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Ten Months After Total Knee Replacement

It’s been ten months since my total knee replacement (already!?) and I thought I’d take the time to update my recuperation process. So, in a sense, this is a Progress Report…:)

It’s remarkable to me how my leg is now almost fully functioning. Immediately after surgery, my leg muscles could not even lift my leg AT ALL. To remember that and see where my leg is at now…is amazing to me. It involved a lot of work…but is so worth it. 🙂

Positive:

  • Leg lifts: accomplished from all angles – up, sideways, backwards (with some pain)
  • Balance: good balance on both legs.
  • Walking: walking is not an issue anymore. Do it faