for scar tissue (aka arthrofibrosis). Riding the bike is great! But, how many months of riding will you have to put in before you elongate scar tissue? The bike will help you regain muscle faster than regain ROM.
You can get a dreaded manipulation, where the doc puts you under anesthetic and manually flexes and extends your knee.
You can ask him to order you an EZ stretch (i dont know if your insurance will cover it. Some do, some dont. Unless your a veteran, then your doc will just put in a consult to prosthetics and your set. We are still a few months out from finishing up all of the paperwork associated with the private insurance coverage market). The EZ stretch provides 350 lbs of linear force directly to the knee. This is enough force to permanantly stretch (elongate) scar issue. You are, of course, in total control of the intesity of the stretch. We have had many patients use the EZ stretch to break up/stretch old scar tissue. So, to answer your questions: Yes i have seen people stretch old scar tissue and yes the EZ stretch would help if your insurance will cover it. Also remember that at this time, we can only serve patients from the eastern half of the US. We are a small, hands on company.
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:45 PM by Chaz Harris
I last posted my blog on Dec. 12, 2013. Then, I was 11 weeks post op. I had my TKR on 9-9-13. I went back to work at 11 weeks. Sure needed more time than that, but the FMLA was running out and had to get back to work. Here I am 5 months after surgery and my new knee still swells and is hot all the time. My Dr. and PT says it's not infected and is normal for how active I am. At 51, with all these aches and pains sure makes me wonder what later on in life has in store for me. I still sleep with an "ice machine" at night on my knee. First thing in the morning is fine but, after 30 minutes the swelling and hotness of the knee starts all over again. My Doc said if I still have these aches and pains of swelling and hotness he wouldn't start worrying about until 7 months to a year. Well, that 7 months is coming up in 2 months. Trying to be upbeat about the whole situation. Therapy is twice a week for 4 to 6 weeks more. Beginning to think therapy is my life. I like to hear how everyone else is doing after their TKR. Good luck to you all, Chris
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 5:36 PM by Chris Warren
After reading all these posts I feel fortunate that I'm at o-90. Fortunate but still not happy with it. Chaz, your first paragraph says it all I needed to read no further but I did anyway. I have tried the bike in pt & can't get all the way around at any seat position. Doctor suggests the recumbent. I tried the push pull one & can do that with ease but the one that goes around like a bike pedal, no can do. I used the other stretcher, the one where I pumped the handle, don't remember the name of it but it didn't do anything that the gym machines didn't do. I guess my question is how will your EZ work differently than the other things I've tried. The pt was able to get me from a 10 extention to a 0 in a few visits that's why I have hope for a better flex than a 90. He also got me from n 80 flex to 90 but that's all we could do & my insurance ran out anyway. I have Horizon Blue Total Care, Medicare & it covered the flex machine in full for me. Chris Warren, I don't know why you're hot & swollen, I didn't have that prblm, I have internal scar tissue preventing a bend past 90 degrees. I'm 65 & have wondered the same thing you have, what will this be like when I'm 85? Which is how long the TKR is suppose to last & how will I know if it's time for a new one? Pain? Can't walk? Does anyone out there know what the symptoms will be when it's time for a new knee again? I also started going to a Chryopractor, altho he does nothing to help my flex he has helped my posture & other 65 year old aches & pains. He said if I had been coming to him all along for adjustments in my posture I might not have needed a TKR. Sometimes when we walk properly the rest of our bodies fall into place. As it was when my knees started to hurt my posture suffered from favoring them. That throws hips & spine out of wack & causes other prblems. You said you have no problems in the morning, I have just the opposite, stiff & sore in the morning & better a half hour later. May I suggest you join a gym too. Your insurance might cover it in full, mine does under Silver Sneekers. At 51 you might be too young for S.S. but it won't hurt to ask. It also gives me a trainer who puts me on the right machines that will help me. Just a consideration Chris. The Chryo also saw that I was holding a lot of water behind my knee & we got that down with icings & exercise but still can't bend!! My doctor said,"You're getting old, live withy it." NOooooooo!!I refuse to live another 20/30 years like this. btw, I hated therapy but went anyway cause I had to. I now go to aerobic pool classes, arthritis & Zumba non-pool classes but can't do anything that involves floor work or bending knees. So frustrating. Well I hope some of this info that I have experienced will help you in your TKR journey.
Posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 1:16 PM by linda aversa
I have been reading the comments for a month. They have sustained me through a difficult time. My TKR was 12-9-2013. 3 pain filled days in hosp.then to a excellent rehab for 19 days. Then on to real life. My dh has been an excellent wife-tender, but that hasn't taken the pain away. At two months, I was discouraged, pain from one a.m, to the next a.m. After that my pain began to ease slightly & then I realized how stiff my knee had become. It may have been that way all the time, but the constant pain covered it up. I have had home PT twice a week for 5 weeks. My PT won't measure my flex & exten. said it will only dishearten me when I see my Dr in April. I haven't felt up to pushing it with him. He knows my Surgery Dr is very firm with patients who do not meet his standards of 2-3exten. & 120 flex. I have asked him 3 times, should I insist. I ride my recumbent bike at home and do ROM exercises, I have found good ideas for exercises on You Tube, either ask for TKR knee rehab exercises or ROM exercises. They have helped me as much as my PT has. I cannot go down up up stairs without knee pain. It feels like the outside edge of the back of my knee is very tight, & will not bend. When I get up from sitting, I walk like a 90 year old crone, for the first few minutes, then I can stand up straight and walk slowly. I had fibromyalgia year ago & it gradually left me. That is a condition that can be caused by heavy stress. Unfortunately, the stress of all the pain, caused Fibro. to return. The PT noticed it before I did. I was so numb from all the earlier pain, I didn't as aware as normal. Now, I can't exercise as I did, & my flex. & exten. seem to have shrunk. I do think that I will improve with time. Hope that time comes soon. Jan R.
Posted @ Sunday, March 02, 2014 9:15 PM by Jan Racine
Jan - You only had your surgery 3 months ago. It bothers me that your PT will not measure your ROM. That's absurd. Maybe you need find another PT. I have to say I had my surgery almost 6 months ago and I still am going to PT once a week. I went to PT twice a week for a solid 4 months before I went to once a week. If you can financially do it, I personally think you need to do PT as doing it on your own is not nearly as rigorous. I'm 6 months out and still feel stiffness. This surgery takes 8-12 months to recover from. Don't give up and insist your PT measure you. I think that he/she is doing you a great disservice. You need to know where you are and you need to push yourself. It is torture but what's the alternative? And don't be afraid of your doctor! It's your knee! Sorry to be so abrasive but I hate to see you "give up". It is not easy. Good luck to you.
Posted @ Monday, March 03, 2014 10:07 AM by janet Knowlton
I totally agree with Janet.I have never heard of a PT not measuring your ROM or Extension.I had my TKR 2-25-13 and my knee is still stiff. Scar tissue is my issue so I will have to live with it. I can walk 2 miles and do about anything I want....just not as easily.
Posted @ Monday, March 03, 2014 5:28 PM by Dottie
I was going to say much the same thing, most Physiotherapist are obsessed with ROM and extensions, yours is very different to all I have known. I would work on it yourself at home, you can sit and pull your operated knee back as far as comfortable, hold for a few minutes and repeat. As Janet said you are not long out, so plenty of time to get more bend. A lot of people have your problem (that is why this site exists !) So you are not alone.
Posted @ Monday, March 03, 2014 5:48 PM by Ann
The exercise that actually helped me the most with ROM is one I still do, it also helps when my knee is painful. (PKR on Aug. 1, 2013.) PT showed me this the first day in therapy. Take a dog leash, lie on the floor or firm bed, put your foot through the loop and pull, dragging your heel on the floor until it hurts from the bending, then pull a little more. Do this about 10-20 times a day. The first time PT did this, I thought the staples were going to pop out, but they didn't. I still do this because my knee still bothers me @ times. The last time it was measured my ROM was 135. I do know that this cold weather (I live in WV) and snow makes my knee hurt more. I now have shin splints, and am doing exercises for that. I am able to run my dogs in agility. I am 64 and determined that I will beat this. I only did PT 3 times a week for 4 weeks, then 2 times a week for one week then back one more time. Driving(it is my R knee) and sitting in a regular chair for more then 15 minutes still bothers me, plus I went back to work in October, I am a nurse in a nursing home with concrete floors under the tile, and this bothers my leg too. I say leg, because @ this point, my leg seems to bother me more then my knee. I would insist on having my ROM measured. They measured mine the first day of PT.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 04, 2014 10:10 AM by Sandy
I found this interesting site that gives a great youtube explanation of scar tissue. The focus of the scar tissue involves the abdomen but the literature below the video says that you can use the same protocol for any part of the body. I am going to give it a try. Here's the link: http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/how-to-release-and-dissolve-scar-tissue/
Maybe this will help to make the scar tissue more pliable.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:02 AM by Paula
i am almost 6 weeks post op..i started massage therapy last week ,again today ...it is very helpful,AND BOY DO I FEEL GOOD AFTER,she says it is good for scare tissue,so i will do anything that is going to help,also got a stationary bike lol,not so good with that.My favorite exercise is ,placing legs on the wall,and let gravity do its work ..My ROM was only at 8 Monday morning at the PT...back tomorrow and pretty sure it will be higher...good luck to everyone ...it is a LONG road
Posted @ Wednesday, March 05, 2014 3:32 PM by Joanne Allcroft
I had my TKR in October of 2011, 2 years after a partial replacement that was never right. Now, it has been over 2 years since the total knee. My extension is plus 12, and my flex is barely 100. I walk with a limp and have hip pain and back aches. My surgeon said there was a lot of scar tissue from the partial, so I can only imagine what's in there now. Has anyone found anything other than manipulation or other surgical techniques for breaking up scar tissue? I'm wondering if maybe there is something like what they use to break up gall stones--laser? Anything new or on the horizon that would break up the scar tissue? I can live with the flex, but the lack of extension has got me pretty much handicapped. It hurts to walk more than a few feet. Housework, shopping, all that stuff is painful. I'm very hesitant to visit a surgeon, because I'm pretty sure they'll say my only hope is to replace it again, and I am NOT doing that. If you know of anything, please message me here. I'm desperate!
Posted @ Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:12 PM by Suzanne
I am 3 months post op TNR on the 10th of March. Still have a lot of pain with exercises and very stiff.
It certainly is a long road to recovery. I walk every day, ride a stationary bike, do stretching and bending exercises faithfully. I am bending at 114 degrees. My doc wants me to be able to do 125. Have a lot of soft tissue pain and tendons at back of knee are stiff. I do ice and heat and have a Voltaran gel that I apply twice daily. I do not know what else I can possibly do. My pt is finished and my insurance will not pay for any more. Is it normal to be this stiff and sore after 3 months?
Posted @ Wednesday, March 05, 2014 5:54 PM by chris
Suzanne ,try Massage therapy...tomorrow i will be at 6 weeks...i sure feel better after ...so loose :)..and she said very good for scare tissue
Posted @ Thursday, March 06, 2014 9:53 AM by Joanne Allcroft
Had my right knee scoped 8 Jan 2014, cleaned up torn meniscus.Started therapy 2 days later the 10th..ROM was bad for 6 weeks...Had MUA done on the 19th Feb, now ROM is about 113 before surgery I had 130 ROM. Will I ever
get it back to normal ? Go to the GYM when ever I don't have therapy. BTY I'm 58yrs old...Any input would be great....Thank you Jeff
Posted @ Thursday, March 06, 2014 2:47 PM by Jeff
Jeff - You are only 2 months out! It takes awhile to get to normal. I had surgery SIX MONTHS ago and I just got to 125 with continued PT and also go to the gym 3 times a week. Be patient! At least you didn't have a knee replacement like all of us here have had. I had a torn meniscus in 2002 and I got back to normal. Can't remember how long but I know I gave it 4 or 5 months before I started playing tennis again. Good luck.
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 7:55 AM by janet Knowlton
Sandy, Janet K. Dottie & Ann. Thank you for building up my spine. I am not usually so wimpy. This time only, I'll blame it on the TKR. He is coming Monday, & I have called his service & told him to bring his measuring equip. A friend who had both knees done (1 at a time). Sd she recovered in 3 mo periods. The first 3 mo after TKR, she described as pure hell. the second 3, were torture, the last 3 mo were spent in an endless round of exercises - & she still walks with a limp.
As for me, I have muscle spasms down the back of the operated leg, from the butt to my heel. The PT has been massaging them & having me do stretches, but they still pain like heck. In the rehab unit they gave me Soma, to help with the pain from the knee. Would a muscle relaxant help me? I have learned more from this site, than my Doc, my PT, or rehab. You have to go through a TKR (Like all the responders here) to understand what what a terrible experience a TKR & the (hopeful) recovery period is. To all who answered my question, thanks to each of you.
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 10:11 AM by Janet Racine
Chris, I too will be at 3 mo on Mar 9th, as I read your post, it could be mine. I do the exercises & stretches daily and like you the the back of the knee is painful & tight. I haven't found a satisfactory treatment yet. but I used Voltaran Gel for 1 mo, I had unexpected reactions of fatigue. My Dr said to quit using it, because serious complications can arise without warning. I looked up Voltaran's web site & I copied this from page 4 of their warnings. "Things you must not do
Do not take any other medicines used to treat arthritis while you are taking Voltaren without first telling your doctor.
aspirin (also called ASA or acetylsalicylic acid)
other forms of Voltaren
any other NSAID medicine
If you take these medicines together with Voltaren, they may cause unwanted effects."
I had used Volteran before w/o problems & don't recall if I was using other meds, but wanted to give you the warning. And in answer to your question, "is it normal to be this still & sore after 3 months?" IMO TKR can cause you to be stiff and sore at any time. I am stiff and have uncomfortable pain on the back of my knee & I don't take pain meds because they are just covering it up. I hope someone knows about Soma or other muscle relaxants. I hope they will help me solve the problem. Keep your spirits up, There surely are better days ahead. Jan Racine
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 10:55 AM by Jan Racine
Hi everyone, it is Lil here, I am so greatful for this site and all of you who share and give us helpful hints and always to remain positive, which is hard to do. I am 7 months from TKR and 5 months from Manipulation, which took me backwards, I am going today for a x-ray of the ankle, since the manipulation the ankle is swollen and I was not able to go to therapy this week, but am doing things here at home to keep active,as I don't want it to get any stiffer. I am still not bending like Janet is, but am hoping the light will come on. I have switched surgeons and seeing a susrgeon 2 hours from here. I am still stiff, feels tight like a rubber band and the knee looks so large, like it belongs on one of the basketball players, but the doctor keeps saying, it will look like the other knee within the year. Janet Knowles is a great inspiration. Good luck to all of you and I will continue to work hard and will not sit down on the job, but am tiring very quickly. This really has been a very big ordeal for me and all of you. I am so surprised at the amount of people who have this type of problem and others just sail right thru. Lil Simon
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 12:12 PM by lil simon
Janet, Is there a reason why you're not going to outpatient physical therapy? My doctor encouraged me to go to outpatient therapy as soon as I was able to get there. With my first knee replacement, I was told I would only improve range of motion the first two months; however it was improving for four months. It takes a lot of persistence and continued exercise to rebuild your quad, hamstring and calf muscles and for the stiffness to improve which should help the scar tissue also. Every month should get better. With my second one four months later, I had better range of motion at four weeks but have struggled with my hamstring due to the cold temps and ice in the Midwest limiting normal outside activities. Don't be discouraged.
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 12:29 PM by Michelle
I had a total knee replacement on left knee 1-28-14. It has been so different than my right one done 4 years ago. My rom up and down. Hovering in the 90's and I did make to 100 a week ago. Unfortunately I have been telling the therapists how stiff the knee and area around it is, and it is like talking to the wall. Was getting aggressive therapy for 3 weeks and the pain after therapy just about drove me take up drinking! Saw my surgeon yesterday and now am scheduled a week from now for manipulation. He said I have to much scar tissue and now option is manipulation to break it up. I am anxious about whether this procedure will really work. I am glad to find these postings and I guess I have to pray I get relief from pain and get more rom.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:08 PM by Barb
Michelle, Thanks for your comment - why am I not going to out-patient PT.My knee surgeon, isn't too excited about prescribing p.T. He said most of his patients do better figuring it out on their own. Dang, that made me so cross, I asked my Internist for a prescription for P.T. & it was for a guy who came to my home, and I didn't know there was an advantage for outpatient p.t. I got a prescription for p.t.
My spirits are pretty good, but my knee isn't I have developed ligament and I. T. Band pains and woes. Don't know if this strain is ever going to end, but I am sticking with it. I'm sure you rehab has been held back by your cold temperatures - and the ice would be a hazard for anyone with a new knee for fear of slipping & falling. Tell me what is the diff between have a PT come to my home & going to outpatient p.t.? Is it better, more equipment to use - I am really wondering now? Hope the weather is better for you, we had light snow yesterday - I've been thinking that Spring must be right around the corner for 2 months - I'm tired of winter. Jan. R.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:17 AM by Jan Racine
I had a full knee replacement on Feb. 12/14. Today I just broke down into tears when the Dr. told me I have to have a MUA because my knees are too stiff. I am frightened and afraid to have the manipulation, since this is only six weeks after full knee replacement surgery. Since my surgery, I am experiencing, numbness, many sleepless nights and I regret having this surgery. What are the pros and cons of the manipulation, MUA?
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 1:47 AM by May
I had my full knee replacement 5 1/2 weeks ago. Due to the stiffness in my knee, I will have a MUA next week. I am afraid to have the manipulation MUA. What are the pros and cons of a MUA?
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 1:52 AM by P Collison
Hi everyone, I had my TKR 8/5/13 and manipulation 10/8/13 and the doctor took a picture showing that my knee bent to 140, but after the manipulation I felt like I was starting all over and then I had problems with the ankle, as they use it for leverage when they bend it while you are asleep and it set me back and here I am 7 months later, still with the stiff knee, numbness on the right side and "knotty" looking things on the right side of the knee and I am at 110 today and still going to therapy and lots of restless days and nights and pain and went for a second opinion and waiting to get into Mayo. I even go to water therapy, but my therapist said he wished I had not had the manipulation, but you are not sure what to do, with the surgeon telling you this is what you need because you cannot bend and from what I know the manipulation needs to be done before 3 months. and I am amazed at the amount of people who write in with all the same problems and then I have friends that sail right thru it with no problems. The thought of us dealing with this for years makes me ill and the thought of a revision makes me more ill. I am trying to tuff it out, but it is so hard.For those asking about the manipulation, do all the research you can and talk to the therapist and YOU make the decision. Thanks to all of you who share your information and this site has been a blessing to me. I am so happy that many of you are making progress, I am waiting for the light to come on for me. I still say IF I had known all of this I would have stayed with the bone on bone, which was also very painful, but nothing compared to this. Best of luck to everyone and just don't give up, keep trying and keep working hard a therapy, etc Lil
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 11:57 AM by Lil Simon
tomorrow it is 8 weeks since surgery.ROM is only at 87.PT says it will come .Massage therapy really helped,went 3 times and feel better.I also purchaced a massager from the Drug Store ...great tool to have .Do my exercises 3 times a day,2 days a week with PT at the hospital ,get on the bike ,still only half way ,but i know i will get it .I have also started going to the local pool.i do walking forward and backwards,80 times( only a lap pool) and then hit the hottub and do more....i feel great...i will try just about anything that will help me ...tell yeah all,get in the pool <3 and stay POSITIVE
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 2:07 PM by Joanne Allcroft
I have posted a few times on this site and get the updates with what everyone else is posting. I too have the "stiffness" problems and have tried a lot of different things in order to avoid any further surgical procedures to remove or break up the scar tissue. I too have cried and gone thru the regret stage and have also thought it would never get better. I am writing this to tell everyone who is at their wits end that I have had a dramatic over night improvement concerning the pain and the stiffness. About 3 weeks ago I started to see a massage therapist for deep tissue work and the first 3 times it was so painful and the results were so-so BUT for the last session, which was Sunday (3-16-14) I decided to take 2 hydrocodones an hour prior to the massage. The therapist was able to work super deep and without me screaming and wriggling in pain. He said he could feel the scar tissue breaking up. As directed, I iced the knee as soon as I got home for as long as I could take it. I kid you not...the next day it was as if a miracle had occurred because the pain in my knee was a lot less and the stiffness had gone down a great deal. It's the best my knee has felt since I had the surgery on 10-21-13. I REFUSED to have the manipulation...it just didn't feel right in my gut to get that done so if anyone is on the fence about getting the MUA done, my advice is to find a really good massage therapist who really knows deep tissue massage and get some heavy duty pain pills and see if that helps. It takes a great deal of pressure to break up scar tissue and it might take a few sessions for you and your therapist to get to know you and what you can take. Only take the pain pills once a week for the massage and that's it.
I think the scar tissue pulling on everything inside and around the knee is what causes everyone to have the horrible pain and I'm sure it is the reason for the stiffness. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for whomever reads this... try the deep tissue for a month and see if it helps before submitting to the manipulation. I go for an hour once a week but since I had such a miraculous-like result I will be going for 90 mins once a week. If you commit to the therapist for an entire month you can usually work out a discount, if not, it's worth every penny. I now see some light at the end of that tunnel and feel like there's hope.
If anyone wants anymore info feel free to email me:
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 6:01 PM by Paula P
So glad to have found this Web site. Had full KRS on left knee on January 31st at HSS. Transferred to a fine rehab facility on February 4th, to stay until February 12th. Good P.T. department there but horrible interactions with various medications that left my delicate gastrointestinal system terminally constipated, needing enemas, then with continual diarrhea and hideously swollen hemorrhoids, in a facility that had replaced all toilets with new higher ones so that a newly operated knee could not rest on the floor for shorter people like me. What a nightmare. I had to skip the last two days of P.T. and the rehab facility M.D. wrote me up without my knowledge as "uncooperative" and worse. She contacted my surgeon without my knowledge and told him not to order a CPM machine for my home use since I had failed to use it at the rehab facility WHEN I WAS SO SICK AND UNABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN REHAB. I learned this many weeks later. I was wearing adult diapers when my daughter drove me home. I had been commuting three days a week to my employment by three subways between two boroughs of NYC, and telecommuting the other two days, so even though I am 70 years old, I am a tough old bird and had used gel injections for a full year to keep me on my feet pain-free (all those subway stairs over the years probably contributed to my problem, but a casual cyclist who refused to wait for a red light assaulted me on the sidewalk where I was trapped under a construction scaffold, leading to a meniscus, etc. surgery way back in 2006 and finally leading to the total knee replacement in early 2014). I was always very active, an enthusiastic walker and a dancer. When I arrived home I needed home care for weeks, including blood tests, P.T., and a nurse (I was weak, dehydrated, exhausted, discouraged, and angry). My protocol included a lot of warfarin. Now I am in the outpatient P.T. stage, and a bit more hopeful, but the tight bands around my leg are so hard to stretch and keep stretched, and there is frequently considerable pain at night plus urgent urination at night far too frequently to get a good night's sleep no matter how I exercise and keep the leg iced, and I like my new P.T. My G.P. prescribed a medication for the nighttime problem (there was no infection), which helps sometimes. My surgeon had post-surgical x-rays taken and examined me on March 17th, and suggested a manipulation, so I am seeing him again on April 15th, and then may have the manipulation within a week or two thereafter. My operated knee looks nothing like my original knee, partly because I am bow-legged and the surgeon made some kind of correction. After reading all the posts above, I suspect I have scar tissue and that the new knee is not constructed to mirror the old one. All in all, I am terribly discouraged, and my workplace keeps trying to terminate my disability benefits and get me back to work (no way). I cannot walk up and down stairs yet except two feet on the same step, but at least I can drive again and walk with a cane slowly on the sidewalk. Taking the subway is exhausting, and walking without meds is nuts.
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:08 AM by Dory Green
I previously posted on march 11 that I was going to have a manipulation. I had it today. I worried and worried for days on how I would feel afterwards. I have a picture showing it bent. and I am already walking better. and less pain. of course it is to early to tell how much I will actually retain between now and when therapy starts again on Monday. but my surgeon did tell me to do my therapy at home at least 2 to 3 times a day or I will be right back in the same position again with scar tissue building up. although it is a little tight tonight I do have some swelling but I guess that is normal. and I did find people to talk to that had this done and they said it really helped them. so I will let you know. but I am not going to give up... going to keep fighting to get to where I need to be. I was bending at 112 degrees on Wednesday so as long as I can get to at least 120 like my right knee is then I will be relieved.
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:13 AM by Barb
Hello all. So glad to have found this site. Had my left knee replaced January 31st (final outcome due to an impatient cyclist waiting at a red light on the street who jumped the curb to avoid the red light, assaulting me on a sidewalk where I was trapped against a sidewalk construction scaffold), moved from hospital (HSS) to a good rehab facility February 4th, and soon found that the toxic mix of narcomeds that staff were pushing on me plus stool softeners and the like left my gastrointestinal system frozen. This after getting no sleep my first night following surgery due to my roommate snoring like a freight train and the staff failing to move me to a quieter place until 4 p.m. the second day. At rehab I endured enemas, unstoppable diarrhea that kept me up all night, hemorrhoids so painful I was screaming when I tried to push, and was wearing adult diapers upon discharge home between snowstorms. This continued at home for over another week as I was kept on warfarin with regular blood tests, home nurse visits, and P.T. visits. Finally, I took control of my gastrointestinal system (which is beset with both diverticulosis and acid reflux, carefully listed on my admitting paperwork) and began to benefit somewhat from the services I got at home. At the rehab facility, I used a CPM machine a number of times until I was too sick the last few days to even go to P.T., and many weeks later I learned that the medical director of the rehab facility had notified my surgeon prior to my discharge that I was “uncooperative” and should not have a CPM machine available for home use. She was an underhanded, unsympathetic, cold-hearted b----. The P.T. had been proceeding pretty well at rehab, and I thought I was beginning to make progress. After home services were exhausted I have begun neighborhood P.T. sessions three times a week, and was doing fairly well until I stopped progressing. [At this time my employer wants me back at work full-time (the commute with good knees takes 1-1/2 hours each way, the workplace is beset with noisy young people on an open floor, and I was being threatened with firing for daring to demand appropriate working conditions although my G.P. got me consent to telecommute twice a week). Ladies, I am 70 years old and entitled to be acknowledged for the quality of my work and treated with respect. Tell that to my CEO who has presided over a purge of nearly half the employees in the last year or so, dumping their workloads on me and my colleagues.] I finally saw my surgeon last week for a six-week post-operative checkup, and he mentioned the possibility of a manipulation shortly after he sees me again on April 15th. My flexion is inadequate, I think up to maybe 90 degrees or so, but inadequate for many ordinary functions including climbing up or down stairs one leg at a time. I was an enthusiastic dancer until this surgery (I had successful gel injections for a full year prior to surgery to keep me moving). My operated knee doesn’t look like the other one (I am bowlegged) and there is overlapping skin at the top of the scar regardless of my conscientious rubbing of a cream with Vitamin E. Query: How can manipulation deal with scar tissue? If it has formed, isn’t it permanent unless a new incision is made to extract it (not part of the proposed manipulation)? My surgeon is very capable, operating at one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country. Every day I wonder why I didn’t stay on gel injections a good deal longer but instead put myself through the pain, sleeplessness (partially alleviated by occasional use of OT Uristat), extreme tightness, and general frustration and helplessness of trying to persuade my left knee to work like the other one?
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:00 PM by Dory Green
Am finally bending at 124 degrees by myself. Just one word or advise to us all who have had TKR. Do not skimp your exercises. I didn't do too much for a few days and I have gone backwards a bit. Very very important to keep up with those exercises no matter how unpleasant.
Let's keep up the good work!
Posted @ Monday, March 24, 2014 9:26 AM by Chris
On Jan 23 I had a full left knee replacement, the surgery went great, NO pain ever since the surgery. My problem is that after PT and doing my exercises faithfully 2'x a day at home, I still have a tightness across the top of my knee and it just stiffens right up when I'm trying to bend it back. It feels like a rubber band is around it, and it has felt like that since the surgery. My Doctor is recommending a manipulation. He said that some people develope a lot more scar tissue than others. I can bend my knee on my own to probably close to 93 degrees before the tightness starts. I have an appointment in a couple of days to decide what exactly they plan on doing. I have found out that other people have done a lot more extensive PT than I had and if I would have known this I would have changed PT's right away. The problem is that with the first replacement you don't know where you should be at for PT the weeks after surgery. My PT person said I was dong great, My Doctor at the 6 week check up was so upset. I am glad to see that manipulation has worked, but also taking into consideration a deep massage therapy. I problem is that I'm 55 and this stiffness and lack of movement is just a pain. Looking back now, I say talk to people in your area and find out where they went for PT and how their knee recovery worked out. NO PAIN NO GAIN is so true in this instance.
Posted @ Monday, March 24, 2014 11:34 AM by Carol
I had TKR on 3/11/13 and a manipulation on 4/15/13 because of stiffness. The manipulation made it much worse, and I basically started over again in PT. Unfortunately, I had a couple of physical therapists who thought they needed to force the bend in my knee. The stiffness and pain continued until 8/13 when I had an arthroscopic procedure to clean out the scar tissue. Again, things got worse. I had two back surgeries within the year before this knee replacement, and the change in my gait has caused pain and discomfort in my back. My chiropractor works diligently to keep my back flexible! Meantime, all the exercises I do daily for this knee have damaged my other knee. My doctor suspects a torn meniscus and will probably have to do arthroscopic surgery to repair that. I see him next week to decide what comes next. His words were: we need to get that right knee fixed and rehabbed so that we can concentrate on the left knee. So, it looks like I'm mostly likely facing yet another surgery and possibly another replacement on the left afterward. I keep hanging on, but at a year out, I'm very tired of having to do these exercises.
For those who say they can't sleep, my advice is to move to your couch and sleep partially propped up. I had a terrible time with sleep after coming home from rehab and my PT told me to try the couch. I slept there for 3 months, but at least I slept. Maybe this will help others.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 26, 2014 7:09 PM by J Manley
DORY & J. MANLEY.
I am so sorry you have both had such bad problems with rehab. It should not be like that, they are there to help you recover not make things worse. I had TKR last August 2013, and felt I could feel my implants right from the start, OS said he had never heard of it but did not offer solution, did many x-rays all showed everything okay. I was walking stiff-legged for months, my knee seemed to lock up once I put weight on it. I went back to physio and got some bend back, my extension was great after a few months, so that was not the issue. I finished physio able to walk but with a bit of a one sided gait and still lots of stiffness. Talked recently to my PT who suggested I may have illiotibial band syndrome, which makes so much sense to me know. I have walked one hip higher than the other all my life and know I am straight, so it is putting immense strain on my IT band which stretches from your hip down the outside thigh and wraps around the knee. I am going next week for deep tissue massage for a few weeks to see if that improves the stiffness. If not it will be a scope in my future. Hope this helps. I used Tylenol Arthritis for sleep problems, timed release, so worked well to keep me asleep.
Posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 6:07 PM by Ann
I had my manipulation on March 21, 2014. as of yesterday I am now bending at 115 degrees so it is improving. I still have a bit to go and have to work on the straightening for the flatness. that part is still rough on me in therapy. But I can honestly say I am glad at this point I did get the manipulation done. will let you know if it continues to progress or if I get stuck again. my right knee I had replaced 4 years ago and had not problems like this and it bends at 120 degrees so I am almost to that on my left knee.
Posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 8:20 PM by Barb
I had TKR of left knee on 2/17/14. I am 45 yrs old and had a major surgery on the same knee in 1991. I have no problems straightening the knee to 1 or 0. But I can barely get to 100 on bend. I'm fairly athletic and I am trying as hard as a can just to get to 100. At 6 wk follow up Dr. suggested a manipulation if I can't get to 110 in next 4 weeks. I'm highly motivated to avoid the manipulation but the pain and swelling are hard to overcome when doing knee stretches. I go to PT three times a week and we've been pretty aggressive. I sure hope I can make progress. It really is a tough decision when you read that some people benefit from some things and others do not. We'll see what happens.
Posted @ Sunday, March 30, 2014 8:22 PM by Duane Smith
Duane - Wow you are only 5 weeks out. You are doing great! That bend will come if you keep working it like you say you are. I am 6 months out and am at 125. I improved from 120 to 125 in the last few weeks so those people that think you can't improve after the first month or so are dead wrong! BE PATIENT and keep working it! I personally would not do the manipulation. People seem to have a lot more problems after they do it...at least what I read here. Yup there is pain and swelling for awhile. It does go away. I had it longer than you and I am pretty much pain free and no swelling but it took a few months. Hope this helps...
Posted @ Monday, March 31, 2014 8:10 AM by janet Knowlton
DUANE:- I think you may be a little too aggressive, it is early days yet since your surgery and 100 is pretty good at this stage. Be sure and ice your knee whenever it feels hot and swollen. Ice is your friend.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 01, 2014 2:00 PM by Ann
I am 7 weeks after TKR. I have 0 extention and got to 105 in ROM. My PT says Im doing good but then why does it get stiff within a short time if I dont move it? If I sit just for a short time or I work and stand for a lving then it stiffens so much I can hardly walk. Then I strech it and ice it and soon after starts again. When will it go away....so painful.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 02, 2014 11:33 PM by Sheila
Seven weeks ago I had a FKR..on the sixth week I had a manipulation which improved the range of motion from 80 to 92, but I am having problems with the extension at -20..my knee is swollen and looks like a huge ball. I measured my knee at 18 inches which indicates how swollen my knee is. How can I improve the extension & straighten my knee? I put weights on my knee. Is there other exercises I can do to improve the extension?
Posted @ Thursday, April 03, 2014 8:59 PM by pm collison
You are only 7 weeks out from surgery. Do not give up hope. I had a TKR in Dec of 2013. I still have stiffness after sitting a short time. I continue with pain yet too.
I was told that it takes a complete year to be considered healed. Very Very important that you continue your exercises and ice the knee afterwards for as long as it takes.
I can see slight improvement over my last 4 months. It would be nice if the doctors would really say just how much of a committment it is to have this kind of surgery.
I still can only walk for so long and have to rest. I walked daily, exercise on a stationary bike daily, and do bending and stretching exercises several times throughout the day. If I miss even on day, my bending decreases.
I totally hear your frustration. Hang in there. it does get better bits at a time
Posted @ Friday, April 04, 2014 8:53 AM by Chris
Today i am at 10 weeks...yesterday was the first time i could do the stationary bike .No back and forth,did full turns :)..i can not tell u how happy and looser i feel..Wednesday at Physio ,i was measured before exercises at 82 :( she worked me hard and at the end i was up to 95 :)....Stay positive people and work hard on ur exercises...good luck to everyone <3
Posted @ Friday, April 04, 2014 11:56 AM by Joanne Allcroft
I agree with Chris. I had both of my knees done last year in November and June. I got to 125 with my first knee and 135 with the second without manipulation. My range of motion increased up to four months after surgery; not the two months they told me I had to get there. So many people post without mentioning their experience with physical therapy--you need to keep working on range of motion and strengthening. The therapist can also use electro current and a thermal compression boot to help with pain and swelling. My doctor recommended taking Aleve to manage stiffness and swelling, along with ice and elevation. You can't turn back once you've had the surgery, so you need to work hard until you're happy with your results; and even then, it's use it or lose it. Stay motivated! It takes a long time to heal and get past the stiffness, but it will come.
Posted @ Saturday, April 05, 2014 9:27 AM by Michelle
Thanks Chris. This blog does help so much. Yes I knew there would be work and therapy but it would be nice if doctors would let you know how long the stiffness lasts. If I saw improvement every day I would feel better but like you said to go backwards after missing one day of excercise is this going to be forever? Or just one year? I know everyones different but I hope it goes away soon.
Posted @ Saturday, April 05, 2014 3:47 PM by Sheila
I ha Tkr on left knee two years ago, thank God all went we'll... Normal pain,swelling,etc. did in-patient and out pt rehab. Just had right knee done Stevan weeks ago, Feb 12,w2014.....having lots of problems. Meds made me very sick. Therapy frustrating... Have severe nerve pain radiating down leg.... Can't get good bend or flat knee...haven't been able to return to work. Now seeing pain management dr. New meds including nerve med, praying for a miracle. Dr is leaning toward manipulation....I'm a wreck .... Side effects, complications...
Posted @ Sunday, April 06, 2014 10:20 AM by Mary
Now 6weeks since TKR and the pain has gone to be replaced by swelling and stiffness, I get 95 degree out of it and it looks Ok in the mornings but as soon as I walk on it for an hour or so it comes up like a football again.
I am happy at 95 degree for the work I do but am wondering how long it takes for the swelling and stiffness to go, ?
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 4:44 AM by Lindsay Tiller
You are only 6 weeks out. It is going to take some time for the pain and stiffness to go away. I am 4 month out and still have a good deal of stiffness and pain in my knee.
It is a long journey to getting back to "normal'. There are days that I curse ever having this surgery done for I have almost as much discomfort as before the surgery. I am hoping with some more time things will start to turn around.
Very very important to keep up with your exercises to loosen up the knee and get it bending.
Don't give up hope. It will get better.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 5:59 PM by chris
I'm curious if any of you have problems with straightening. I see a lot of complaints on here about bend, but few of you mention a problem with extension. Any one else struggle with getting it straight?
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 6:02 PM by Suzanne
I have no problems straightening it.
The surgeon made it sound as though it would be like new after 8 weeks, but I am beginning to doubt this.
Picking my truck up from Merredin this morning so I will see how I go with the clutch.The more I exercise it the longer it seems to take to heal. 0429454013
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:25 PM by Lindsay Tiller
Suzanne, Yes, with my first TKR I didn't realize how important it was to get the extension as soon as possible and how painful it was not to get there. The nurses at the hospital told me to put a small pillow under my knee to sleep--a horrible mistake. It took almost 4 months to get to under 5 degrees. Until you do, it's impossible to not walk with a limp. My second knee, I did everything I could to get the extension faster while I was on the pain medicine. Both extension and flection are important to walking normally and rebuilding muscle.
Posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:52 AM by Michelle
As of tomorrow I will be 10 weeks post-operative for a replacement of my left knee. I went into the surgery thinking, somehow, that within six weeks everything would be fine. Unfortunate misunderstanding. My best ally has been my P.T., a young man who has been getting very creative to rid me of the thick and persistent scar tissue on the front of my knee that hurts so badly when I stand, help straighten my leg (which is pretty straight), and help me regain my full flexion, which looks to be about 95 degrees by now. I still cannot climb stairs except by putting both feet on the same step one at a time.
My P.T. directs deep vigorous massage to the patches of scar tissue that persist in the front of my knee and cause the most pain and has hooked up a low-voltage electrical stimulator several times to increase blood flow to that area of my knee. He has me walk backward on a slow-moving treadmill for strength training and balance. I work on a bike although so far I have yet to get my left leg all the way around, but I get a little closer each week.
Sleeping at night is a real challenge. Using a pillow between my legs if I want to sleep on my side helps, but only if I take a strong pain medication. Otherwise, I may wake with an aching leg multiple times during the night.
My surgeon is seeing me next week on the 15th to consider performing a manipulation procedure, and I will be getting as much information as possible before trying this since some people on this blog have not had successful results.
I walk outside as much as possible, when the weather allows since spring has been so late and elusive this year. Just loosening up the limb (and doing home exercises with a strap for straightening and increasing flexion provided by my P.T. plus continual icing with a huge gel container that is wrapped around my leg and otherwise lives in my freezer, also provided by my P.T., both help).
My employer is demanding that I return to work soon, but I have more disability benefits due to me and my doctors have been very helpful about keeping my employer at bay (don’t neglect to cite the ADA statute if any of you folks reading this are being unduly pressured to return to work prematurely).
All in all, I am finding the whole procedure to be much worse than I anticipated, but nearly all of the medical providers who have worked with me have been very helpful and patient. The rest has to be up to me.
One more tip: I have a friend in Vermont who is also recovering from a procedure, and she has been using water exercises (before the surgery and post-surgically), which for her is very helpful (think of the buoyancy provided by the water, for starters). If I had a pool handy, I would do the same.
So to all my fellow sufferers, it does get a bit easier week by week, but the keywords are persistence, patience, and knowledge.
Posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:46 PM by Dory Green
My TKR was done 01/28/14. I ended up getting a manual manipulation on 03/21/14. My ROM improved a lot. I am bending now at 120degrees. Still have some to go on the straightening. It is being stubborn. still have pain in my knee as it gets stiff. One thing that is really annoying me is the scar. Still bright pink, and very sensitive and feels tight. I have tried cocoa butter and other lotions. But not really helping. Talked to a pharmacist today and she said to try Vitamin E oil and to really work it in good. it does seem to help with making it feel so tight. Will have to see how it progresses. My Dr. recommended the same thing...Vitamin E oil. I am still doing my out patient therapy but I am hoping to be over with it next week. I go in feeling pretty good and walking normal and after this therapist gets done with leaning on my leg for 45 seconds at a time and doing it like 12 times I am in so much pain and barely can walk out of there. the problem is I cannot seem to maintain the amount of straightening he achieves. Anyway, I did not have these problems with my right knee 4 years ago. Not sure why the left knee has been so hard. So I will keep plugging away. And I hope all of you who are having problems get some relief soon.
Posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 8:29 PM by Barb
Very important article in CNN this evening about medical progress in recreating body parts, including cartilage. The article looks to the possibility of replacing cartilage in knees by laboratory creation and physician implantation.
Check out: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/health/tissue-engineering-success/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:25 PM by Dory Green
Just wondering if any of you who had a total knee done are dealing with any of the following issues
1. pain behind the knee
2 aching and pain along sides of the leg down to the ankle and on top of foot
3 tenderness on the lateral side of the knee
4not being able to do bending that well due to all the pain in these areas
and if yes what are you doing to reduce the pain and aching.
I am 4 months out and have a lot of pain going up or down stairs and doing my bending exercises.
I know some of it is tight tendons. I have dealt with this since day one.
I have so much discomfort on the outer side of my leg down by my ankle that is is hard to get my shoe on and bend my knee back.
Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Talked to my ortho doc and he really wasn't too helpful told me that I have arthritis and he can't cure that. nice answer huh!
Am going to be going to my regular doc to discuss possible options for pain control. He won't do any injections in the operative knee.
I am now starting to have pain in my non operative knee. pretty sure it is an inflammed bursa point.
So tired of all of this pain. I was doing quite well but in the last month or so all of this aching and tightness is getting worse. I walk 5 miles every other day and daily shorter ones on the rest of the days. also do a stationary bike, I ice, take medication for pain, have a gel that i got from the doc which helps a bit. Put heat on the underside of my knee to help loosen it up and do stretching exercises. I do not know what else I could do. I would love to go to get a tissue massage but I am not working and my insurance won't cover it. So I just can't afford it.
I don't think I would ever get this type of surgery done again if my other knee starts to go. I think living with that pain would be better than all of the issues I have now.
Hopefully with some more time things will improve. I have to hope. It is all I have.
Posted @ Sunday, April 13, 2014 9:43 AM by Chris B
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:47 AM by Mack
For Chris B: I had a PKR on Aug. 1, 2013. Got along fairly well. Great ROM, went back to work in October (I'm a nurse in a nursing home), lots of walking. I also do dog agility,(running dogs over an obstacle course) but only about a minute or so per run, and you have to wait hours in between runs. In Feb. I also had pain in the back of my knee and down my leg. Went back to my orthopedic surgeon. He did 3 xrays and told me it wasn't my knee, it was shin splints. He told me to warm up and gave me exercises to do before I run or walk a lot. If you Google shin splints, there are all kinds of videos on You Tube showing different exercises. Hope this helps.
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 8:31 AM by Sandy
CHRIS B.: It sounds like you could have iliotibial band syndrome, it is a big tendon that comes down from the hip and buttocks, on the outside of the leg and wraps around the knee, that causes tightness behind the knee too.You can find exercises for it on the net. I think walking 5 miles could be a bit much for you at this stage, not especially since you have pain. I have the same problem and was just diagnosed recently - I am almost 8 months and was really tearing my hair out thinking the surgeon had done something wrong. So back to Therapy I go !!
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 5:39 PM by Ann
Yesterday my surgeon and his PA agreed to undertake a manipulation on my left knee in two days: this coming Friday (April 18th). My knee replacement surgery occurred on January 31st, or exactly eleven weeks prior to the scheduled manipulation date.
My surgeon promised me that the painful scar tissue on the top of my knee near the scar would be gone (my PT and I have both been massaging it regularly), my flexion would increase from about 90 degrees to at least 120 degrees and maybe 125 degrees, and I would be able to climb stairs again normally, not both feet on the same step like a small child. My surgeon’s PA agreed. When I asked what percentage of his manipulation patients had results like that, the surgeon indicated that virtually all of them did. Is this credible? (Or does he agree to perform the procedure on only those patients who should benefit?)
I forgot to ask my surgeon if the flap of skin hanging horizontally over the top of my scar would somehow be dealt with, so I have emailed the staff of my surgeon a query accompanied by a photo of the knee. I was, however, yesterday sent hurriedly through the hospital pre-surgical procedures (EKG, blood tests, urinalysis, physical exam, etc.) since I will have a spinal anesthetic (and more) to knock me out for a short time or otherwise the pain of the manipulation would be far too intense.
Am I being naïve? Can the doctor and his PA be right? I’ve tried exercises, painkillers, icing, lots of good physical therapy, and the like. Am I going to be disappointed? Or thrilled? Or something in between?
My surgeon remarked that the best time to get a manipulation is within three months of surgery, and eleven weeks is just about that. I’m told that the manipulation is equivalent to four or five sessions of physical therapy and that I will be very sore for a minimum of 48 hours following, which can include considerable temporary inflammation, so that any more physical therapy is being postponed briefly at this juncture.
Stay tuned for a report next week.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:22 PM by Dory Green
Dory, if you're taking a poll on manipulation results, all I can say is that mine put me back to square one and did absolutely nothing. I hope yours is a miracle.
Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:27 AM by Dottie
I had right TKR on 8/5/2013 with a bend of 90 and manipulation on 10/8/13, my doctor took a picture showing him with the bend at 140 under anesthesia and that is the only time I have been at 140, was under anesthesia and him forcing the bend. I did not have a spinal, they used propofol, the drug that Michel Jackson used, which is a very safe and good drug and I woke right up, the spinal is a little more risky, I was a little sore, went home within an hour and went back to therapy the next day. Since the manipulation my right ankle swells all the time and I think the doctor used my ankle to grab onto to force the bend, I had an x-ray to make sure they did not break a bone, but no bones broken, but still swells and hurts. Go figure, I did not have that before the manipulation, but afterwards there is was. Here I am 6 months from the manipulation and only at 110, since the manipulation, it was like starting all over. I have been going to PT 5 days a week, plus water therapy. I can climb stairs very gingerly, etc., knee is still stiff, went to a second surgeon for his opinion and he said all he could find wrong was that my doctor placed my kneecap to high, but with more therapy ,it should eventually fall into place, I am hoping I can believe that. It has been almost 9 months since my surgery and what an ordeal this has become and others just bounce right thru it. I probably would not have done the manipulation if I would have thought about it more, but relied on my doctor and my PT said he does not like patients having the manipulation. Next week I go back to the second opinion surgeon and see what he has to say. I just keep on going to therapy and keep on moving and pray one day it will get back to normal, but I don't think it will ever be "back to normal", I did not have this kind of pain before surgery, the bone on bone was nothing compared to what I have been thru for the past almost 9 months. I also am going to a pain management doctor. I have tried it all, I read where someone walks 5 miles a day, WOW, that is great, I can barely make a ¼ mile, puts pressure on my ankle and back and I am not overweight, I only weigh 134, I don’t have any other issues other than the knee which has consumed my life. Best of luck, hope it all works out for you, the miracle did not come for me after manipulation, my therapists has been wonderful and keeps working with me. I love this site, it has been an inspiration for me and wonderful that everyone takes time to share. Lil
Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:57 AM by Lil Simon
Dory - All I can say is you really need to be patient with the stairs. I wish I had kept track of exactly when I could do what but it took me about 4 months to walk normally down stairs. I had my PKR September 3rd of last year. I never had this manipulation but at least the people on this site have not had great luck but then this is a small percentage of people who have had it done. I know that even after 6 months you can still improve ROM. I went from 120 to 125. I still have stiffness BUT I am back playing tennis after 7.5 months. I also did PT for 6 months. I wish you luck and do let us know how it went.
Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:21 AM by Janet Knowlton
MY SURGICAL MANIPULATION.
Friday: the procedure: After being given a sedative through an IV and a spinal, as I lay on the gurney at the outpatient surgical unit I recall my surgeon telling me to watch as he pulled my left leg up (the one with the knee replacement) to a full flexed position. This is exactly what I had been unable to do in months of P.T. He said in effect that it was obviously possible. I actually heard the scar tissue rip during the leg pull. I dozed off somewhat, but it was hard to wait out the rest of the three hours before the spinal wore off, and I lay with my lower body paralyzed for what seemed like forever. When the spinal wore off enough so that I could use the bathroom, I found that I had soaked my underwear on the gurney (the extra fluid plus the temporary paralysis of my urinary system). I was required to eat a sandwich and drink some water or fruit juice before I could get up, and was then given a prescription of acetaminophen codeine and required to take two tablets before leaving the hospital. After I got home and settled with ice, my knee was less mobile than prior to the manipulation, but that was to be expected, and I did the barest of exercising and walking in my residence, icing several more times. Knee very stiff.
The first night: I let the evening meds wear off, and experienced extreme pain in both thighs in the middle of the night while a new dose took effect. I had to medicate every four or five hours, substituting extra strength Tylenol for the A.C. version. I had not felt so much continuous pain in the hospital and rehab center after the original knee replacement surgery.
Saturday: the first full day: I again alternated the acetaminophen codeine and Tylenol extra strength, trying to make it to four hours between doses, but when the medication did not work long enough, I endured terrible bouts of pain (so severe that I was crying) that radiated all the way down both legs (thighs and calves) and also affected my lower back—all areas where spinal anesthesia had rendered me unable to move during the manipulation. Even urination and defecation were painful. According to the Internet, the use of hyperbaric lidocaine 50 mg ml–1 has been associated with a significantly greater incidence of transient neurological symptoms compared with general anesthesia. So I called my surgeon’s office and spoke to another surgeon who was covering for the weekend. (The hospital had called me hours earlier for its regular day-after surgical inquiry and I had told the caller I was in serious pain and needed to speak with a doctor. That did not yield a return call as promised, and I had to initiate another contact through my surgeon’s staff.)
The physician with whom I spoke thinks I probably have nerve pain and should begin taking two Aleve twice a day in addition to the acetaminophen, whether with or without codeine. If that doesn’t work, he said, I would have to go to the ER of a hospital. The first two Aleve were successful for about six hours, not twelve as expected. Then the really bad nerve pain returned and I took one more Aleve in the early evening. The pain from the manipulation is minimal compared to the nerve pain. I hope I can again turn my attention to a more routine recovery, but I am nervous about tonight.
If there are further significant developments I will add to this blog entry. So far, the manipulation appears to have been successful, but my next P.T. appointment has been delayed until next Wednesday, so I’ll be doing exercises at home until then.
Posted @ Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00 PM by Dory Green
OMG Dory! This sounds just gruesome! Maybe I missed something but can you bend your knee fully NOW since you have been home? You really could write a novel. This is the kind of information we really want to know, at least I do. Good luck to you. Please keep us updated.
Posted @ Monday, April 21, 2014 7:52 AM by janet Knowlton
I have previously posted about my tkr I had on my left knee of 01/28/14. And I had a manipulation done on 03/22/14. My rom is 118. my straightening or lying flat was like -8 last week and then dropped to -2. But I don't think that is accurate. my knee is not going as flat or straight as it should. still have pain. and lots of tightness. the bending is better. I was done with therapy last Wednesday. I do not think the therapist was as good or knowledgeable as the one who did my right knee 4 years ago. He would have me lie on my back and put on hand on my leg below my knee and one above and then bear down with all this weight and push my leg flat. he did this several times each pt visit. it aggravated a compressed disk in my lower back and I now have to see a chiropractor for my back because I am in so much pain. I see my ortho Dr this week for a check up. not sure what else I can do to get the rest of the stiff feeling from this knee and lessen the pain. not sure why this knee was so different from the right one.
Posted @ Monday, April 21, 2014 12:44 PM by Barb
MY SURGICAL MANIPULATION, Part 2
Now that a full week has elapsed since my manipulation on April 18th, I can only say it is not a panacea. There are still painful areas of scar tissue on my kneecap that must be vigorously massaged and/or managed with pain meds in order to bend the knee and walk without pain. My physical therapist is trying a variety of massage techniques to deal with the scar tissue and painful tendons that lie behind the kneecap and below. My ROM has not improved, not really. It appears that I am not a typical recovery patient, whatever that means, and will have to struggle with becoming pain-free, being able to walk up and down stairs with one foot per stair, and finally dispensing with pain meds, which are upsetting my stomach. I have stopped using my cane for walking, but that first step when I get up can be excruciating. My employer is exerting significant pressure to get me back to work and my doctor and P.T. are trying to help me at least telecommute most of the time since the actual commute is a killer and time-consuming. I worry about the future. I no longer attend most social activities. I had hoped the manipulation would lead to an easier, faster recovery, but I no longer know what to expect. My P.T. wants me to come in three or four days consecutively every week for the next eight to twelve weeks. So I’ll keep plugging away. (Have wondered why I ever had the original surgery, but that’s a little late.)
Posted @ Friday, April 25, 2014 9:07 AM by Dory Green
One final comment about my manipulation:
The nerve pain finally dissipated the Monday following the surgery (three days later). The surgeon said the occurrence was only about 1% of spinal anesthesia patients. My P.T. indicated that generally, spinal anesthesia leads to nerve pain frequently.
Posted @ Friday, April 25, 2014 9:10 AM by Dory Green
Really appreciate this blog thought I was going crazy I had my TKR on Jan 14, 2014 and I have had a manipulation with no relief do to scar tissue I am do to have surgery on Tuesday to remove the scar tissue prayerfully this will help.In reading the past responses I remember my Doctor telling me on April 16th I would need further surgery and the utter frustration of rehab time my efforts in the pool and walks and crying like a baby. I am a veteran and had my surgery by a top surgeon out side of the VA system. This is by far the toughest thing I have ever give through. As I type this in yet another sleepiness night with pain shooting randomly throughout my knee I know I am not alone God Bless You all for sharing it really has helped me.
Posted @ Saturday, April 26, 2014 11:27 PM by Eddie D. Barnett
MY SURGICAL MANIPULATION, Part 3
I am on to something else, a new treatment that gotten the rapt attention of athletes as well as post-op people like those of us who post and read on this blog. It is a therapy call Rapid Release Technology, or RRT. It uses High-Speed Vibrational Therapy (HVT). The sole manufacturer has a web site atwww.rapidreleasetech.com. A contact person is Tom Hendrickx, MPT, OCS, CSVS (email@example.com), who calls himself Director of Clinical Education for the manufacturer. The portable device, used by professionals such as chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, and others, has apparently become popular in the past year or so with professional athletes. As described in the web site:
“Scar Tissue forms in the body as a temporary patching mechanism for wounds caused by surgery, trauma or repetitive stress. This scar tissue is made from collagen just like our skin but without blood supply it dies, dries out, constricts and becomes brittle. Scar tissue fastened to tissues not normally connected, is called an adhesion. Adhesions can spread, entrapping nerves, causing pain and numbness or limiting range of motion. Undiagnosed pain and restricted mobility are likely to be caused by these adhesions. Scar Tissue Therapy ™ is focused on relief of soft tissue problems caused by scar tissue adhesions. The shearing force of planar wave energy passes safely through flexible healthy tissue, but readily absorbed by the brittle, dense scar tissue.
“RRT has determined the optimum frequency that resonates with the scar tissue for maximum effectiveness by using high speed video shot at 2000 frames/second. With only a 2mm stroke, this therapy is feels good and is completely safe. We believe that Scar Tissue Therapy™ is the most effective way to treat painful scar tissue. Scar Tissue Therapy is fast, painless and lasting.”
“The RRT Pro is a revolutionary breakthrough in therapeutic technology. It is the only High Speed Vibration Therapy (HSVT) on the market. Our proprietary method of applying compression waves via arc motion directly into the tissue puts the tissue under tension with tiny high frequency shearing energy.”
Sessions with the portable, lightweight RRT Pro 1 (2 is being introduced on the market in the next few months) purportedly take only 5 minutes and are all but painless. Practitioners in your geographical area can be found on the web site of the manufacturer. Insurance may cover the cost of sessions.
My surgeon has not heard of this new technique and has offered to give me a prescription to try a local practitioner. It appears that professional athletes (or their trainers) are buying their own RRT machines to use on a routine basis.
Is this really the answer to our prayers to eliminate stubborn scar tissue and adhesions quickly, painlessly, and permanently? I’m about to find out in the next week or two.
Posted @ Monday, April 28, 2014 8:51 AM by Dory Green
I am 10 weeks into my TKR. The pain is still there. My bend is good and has been from start. But I have a hard time straightening my knee.I do all my excercises, bike riding,1 hour pool therapy twice a week.It takes all day to get it nearly straight, next morning back to stiff knee again and going through it all again.Has anybody had the same problem and will it get better and back to normal? I get very down and frustrated with it all.Sometimes I am sure I am going backwards.I haven't been able to get back to work and wonder if I ever will.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:29 PM by wendy jesser
I am almost 5 months out from surgery. I never got straighter than -3. I too had a lot of problems with stiffness. Still do, but it is getting a bit better over the last few weeks. As long as I can walk, do stairs, and stand for a longer period of time, I consider myself lucky. I do not think I will ever get back to a "normal knee". It is a long road to recovery. Don't give up and it is different for every single person. I do not find it necessary to bend my knee to kick my butt. lol not a necessary thing for my activity level. Main thing was being able to walk more than a few minutes without pain. I can do a comfortable gait with just some stiffness and discomfort. Hoping that will subside at time goes by.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:48 AM by Chris B
Hi Everyone, I am sure you have read my ordeal with my TKR, soon to be 9 months. I can tell you I have had all the ups and downs that all you "new Ones" are going thru. Sometimes I am so stiff, I can barely walk and others, WOW I am better, then back to square one. I have been going to PT for almost 9 months and to water therapy and doing every and anything possible to help, but not much relief. I even sought a second opinion in another city in Florida and he read all my operative notes, x-rays and the "only" thing he could find that my surgeon did was plate my knee cap to high, but over more months of therapy it should fall into place. He and I both agreed that I will not go back to PT as sometimes they did take me backwards, so I will continue my own at home therapy, as I have the treadmill, bike, and will continue water therapy, today I am actually bending better. I can truly say I was not in this much pain before and also I am seeing a pain management doctor. I also have some numbness along the right side of my knee, my bend is 110 and the second doctor said I should be able to get to 125 and that will work for me. To all of you, keep on working and it is hard. All the best,
Posted @ Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:10 PM by Lil Simon
Thank you all for the support. guess it will just take a lot longer to heal then I would have liked. Just so annoyed to everyday go through what seems like Ground Hog Day.
Posted @ Friday, May 02, 2014 7:43 PM by wendy jesser
Hi Dory, I am busting to hers how you went with the RRT therapy, has it made a difference.
I have been in touch with them and will spend the $1500 if you have had som success with it.
Please let me know if you think it has made a diferance
Posted @ Saturday, May 03, 2014 5:17 PM by Lindsay tiller
Dear Lindsay and others:
Not enough experience with RRT to form a conclusion yet. Only an initial session. Don't send any money to anyone yet (the machine appears to be available to medical professionals only, in any event).
Please be patient and stay tuned. I haven't arrived at a verdict yet.
Posted @ Monday, May 05, 2014 7:09 AM by Dory Green
Hi Lindsay. Posted this morning but not yet up on this blog. So I'll just say again that the jury is still out. One visit for RRT treatment hasn't convinced me one way or the other. More in a week or two. Don't buy anything yet. And as a layperson, you may not be considered an appropriate purchaser.
Posted @ Monday, May 05, 2014 12:06 PM by Dory Green
Most of you fellow sufferers had arthritic knees prior to your surgeries; a few had a variety of accidents. My problem was a result of an assault by a cyclist who jumped his bike up on a busy Manhattan sidewalk to avoid waiting for a red light in the roadway.
I wrote a note to the managing editor of the NY Times recently when she described the fate of four pedestrians who had been injured by vehicular traffic in crosswalks. I've just been contacted by a deputy editor of the Times and asked for permission to reprint my note in the forthcoming Sunday Times (Mother's Day, as it happens). So we'll see if it is published. Just thought I'd like to share with my fellow painful knee colleagues.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 06, 2014 10:59 AM by Dory Green
I got ACL surgery on my right knee in December 2012. It is now a year an a half later and I still have a stiff knee. Everytime I get up from my desk at work I limp. I was a very active person before I did my ACL, and I have played a few rugby matches since my surgery but I am very restricted, and in pain after a game. I did all the rebab, but I could never regain full movement. My legs are strange in that they hyper extend a lot, so maybe that has something to do with the lack of movement. I am so fed up of people asking me why are you limping? I am 25 years old, and I do not want to be stuck with this limp for the rest of my life. Any advice would be great everyone.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 07, 2014 7:12 AM by Michael Lenihan
I am 79. Had my TKR in Oct. 2013. Had lot of pain post surgery. Now much better but suffer bad stiffness, particularly while sitting in car or on Sofa or chair. I had sufficient Physiotherapy with a therapist and am doing regular exercises. Took painkillers for long period as prescribed. I am still asked to take some of them. My TKR leg has become slightly longer. Can not walk comfortably even short distance. Able to climb & get down stairs. The movement of the knee joint is not smooth. What is the problem? What remedial meaure needs to be taken?
Posted @ Saturday, May 10, 2014 6:27 AM by Arun Gupte
Of goodness! My TKR is scheduled for this coming Tuesday! After reading everyone's comments I am seriously contemplating canceling ASAP! Any advise?
Posted @ Saturday, May 10, 2014 3:01 PM by Jo Anne Hudgins
I guess you need to decide the pros and cons of having your knee done. My husband had his done 11 months ago. At a month he was walking without any assisted devices and hardly any pain meds. Bending at 130 degrees. Me on the other hand did not fair so well. It has been 5 months since my surgery and I am still dealing with a fair amount of pain and a lot of stiffness. There are days that I am sorry I had it done.
Everyone is different.
It does take a full year though to really see where you will be after surgery. I am just hoping that the stiffness goes down more before my year ends. My other knee is starting to give me grief, but I would have to be in such major pain before i would get this type of surgery done again.
I hope all goes well for you. Hopefully you will be one of the fortunate ones that everything goes well.
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 8:22 AM by Chris b
Jo Anne - you have to realize that the people that write here have problems and are looking for answers and have come across this site, including me. People with great outcomes are not even going to look for a site like this. So, if your knee is unbearable go for it. What's the alternative? I had all the problems with stiffness and pain and I am now 8 months out and am doing great. Back to playing tennis and walking with no problem BUT it took a long time to heal! I wondered why the hell I did this but now I can honestly say I am glad I did it. Good luck to you. You have to go into surgery with a positive attitude.
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 8:27 AM by Janet Knowlton
If one leg is longer than the other , you are probably having a back problem. I had my Tkr oct 1, 2013 . Came out of surgery with a back problem and it was twenty two days before the therapist figured out that all my pain and problems was from that.2 mos later therapist had my disc back in place and lots less pAin . Knee had formed scar tissue . Therapist said at about 5 mos scar tissue softens so I started working on bike and lowering seat each week slowly stretching and tearing scar tissue until I got good knee flex 130 and almost flat extension.still having a little knee cap pain which the therapist said would take up to a year to go away completely . Still a little pain going down stairs holding back with knee. Backs can and will be a major part of this knee replacement because the way u walk effects your back. Be careful until everything is back to normal. I went in thinking I would be back to normal pretty quick , but found out that rarely happens . Give yourself six mos to a year to get back to normal and no pAin
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 11:31 AM by James
Hello JoAnne...I found this website last summer (2013) after undergoing a TKR on my right knee and I've been following the numerous comments on this website since. I have to agree with Janet Knowlton above. Most of the people who post blogs on this website are those experiencing problems after their TKR and yes, we are all looking for answers. This website was extremely helpful to me because I discovered I was not (in pain) alone and I did gain knowledge (from several others) on how to deal with the swelling and stiffness. I can tell you that 10 months post surgery I am doing well. But, it took a lot longer to recuperate than I had anticipated. If I had known then what I know now I would have waited until after I retired. However, I am glad that I had the TKR surgery. But, let me tell you...I never want to undergo the surgery again. It was a horrible experience for me. I was off work for nearly 16 weeks. You have to base your decision on your own health situation. If you are managing fairly well (as I was) with your damaged knee...I would say cancel the surgery. However, if your present knee situation is causing you grief...then proceed. It's a tough decision but you cannot base your decision on the comments read on this website. We've already been through it and these are our TKR stories...good or bad. I will say, in closing, if I can make it through rehab...you can too. Everyone can! I never thought I would bend my knee ever again. But, with hard work and perseverance my flexion is now 128 degrees..and I am absolutely thrilled. I never had a problem with my extension. It was three degrees right after surgery. Nevertheless, my recovery period was extremely difficult. Good luck and have a blessed day.
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 2:25 PM by Crystal
Jo Anne, speaking from my perspective:- I could walk miles and do most things except it was very painful going up and down stairs, kneeling etc., I won't go into my problems but wish I had never had my TKR, it has been 8 months out of my life that I will never get back. When I was on the table just before getting the anesthetic, I almost changed my mind...wish I had. BUT I can't speak for you, depending on how painful your knee is, it is your decision and of course, not everyone has problems. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 5:41 PM by Ann
I am to thankful to get have found this website!!! I had broken my leg in July of 2012. At that time I had a metal bar with 10 screws put in my leg to along with cadaver bone in the tibia plate as it had been crushed. I never got over having pain in my leg and over the past year and 1/2 my leg from the knee down started to lean out so that I could not walk straight and the arthritis in the knee that I developed made it impossible to extend my leg straight. Since I also had bone rubbing bone in several areas of my knee the dr. decided that it was time to have a TKR along with removing all the metal hardware. I had this done April 15th which will make it 4 weeks tomorrow. I am in extreme pain throughout the day and have a total intolerance of pain meds so have been trying to handle the pain with ice and putting my leg up many times a day. I have always been very active and have tried to use activity to regulate pain for myself. What brings me to doing some research now is that at 4 weeks out I still can not bend my leg back, at all..When I try to there is so much pain along with some stiffness. I guess I am wondering if this is too soon to be expecting more..I have gone to pt a few weeks, but have now given up on that and working on this myself. I spend several hours throughout the day trying to stretch and straighten my leg, which I am having some success with, but soooo frustrated at not being able to get my leg bent more then 90 and even there it is with pain. Could someone tell me if this is normal or am I expecting too much too soon? I know that a huge amount of my bone pain that goes down the side of my leg and also on the inside is where the 3 inch screws were taken out and that will take a little time to subside, but the inability to bend my leg has caused me much depression and frustration...Anybody have any advice or comments I would appreciate..:)
Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 8:42 PM by Terri
Terri, If you have not achieved the degree of bending you'd like, I'd recommend not giving up on PT. They can also help you with the pain and swelling by using electro current and a cold compression boot after PT sessions. I had heard you only have two months post surgery to meet your range of motion goals, but after having both knees replaced last year, I was increasing up through four months. Once you get past 6 weeks with the pain, it starts to get better. I had TKR in both knees at 54 because I didn't want to wait until I was too old to enjoy the activities I hadn't been able to do for years. I'm back to riding my bicycle and yard work PAIN FREE. It's a long recovery, but worth the effort you put into it.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 13, 2014 6:47 AM by Michelle
GO BACK TO PT!!! At only 4 weeks, you are just beginning! Stick with the PT and don't try to do this on your own. Your case is complicated, and there are things the PT knows that you do not. Don't give up. You will get there.Take it one day at a time, celebrate small progress, and don't worry about it. Worrying will make it more stiff, as your muscles tense up. Relax and trust the process.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 13, 2014 8:21 AM by Suzanne
I had lateral femoral condyle surgery in 1st quater of 2013 and I removed screw in mid of august 2013. Still I couldn't get rod of stiffness, I am doing exercises, waxing. But, I could see my knee getting fluctuation up to 70 degrees. But not more than that. I seriously feeling bad and my god people behind me started looking me as a handicapped person. What is the solution to solve my knee problem
Posted @ Tuesday, May 20, 2014 6:10 AM by Ramachadran
I met with an accident on march10th 2013,i broke my leg, hand and pelvic, i was operated thrice for distal femur fracture..doctors fixed external rods, am not able to bend my knee, not even 20 degrees,, could you please help...
Posted @ Wednesday, May 21, 2014 6:10 AM by Anand Samuel
Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. I have a long history of problems with my right knee. I am now 57 and had my first surgery at age 15 after a sports injury. I tore meniscus in my rt. knee and had the standard procedure for the time, which was to remove, not repair, the damaged tissue, which was on the inside of the knee, leaving me with a 6 inch crescent scar and excruciating pain during the recovery. At the time, the MD's attitude was, "He'll have arthritis when he is 40."
I led an active life into my late 30s when the leg became stiff and achy after any strenuous activity. I found a good ortho guy, conservative and not eager to pull out the scalpel. I had several treatments, PT, cortisone, etc. all kept me going until 2004 when, after an MRI, he recommended an arthroscope to clean up the joint. In 2006, after a slip on winter ice, I required a second 'scoping and the doc's prediction that a TKR was coming. I put it off until this year and had the procedure on 2/25.
The surgery was unremarkable and my hospital stay was comfortable. I had issues with dehydration that I brought on myself by not drinking enough water and experienced a loss of appetite that still bothers me. Thanks to my wife's excellent medical insurance, I had two weeks at an in-patient rehab where I received 6 hours daily of PT and OT. I was and am a motivated patient. I would show up early and stay late for my sessions.
I returned home using a cane, but...I could not get the flex back in my leg. Out-patient PT was and is very painful. Truthfully, less so now, but mostly because the surgical trauma is healing. I have a young therapist who promised aggressive treatment to which I said, "Bring it on." There have been sessions with tears, especially when I am placed in a 'flex harness.' Anybody have experience with that? It,s nearly medieval.
Anyway, that's my history. Sorry for going on and on. My surgeon has been very concerned at my slow progress, especially as he reads the PT reports which indicate my full and active participation. He is treating this as a problem we will solve together. On 4/28, two months post-surgery, I had 62 degrees of flex. 62!! On 4/29, I had an MUA and gained 29 degrees by the following week. The daily PT was even more aggressive and painful. I use 10 mg. oxycodone pills (no tylenol in them) to control pain. The meds are dispensed and monitored by a pain-management specialist.
After another month of PT, i gained just TWO more degrees of flex. At the same time, the PT began to include more weights and strength training for my quad. A SECOND MUA was recommended by the surgeon and supported by the therapist. I agreed and had that procedure last Thursday. At my first post-'bend' PT evaluation, I was measured at 101 degrees. The MD advised that all he had left after the second MUA was to 'scope me and shave away the scar tissue. I spoke to the MD's office today and his nurse advised that if I can gain 1-2 degrees a week for the next month, they will be satisfied that I do not need to be 'scoped. I am scheduled for daily PT for the next three weeks and am hopeful that things are finally on the upswing. I have no advice or words of wisdom to offer. Just wanted to share my experience, get your feedback, and wish everyone well.
Posted @ Monday, June 09, 2014 10:30 AM by Obxboy
For oxyboy regarding scar tissue, my ortho surgeon told me that they wait at least a year to remove scar tissue, if done sooner it will reoccur. I had a PKR on 8-1-2014 and am doing well. Went back to running dog agility in December. I have some scar tissue but It is not so bad that I can't live with it. I know a TKR is much more involved then a PKR, but hang in there.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4:54 AM by Sandy
Hello Obxboy and all, I just wanted to update you all on my latest and was quite interested in Obxboy and his procedures, etc. can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I would like to discuss some of your issues with you and the treatment you are receiving if that is acceptable with you. I had TKR on 8/5/13 and 10/8/13 manipulation and went back to therapy the next day and things went downhill from there. Since then my ankle has been swelling and making it difficult to walk, from what I learned they grab the ankle with great force to help bend the knee. I have been going to therapy 5 days a week and it was brutal and also to water therapy. I was at a 110 bend, stiffness, pain, some numbness along the right side of the knee and it looks all knotty and the knee itself looks much larger and the therapist kept saying by one year it would look normal like the left knee, but the pain management doctor kept saying that it will always look this way, etc. Out of desperation while waiting to get into Mayo my friends surgeon agreed to see me and he said all he could find wrong that my surgeon did was place my kneecap to high, but over time and therapy it should fall into place, so I had hope.
I have been waiting to get into Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for 7 months and finally went last week to see the top orthopedic surgeon, which I did not get good news. After his exam of my knee, x-rays, also evaluated the ankle, read all my operative notes, therapy notes, watched me walk, the blood test showed no infection and evidently I am not allergic to the implant that was put in, etc. and then he said there is nothing else they can do. It has been 10 months and now my bend is only 95. I also see a pain management doctor and the surgeon told me to go home and accept this and said that I can walk, I can drive, I can climb stairs and I just happened to fall in that 5% of people that have surgery where things just don't go exactly right and he said if I was depressed and needed help I should go see a psychiatrist. Well after that news I felt I needed one. The surgeon did say that if he were to go in and take out all that my surgeon did on 8/5/13 there is a 50% chance that things could be worse, so he would not do that. Imagine after 10 months of so much physical therapy and home therapy and doing every single thing I was told to do, this is the best it is.
I really appreciate everyone writing in and sharing, as it helps me understand and learn from others and their experiences and other possible things that other doctors recommend that ours do not. I thought I had researched this TKR so thoroughly before the surgery and interviewed 4 top surgeons in Orlando and did my homework and then this happens and I do understand that we are all different and "stuff happens". Any other suggestions would be most appreciated, I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the oncoming train. I really thank you all for responding and sharing. I have used the emu oil, castor oil just to rub on the knee to help with the tightness. Good luck to all and Dory how are you, nothing from you lately. Lil
Posted @ Tuesday, June 10, 2014 9:32 AM by Lil Simon
Oops, my PKR was Aug 1, 2013, not 2014.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:33 AM by Sandy
I had my surgery 4.14.14. Before surgery my ROM was 100. My ROM when leaving the hospital and rehab was 75. No one was happy with me but the pain was harsh and the whole area was swollen..a lot. I was threatened with a manipulation by my surgeon if my ROM didn't improve..like I was doing something wrong. I'm now walking on my own and go to PT 2 times a week and my ROM if I bend till it feels like my knee will pop is 97.. have a 12 degree stretch..still very swollen, stiff and painful. I leave PT feeling good but as soon as I sit it feels like I've done nothing. I'm even STILL wearing my TEDS all the time...I won't even go into sleeping, I know I'm rambling and aren't saying anything everyone hasn't said already, but it feels better to not be the only one struggling to get through this. O..I was given a nerve pain block before surgery and the area is still totally numb..sighs
Posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:33 PM by Kiz
Kiz: First of all, NO ONE should threaten you with manipulation. Having been dealing with arthrofibrosis ever since my TKR in 2006, I can tell you a manipulation is dangerous and often sets you back to square one. It is a violent bending of the knee and at times damages the prosthesis. You are less than 2 months post op!!! This surgery is major and takes a LONG time to heal. Please give it time. Good luck. Also, ICE, ICE, ICE..ice is your friend!!
Posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 4:34 PM by Carole Weigel
I'd also like to say that everyone's body is not the same as far as healing. One person may be fine in a month and another will take a year. We all heal in a different time frame. I see people posting here who obviously were not told this and expect to be 100% in a month or two. It most likely will take 6 months to a year normally to completely heal. If you are unfortunate as I was to form heavy scar tissue, you will have a stiff knee until surgeons find a cure. I'm 7 years post op and my leg feels like a piece of wood.
Posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 4:41 PM by Carole
I read all the blogs going back for about a year and the stories are quite horrific but for those of you who haven't had the surgery yet, I'd like to share a "good and hopefully encouraging story." I had the total knee done 10/5/2013 and couldn't get past 90 ROM so 12/9/2013 had a MUA. For me at least, the MUA was a walk in the park. I was under for 10 minutes, flexed to 140 degrees while under, went to outpatient PT that afternoon and was able to flex to 110 ROM for the first time on my own. Long story short, 6 months post-op and ROM in both legs is 145 degrees. Yes, I do have an occasional pain but nothing worth writing about; the swelling is almost completely gone and the incision side is practically non-existant. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is even though the PT was tough to say the least, I am grateful to have had the surgery and wouldn't hesitate to have it again. It takes guts to get through the recovery phase but for me at least, has been well worth it. I power-walk 5 miles every night; bike; and am back to a totally normal way of life. As so many have said before me, stick with it. This too shall pass. Good Luck to all.
Posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 8:53 PM by Sara
I am 42 and had TKR on 5-29-14 (only 2.5 weeks ago). I was doing EXCELLENT until this week. I had reached 90 degrees 3 PT sessions ago, however, I have begun going backwards. I am now only 72. (I am at 0 when straight.) My PT, along with several others at the facility, are very concerned because I continue to digress and are sending me to my surgeon ASAP. I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything similar.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:57 AM by Kim
That sounds frustrating and a little scary. All I can say is what's been said to me..everyone goes through this process differently. It sounds as if you have great care and concern. It's hard not to compare ones recovery with others. Good luck and please keep us posted.
Posted @ Thursday, June 19, 2014 7:30 AM by Kiz
Kim: don't know if the response I sent reached the site but please don't despair after such a short time! 2-1/2 weeks is way too soon to be worrying. PT's don't know everything there is to know about this surgery which takes a long time for some to recover. As long as you are doing the exercises they give you and are not in a great deal of pain, stick with it. You might want to check back with the surgeon but I would definitely steer clear of a manipulation. Let your body heal naturally!
Posted @ Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:14 AM by Carole
I think 2-1/2 weeks is way to soon for the pt to be sending you into a panic. I have had both knees replaced. My right one was in 2010 and from the day of my surgery, at home therapy and out patient therapy it was 7 weeks and I was back to work.
My left one I had done this year at the end of January. It has been the opposite of the first one. This one was more difficult for me. But my surgeon did not worry until I was about 5 weeks into all of this and my knee was starting to freeze. I did have the manual manipulation done. It helped me. It may not help everyone. But my surgeon said they don't usually worry or recommend it till about 6 weeks after surgery. I can tell you that I think the difference in how each knee did was the therapist. Maybe you should go to a different therapist. The one who did my left knee was not the best. And I am sorry I stuck it out with him. I should have switched. Talk to your Dr. about switching. Good luck.
Posted @ Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:58 PM by Barb
I just had to leave a comment because this article really answered all my questions. My mom just had two TKR's and started to feel some stiffness. She is now relieved and so am I because she kept bugging me. Thanks for the valuable info!
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 5:38 PM by John
I don't know if this is the appropriate site for me to ask my questions, but in scanning some of the comments, it appeared that it may be. Several months ago I began having severe knee issues when I walked. I really had no pain, just a lot of swelling after my powerwalks. I went to an orthopedic doctor at the advice of my GP. I was given a steroid injection and advised to take it easy. After several weeks there had been no change, and in fact it got worse as my knee felt like it popped sending me to an urgent care center. I have a pacemaker so the only option was to do a diagnostic arthroscopic procedure since an MRI is not an option. Doctors thought for sure it was a meniscus tear based on history of the weeks prior, severe swelling, and the popping sensation. It turned out to be severe inflammation, arthritis, and synovitis. The doctor said she cleaned my kneecap thoroughly; however, there is an issue with it tracking improperly. I have been in PT and doing home exercises since my surgery on May 21st. The severity of the pain continues to worsen, and I've since needed another steroid injection. The PA in my surgeons office also said I have a severe knee defect, but hasn't really provided an explanation. My knee has continued to swell and is extremely stiff. My physical therapist is not happy with the results achieved thus far, and I am in severe pain 90% of the time. I know there is a great deal of scar tissue despite the fact it was a simple arthroscopic procedure and I've been doing all exercises prescribed. Just wondering if anyone has any insight or suggestions. Thanks so much.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:50 PM by Karla Moreno
I had TKR 06/02/2014. I am a L & D RN but work full time as nursing faculty so I was fortunate to plan the surgery for the summer. I agree it was the most brutal surgery and recovery. I am 8 weeks post op, 110, -5 degrees on the flexion and straightening. I am 51 so a fairly young knee. I was driving at 5 weeks (had the right knee done). As a type A personality the loss of control and independence was very emotional for me. I stayed on percocet for the first 3 weeks, but moved to meloxicam 15 mg and some xanax for piece of mind. It has helped tremendously. Still going to pt 3 times a week, but see the MD 7/29 so it may change. I am still unable to walk up and down steps normally. But taking it one day at a tome still..... the jury is still out for me if this was the best thing to do, but I guess although I have pain its better/different than the bone to bone grinding pain. Ice packs still help, but night pain/aches are still an annoyance...
Posted @ Sunday, July 27, 2014 6:36 PM by Donna Volpe
One year partial knee replacement post op on left knee and almost one year post op on the right knee. Other than a clicking sound that wakes me up at night sometimes, I have no other problems. I have full range of motion and ride a stationary bike regularly. I am 49 and work out at the gym 4-5 days a week, am very active, play golf and am thankful. All I can say to all of you is to start therapy as soon as you wake up from surgery and to look on YouTube to find out what the exercises are that you need to do on a daily basis right after your surgery. Trust me, I know how much it hurts to bend your knee after surgery, but if you don't "gut" the pain, you will not succeed. The pain will go away eventually, it will take time and will be totally worth it.
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 7:51 AM by Tressa
Just an update: My surgery was May 29th 2014. After 4 weeks, I started to drastically tighten up with my flexion (from 90 back to 75 in a few days). Had manip done on June 27. Now, 8 weeks post op, I am doing great. (124 and 0) I couldn't be happier with my decision. My PT did say I was an extremely hard worker and I put all I had into every session. A great doctor and therapy is a must! It's painful, but worth every ache and all the sweat!
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 7:54 AM by Kim
am a physiotherapy as well i really love what you people are doing. i pray that God should continue to give us the strenght and knowlage.please i have a patient whose legs are bend and stiff and when i lie him in certained position the legs strenghtens. plz what should i do thanks
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 12:15 PM by jum dengha benard
I am 1 year and 5 months post-op TKR on right knee. After a brutal recovery, that knee does pretty well but not the best bend in the world. Sad part is, ever since about 6 mos after surgery, on the opposite side I have chronic lower back pain, hip pain and foot pain. The TKR left my right leg 3/4 " longer than the left. Anyone else have similar problem?
Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 3:39 AM by Dottie
Hello all. Have not posted in some time. I am now exactly six months post-surgical for a left knee replacement, three and one-half months post-manipulation, and not very pleased. My ROM is pretty good due to an especially skilled P.T. who increased it significantly in one intensive session months ago, but stiffness and inflammation continue. I allowed a practitioner of Rapid Response Technology to give me a session on May 1st, but he used his equipment on my bare skin and made a mess out of my scar, which has never lost the blood spots left behind, although he may have helped loosen up some of the adhesions and scar tissue. However, my advice is to stay far away from the chiropractors and other pseudo-doctors who use the RRT technique and stick with good physical therapists and maybe deep massage therapists. My progress in getting up and down stairs is poor; sometimes I can with great difficulty, but more often, I just get up and down like a 2-year-old, two feet on the same step. In this regard, I do knee bends to strengthen the muscles in my knee, and it is improving. I believe that the elements of my new knee are slightly misaligned (my surgeon straightened my bow-leggedness along with the traditional surgery) such that my surgeon must make a minor surgical adjustment. Unfortunately, my notes to my surgeon asking about that have not been answered yet, and he operates at the top orthopedic hospital in the country. I have to massage a good deal and/or slightly twist my leg to get the elements to align and be able to walk without much pain, and that just isn’t right. I try to sleep with a straight leg, which leaves it less stiff or sore in the morning. I am now 71 years old and have lost my vitality and love of movement. My surgeon tells me to be patient, my employer demanded I return to work full-time after a three-month disability leave, and I miss all the wonderful things I used to do and can barely attempt any more (walking, dancing, etc.). All I can say to the rest of you is to be patient and keep icing, massaging, and especially keep moving and exercising, always keep moving; the more you move, the better it gets, but the progress at least for me is very gradual.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2:30 PM by Dory Green
Dottie, I totally understand you..:) I am 4 months out from TKR on left leg..After breaking bones 2 years ago in this leg, I needed TKR to correct it along with removal of metal and 10 screws that had been placed from break. Doing really well, with the exception of bending, but dr says it will never be perfect due to the trauma of break. It is much better then it was though, so I am happy...But, I am due to have the other knee done in 3 months, and in the mean time I am 1 and 3/8 inches taller with the TKR I had done so I have major back and foot pain on the right side now. Due to arthritis and bones spurs in the right leg, it will take getting the right knee done to correct this..Is your left knee also bad? Anyways, just saw your post and I totally relate to the back pain...
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:34 AM by Terri B
Dottie: This happens to a lot of patients. The opposite side of your body tries to compensate for the operated side and you end up with hip and lower back/foot pain. It happened to me, as well. If you have good extension this will not be as bad. I was told that if you cannot straighten the (operated) leg completely, you will limp even though it may not be noticeable and the opposite side will be thrown off.
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:55 AM by Carole
Terri B.No, my left knee is fine.
Carole, I have great extension on the operated knee.It's just longer than the left one now.
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:27 PM by Dottie
I had a TKR on Oct. 31, 2013. Couldn't bend any more than 70% so had to have a MUA on Feb. 12, 2014. Am at about 115% and stuck there. I'm ok with that I suppose, but am still getting alot of pain and stiffness in my knee. Will this over go away? Could be my imagination, but just doesn't seem right. It's now been 9 months and I'm a bit sorry I had this done, even though my knee was bone on bone for so long. Still riding my exersise bike and doing gentle stretches. Any advise?
Posted @ Wednesday, August 06, 2014 1:48 PM by Bev
Hi Bev, I can certainly identify with you. I had TKR on 8/5/2013 and Manipulation on 10/8/2013 and only got worse after that, the manipulation also caused something to go wrong with my ankle, I was told by others, they grab onto your ankle for leverage to force the bend. It has been 1 whole year of torture for me. I went to therapy for 9 months and also water therapy. I waited 7 months to get an appointment with Mayo Clinic In Jacksonville as we live in Orlando, Florida. I only have a bend of 95 and I am going to pain management and I have stiffness and pain and I do everything humanly possible and nothing helps. Mayo was quite a sad experience for me. The chief surgeon reviewed my operative notes, x-rays, etc and said well your doctor did not put the implant in upside down, he did not put the left one in the right one and you have no infection and it looks like you have done your therapy and if we were to redo your knee, there is a 50% chance it would get worse and he would not do that and if I could not accept that I need to see a psychiatrist. He said I just fell in that 5% of patients that things just do not go right. Imagine how I felt, so I just don't know what to do, except I do not want to accept that I have to live like this the rest of my life. I am only 67, very active, not overweight, not lazy, did my work, etc. If anyone has any suggestions please email me at email@example.com. I read this sight daily and wish all of you the best. Bev, I was bone on bone also, but this is far worse than before I had the surgery and my knee looks like it is to big for me, it just looks strange and it it hard to get in the car and just putting on shoes is difficult, I can tell you IF I had known this could have happened, I would have stayed the way I was and I researched so much and interviewed 4 surgeons before making a decision and this is my first surgery for anything. Thanks for sharing. I hope this writing comes outright as my computer is acting up tonight Lil
Posted @ Wednesday, August 06, 2014 10:25 PM by Lil Simon
I have currently had my 3rd Mcl && LCL repair in June ! My first knee surgery was in October on my left knee. It was straight and stiff for 3 weeks . Finally my doctor came to a conclusion in December to have a manipulation done . I finally got cleared in June on my left knee . That same day I had to schedule my 3rd surgery for my right knee &&' I'm currently doing therapy now and I'm almost 5 weeks out of surgery and can bend it to 125 but my full flexion is 140 in my left knee .
Posted @ Thursday, August 07, 2014 2:52 AM by Tee
My sis had TKR and developed scar
tissue. Dr. during manipulation
broke her femur. This impeded recovery
of TKR. Now. 2 years later, she still
goes in for PT and knee is only at 100 degrees
She now suffers back pain. At 70 years old she
is almost completely disabled. Can anything be
done short of another surgery?
Posted @ Monday, August 18, 2014 6:49 PM by carol roberg
I had the surgery January 31st at age 70 and a manipulation in mid-April, which helped somewhat with scar tissue but also left me with three days of intense nerve pain from the spinal anesthesia.
I am now 71 and have pretty good ROM thanks to an intense session with a very good P.T., but am struggling with demanding full-time employment (although I telecommute most days), terrible stiffness and pain, and especially with the use of stairs (the final frontier). My life doesn't seem to be headed back to where it used to be, which is depressing.
Your sister should consult with a different orthopedic surgeon about her circumstances to see what is now possible, and perhaps (very soon because of the statute of limitations) with an attorney since the manipulation surgeon broke her leg!
We are not all blessed with a speedy or full recovery, but your sister needs to know why she is doing so badly and what her medical and legal remedies may be.
Good luck to her!
Posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:58 AM by Dory Green
I had a TKR in mid December 2013, a manipulation in March and again in April. The first manipulation caused excruciating pain in all my thigh muscles all the way to the insertion points in the hip. Plus my 2 percent extension was reduced to 8 percent and I had no improvement in flection. The second manipulation didn't hurt or help. Now I have about 2 percent extension and probably 90 percent flection without a person attached to my leg. With that and lots of pushing I can get to 112 degrees.
I do my daily exercises religiously and walk 2.5 miles per day. I'm 67 and still need to work to get my insurance. I've always been an active person and I want to continue being active; the knee makes it difficult though.
My surgeon says, "You're stiff (which I know of course), and you have a borderline nonfunctioning knee. We could wait until January--about a year after the TKR surgery--and remove the kneecap and the upper prosthesis to remove scar tissue."
I didn't get any information as to what the outcome would be--probably because I got 'stuck' on the thought of another surgery or a life where walking down stairs and getting out of a car is painful and pretty primitive.
I have been searching the internet trying to find a surgeon to give me a second opinion and/or some other options. It is pretty hard to really have much of an idea as to which surgeon would work for me. Do I go by the number of stars they have, their number of patient responses, their hospital association, or what? I would be willing to have this revision if I didn't worry so much about another very painful and unsuccessful results. Is there anywhere one can get more in-depth information about outcomes, options, and choice of highly-skilled surgeons?
Posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 11:52 AM by Joyce
I don't know if my last post went through, so I will give a quick overview to see if it works this time.
1. Had TKR 12/11/2013, first manipulation in March and a second in April.
2. I had to recover at least 7 degrees of extension from the first manipulation--now I'm down to 1 degree. My flection still only about 90 percent on my own (up to 112 with PT attached and pushing)
3. My surgeon says, "You have a borderline nonfunctional knee and we can wait until January to take out the kneecap and upper prosthesis, clean out the scar tissue, and replace the pieces."
4. I forgot to ask what the success rate was for this type of procedure.
5. I've been looking on line trying to determine what options I have and if there might be a doctor willing to give me a second opinion and some options.
6. I'm finding the information on line a little hard to evaluate and want to find some site where I can get deeper, more intensive information. Any Ideas?
Posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:04 PM by Joyce
Interesting site. Thank you
Posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:57 PM by Joyce Krachmalnick
I like you am overwhelmed with this TKR which I had 8/5/2013 and manipulation 10/8/2013 and it has been a whole year of up and down and I have seen 3 surgeons here in Florida, also Mayo Clinic and i am so frustrated, as they all say this is the best is will get, unless when I say I can't take it anymore they will try to undo what my doctor did and there is a 50% chance of it being worse, I just am not ready to take that chance at the moment, now I am looking at accupuncture, anyone tried that. I only have a 90-95 bend and the highest I had after 9 months of PT was 110. Joyce can you email me separtely at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss further. Thank you all for sharing and best of luck. Lil
Posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 1:07 AM by Lil Simon
It feels wonderful to have heard from you. I was feeling pretty much alone out here; although, it doesn't make me happy to know that others have and are going through such similar misery. Lil, I so appreciate your post--thank you.
Does anyone out there know of websites that can give in-depth, detailed information as to what might have gone wrong and what one can do to actually remedy the situation? Please let me.
Posted @ Friday, August 29, 2014 9:57 AM by Joyce
I think a consultation with at least one other orthopedic surgeon, with your original surgeon's office notes and your latest x-rays in hand, would yield the best results.
Check out surgeons on the web, looking for positive patient feedback. Try a consultation with a second new orthopedic surgeon if the first one doesn't give you some good answers.
With so many people undergoing this surgery, there is bound to be plenty of feedback about various surgeons on the web.
Posted @ Friday, August 29, 2014 11:52 AM by Dory Green
Thank you, Dory.
I'm waiting for a call today from my doctor's office saying the notes and x-ray records are copied and ready for me to pickup. I will take these to another doctor for a second opinion.
Thank you--it is good to get every bit of information I can. Joyce
Posted @ Friday, August 29, 2014 4:28 PM by Joyce
I got injured in a road accident on 3rd may and on 8th may got operated and patella was completely remove.i am taking help from a physiotherapist from last one and half month and knee motion is around 70 degree easily and its 85 degree post pressure on it but it's very painful.
Initialy pain was on knee only but fromm last three days its on right part of thigh also.
Its so painful that i am not able to continue the programme.Somewhere i heared about MUA.Please suggest is it recommended or suggest some other process to bend the knee completely.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:03 AM by pankaj
I have been thru 13 months of this total knee replacement, if you wish you can email me at email@example.com and we can exchange phone numbers and I can see if I can help you. Is the doctor giving you pain meds? I am so sorry another one of us has to suffer. Please email me if you would like to talk about this. As you read above so many of us are suffering and some for years. Lil
Posted @ Thursday, September 04, 2014 7:42 AM by Lil Simon
I had a TNR in Dec of 2013 so it has been 9 months now. What I am wanting to know is is it normal to have so much tenderness yet on the top of knee and just below it? I barely touch these areas and it is tender and sore. also have pain yet getting up from a sitting position, going down stairs and bending. very stiff too. to do walk and bend as best I can. doctor said to give if a full year for healing. also my incision is still tender to touch in some areas and still a reddish brown color in some areas and not the white line like a scar would be.
any input would be appreciated
Posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 8:14 AM by Chris
Very sorry to hear about your continued pain after 9 months post TKR. One thing that I've learned from my experience is, "Everybody is DIFFERENT when responding to ___ surgery." We heard the pre-op warnings but always consider ourselves within the 'normal' range.
So--not that I have real clue--my incision is still purple too and I do have some pain, which is apparently caused by scar tissue, but in my case the pain isn't terrible and the knee isn't especially sensitive to touch. But also know that I'm not on the 'normal' recovery scale, and I too have heard that it takes a year to heal. Hope that's true. Does your doctor have any more solutions other than waiting a year? Good luck, Joyce
Posted @ Saturday, September 06, 2014 10:41 AM by Joyce
I had TKR is Feb of 2013. I had a manipulation and lots of scar tissue.When I left therapy in June of last year, I only had a 108 bend Now I have 118.It just takes TIME.
Posted @ Saturday, September 06, 2014 12:16 PM by Dottie
I had my TKR on 08/11/2014. It's almost 1 month. I still have a lot of swelling and stiffness. I massage the scar often, go the therapy regularly (3 times per week), work on my own other days. My bend is 110 and 4 degree of extension. I'm still in pain and can't sleep more than 3 hrs at night. The stiffness and swelling are painful. I appreciate any advice(s) you can give to reduce the pain.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 1:20 PM by Maria
I would like to know if anyone who has TKR in August 2014? Just want to know your condition. I had mine done in 8/11/14 and still have a lot of swelling and stiffness.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 1:27 PM by Maria
Marie, it's been almost no time at all since your surgery and you should expect swelling and stiffness for quite a while yet.
Are you icing your knee when you get swelling (three or more times a day is not unusual at this very early stage)? Do you take any acetominophen (Tylenol or a generic) to reduce swelling and relieve pain?
It can be very hard to sleep well at first, so treat yourself to codeine-laced acetominophen at night for a few nights or even a few weeks to see if that helps.
And put a pillow between your legs to cushion the one with the surgery when you sleep, especially on your side when your knees tend to bend.
My TKR was performed over seven months ago and I am still working with my surgeon to remediate pain when I straighten my knee initially. Everyone has a slightly different experience, and P.T., medication as needed, icing (I use a large gel neck wrap that cools in my freezer, wrapped in a pillowcase around my knee), and gentle but persistent exercise all help in due course.
The key is to give it more time and be patient. Your ROM is excellent for such an early stage in recovery.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:03 PM by Dory Green
I had a pkr 7/8/14 and after PT sessions ended the PT suggested I get a yoga strap to aid in my knee ROM. I go as far as I can and hold it, stretch my leg and repeat the knee stretch one more time. He advised not to do more than 1-2 times a day and to skip the days I go to the gym. Warming up knee before using the yoga strap is essential.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:31 PM by Donna
It is very early days for you both, expect swelling for months yet. Keep the knee elevated when you are sitting and use ice for pain etc., Insomnia is another common complaint, try Tylenol for Arthritis, it is timed-release and helps to keep you asleep. Do your stretching and exercises every day but don't overdo it.
Posted @ Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:12 PM by Ann
Love this website. So much good information. I had a TKR in June 2014. My extension is good but ROM not so much, can only get to 90. Doctor wants too do manipulation but after reading these comments I have decided not to do it. I will just work harder and try to get at least 100 to 110 ROM. Anyone having trouble with their energy level, I was told you lose 30 percent after a surgery like this. Thanks for all the comments, it is encouraging to know people are going through the same things.
Posted @ Friday, September 12, 2014 11:04 AM by Jane
Hi All, love reading the posts here. I had a right tkr in 2013 which went very well. I was back in the pool after 5 wks. I then had my lft knee replaced on 8/11/14. I am a little discouraged by my recovery this time. Although my ROM is ok at 111 and ext of 0 I have had more pain and stiffness along with very low energy level. So I am at 5 wks post tkr at this point and had not yet driven or gone into a store yet. I have some events coming up in the next few wks and I'm worried that I may not be able to do enjoy them or even do them. It's been getting me down lately. I haven't even walked my dog outside yet. Thank God for my husband who has been doing so much to help out these past wks. I was hoping to be able to get back to my aqua classes next wks but have to put that off since I haven't driven yet. I think if I did get back to the pool I would feel so much better. I started taking B12 this week as I read it helps. I hope so I need something to give me a boost. Thanks
Posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 10:39 AM by Donna
Hi Chris, My TKR was done 12-9-2013. My knee is painful & stiff during the daytime - after I go to bed I have pain on the outside of my knee & a different pain on the back of the knee. Medicare paid for my PT & after it ran out, I pay for my own therapy by the month. I also developed arthritis after the shock, stress & pain of the surgery and after. My Ins Co will allow me to have Celebrex 200 mg. It will cost me $355. per mo, total of $3050.00 annually. A poster suggested Tylenol for Arthritis. I'll give it a try. I gave up pain meds at 2 months. I have had friends get hooked on them - then they had two problems to solve. I wish you well, and hope we both heel by December of 2014 JanR.
Posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 6:23 PM by
Hello all! I've been reading since my June 10th post about my TKR. I am thrilled to report that things have progressed splendidly since the start of the summer. I continue PT 3 times per week and am up to 112 degrees flex and just 4 degrees from a flat extension. I made incremental progress throughout the summer and when my family went on our annual August trip to the Outer Banks, I was able to join my son on daily 2 mile walks in the surf after dinner. No doubt, it was often a tough slog, but I was able to do it. These walks strengthened my leg and my heart as I don't often get the time I'd like with my son who is now 24 and a PhD student in mathematics. It meant a great deal. I was also able to consistently go up stairs hone foot per tread, but continued to need to put both feet on each step as I descended.
After Labor Day, my pain mgmt MD prescribed Celebrex, 200 mg., twice daily. 72 hours after starting the drug, the inflammation in my knee was cut in half. IN HALF! at PT, my therapist was happily surprised to find he could stretch me to a much greater degree than the week before. I found myself able to walk longer with far less pain and, at work, no longer found my knee stiff to near frozen after working at my desk for 45 minutes. Now, I can go up stairs one over the other without need of a railing and can easily go down stairs one foot per tread. I've turned a corner...a BIG one. I will still need PT for a few more months, to allow my thigh muscles to get stronger and my flex to 120 degrees. I feared I'd never have this good news. After 16 days in-patient rehab, two post-surgery manipulations, and weeks of five session PT, I worried that I was bound to have a permanent disability. Now, I can say that TKR works , with work!!
Posted @ Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8:52 PM by Obxboy
Obxboy, you give me such hope. My TKR was a month before yours, and I thought I was such a good patient. But I still have terrible pain straightening my leg after sitting or sleeping with it bent. Stairs are a sometime thing with great difficulty.
But after reading your post I contacted my doc, who has started me on Celebrex. I also have an MRI scheduled for next week to make sure there isn't some misalignment in the bent knee.
If the Celebrex makes a difference, I expect to be dancing by Halloween. No idea what the MRI may show, maybe just give us all reassurance.
My last post was never included in the blog, so I'll hope for the best this time. Again, Obxboy, your complaints/concerns are just like mine, and I am following in your footsteps!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:29 PM by Dory Green
I torn my ACL and partial meniscus tear in December 2013, had my ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair done on March 7,2014 but my knee was so stiff and couldn't bend pass 90 degree two months after the surgery. Doctor recommended manipulation on June 2014. During the manipulation, my knee bend 140 degree, but I was able to bend by myself to 110, and 120 when my PT push it. I started to have severe pain in the back of my knee after the manipulation and that seems to prevent me from bending my leg further. I am now six months after the surgery but still have gain full range of motion. Does anyone have any advice or have similar problem? I really need to get this fix, and finish my training. I came upon this site and I am so happy to see so many people who have similar issues that I can relate to. Thanks in advance
Posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 5:14 AM by Aaron
I am looking forward to 2 surgeries. The first to remove plates and screws from my tibial plateau fracture; the second to replace my knee. I know exercises, physiotherapy are indispensable, but icing and manual lymphatic drainage of the leg is so essential as well. Thank goodness I have a good therapist who does this.
Posted @ Friday, September 26, 2014 10:16 AM by Shauna
Here is some of my history for those that recently had TKA, have stiff knee, and wondering about further surgery (TKR - total knee revision) or MUA. Each person is different and will respond differently to any surgery or manipulation, no matter what any doctor or person tells you. I had reconstructive surgery 5/2009 after a motorcycle accident shattered my left tibia/fibula just under the knee. Took 2 years for the bone to heal. 12/2011 had TKA to replace the joint that had malformed while healing and to straighten my leg after it had bent the plate (inserted in first surgery) and therefore my leg 15 degrees. Did all exercises and PT after both these surgeries. After TKA my knee got very large and stiff with 90 degrees max flexion with PT pushing very hard. Just got worse over time. Had MUA 3/2012 with no improvement whatsoever. After 2 years I was at 70 degrees flexion and about -5 degrees extension. Went to another doctor and he was firm in that he could help me. Had revision surgery (TKR) 5/2014. So far knee is slighly smaller but still stiff - have never gotten over 90 degrees flexion and am at -15 degrees extension. It has been 4 1/2 months since surgery and I have not improved at all. I actually lost 10 degrees of extension (from -5 to -15) and remain at 70 degrees flexion (90 degrees with alot of pushing and immense pain). I have done all PT, exercises, and tried Dynasplint for last 3 weeks. Nothing has helped. I am convinced the second knee revision was a total waste of time, money, and increased pain. It has now been 5 1/2 years since my accident that started all this, and it has always been painful with greatly diminished use of my knee. I would think very hard and talk to several different surgeons before having any further surgeries if I were you. I think the 50% possibility (that people have mentioned above) of resulting in a worse condition may be incorrect. I would bet that it is more like 70 or 80%, but I'm sure no doctor will tell you that. Just my opinion. For those who have greater than 90 degree flexion - be happy!
Posted @ Saturday, October 04, 2014 6:23 PM by Bob
A word of sympathy for Bob and my own progress:
Bob, you've had a really tough time. My suggestion is not to give up, not yet. My TKR eight months ago (and then lots of P.T. and exercise) was followed by a manipulation that temporarily dealt with some stubborn scar tissue. Alas, the progress did not last.
Finally I have convinced my surgeon to try again, and an MRI and x-rays have shown that my surgery has healed exactly right BUT I have exceptionally significant scar tissue. I was offered a full knee surgery to remove that scar tissue but declined, fearing all that new surgical work could cause even more scar tissue (and who has the time, money, or fortitude to go through it practically all over again?), so this coming Friday I am scheduled for a laparoscopic surgery to remove scar tissue, as much as the surgeon can manage.
In the meantime, I took celebrex for two weeks, two doses a day until my intestinal tract was adversely impacted, and somehow all the exercise I got during those two weeks seems to have helped somewhat (maybe loosened a bit of the scar tissue). Anyway, I hope to be functional again after my forthcoming laparoscopic surgery. We TKR folks are an optimistic, if often desperate, bunch.
Bob, if you're anywhere near NYC, try a consult with one of the knee surgeons at HSS. Awfully capable medical crew here.
Posted @ Sunday, October 05, 2014 1:13 PM by Dory Green
i got my right knee implanted as a management for bone cancer back in 2008. i only comply with the physiotherapy for approximately 3 weeks post operatively and did not finish all the session because i have to continue school at that time.
until now, i did feel stiffness in my knee as i cannot bent it fully like it was before. i did have some difficulties while climbing the stairs.i usually use my left leg to climb and followed by my right leg (implANTED). AND VICE VERSA while going down the stairs.
i cannot jog like before because it tires me a lot more if i do it. btw, im 22 this year.
what do you think i should do? should i make some time o meet with GP? Thank you
Posted @ Tuesday, October 07, 2014 9:55 AM by amie
Amie - 3 weeks is not nearly enough PT!!! I did PT for 6-8 months! Even if you do not have time to go to a physical therapist you have to find 20-30 minutes a day and do the exercises at home. If you don't it will be hard to ever fully recover. It takes a very long time to get back to normal. PT is so important for you to return to normal, especially at your age. I think a doctor would tell you the same thing. Try doing PT on your own for a few weeks and then see the doctor if no improvement. Sorry to be harsh but if you don't put in the effort you can't expect good results. Good luck!
Posted @ Tuesday, October 07, 2014 12:21 PM by Janet Knowlton
I have been reading the posts here and learning from them. I had a torn meniscus right knee in 2009 and had surgery for that followed by 6 weeks of therapy. It went well. In 2010 arthritis crept in and I had Synvisc inserted in both knees. Did not seem to help much and arthritis continued. On June 7 of this year I fell down my stairs and hitting the concrete resulted in my right knee staying swollen. We decided it was time for a TKA. I had that on Sept 24th after doing 1.5 months of pre-op therapy following the book Total Knee Replacemet and Rehabilitation. I was on a CMM for the day of surgery and early on in the next. Therapist started on surgery day a few hours later and I was at 90% right away and -9. I did all she told me and was discharged on that Friday. PT started the following Monday 3x a week. I got to 92 on Monday and 105 on Wednesday of that week, and a -7. I am using a cane and can go up and down stairs with no problems. I cannot get a spin cycle in yet on the spin bike so that is a goal. I take pain meds about 40 min prior to PT and that has worked well. I can walk about 3/4 of a mile with my cane and I focus on good form more than speed. I do my home PT 2x a day. My hardest exercise is letting my foot and part of my leg sit on a piano bench and I let it hang for 2-5 minutes. Brings me to crying and sometimes screaming, but it is getting better. I have a good therapist; last time I did the scream thing she was very kind and held my knee wrapping her hands around it and gently pushing the knee back towards me. After a few minutes I was much better and actually laughing. I plan to do pool therapy as soon as I am cleared for it. I have read that many people including Dr. Falkel, one of the authors of the book I read, had little success with flex until pool therapy was used. I feel like my leg at this time is much better than it was prior to my fall in June and I am taking one day at a time but planning out a few goals. I am 64 and teach school to middle school/high school in a private school. Thankfully my husband can drive me when I go back to work, and my boss and I have scheduled good subs to help while I am out. I will start out doing about 8-11:30 am and then returning home to do therapy work once I return. At night I wake up 2 hours after going to sleep and my leg has a dull ache. I massage it slowly, doing calf massage and do some therapy work since I am already awake, and then take a walk down the hall. I am generally back asleep about 2 hours after that. My husband tells me I am sleeping but there are some nights that I know I went 2 hours here, 2 hours there sleeping. I try to be active some part of every hour and that helps.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 07, 2014 4:24 PM by Barbara
It is good to see the other side of total knee surgery, not that I want any of us to be experiencing these things. I had a right total knee 10 weeks ago and am losing more flexion as time progresses. I had at least a 10 degree flexion contracture prior to surgery and probably about 130-135 flexion. I have been going to PT 2-3 times a week and working hard to undue all the compensation I did prior to surgery by sitting around, limping, and limiting my activities due to pain and instability. After surgery I had terrible hip pain in which I could not sit. I had to lie on my back for 3 weeks and keep the leg extended to get rid of the contracture. I never slept more than an hour at a time for probably 6 weeks and I still struggle with sleep patterns.. The flexion in surgery with just gravity was 120 and now I am lucky to get to 100. I am trying a technique I read about which I feel is the reverse of the "rack" in the middle ages. Too early to tell if it is going to work. Unless you have a good therapist that is patient and willing to work with any of these issues, you are pretty much on your own--the surgeon doesn't want to hear that his skills aren't perfect and he/she isn't divine. I also had a private Pilates lesson and am using a body ball and working on the flexion gently with that. I can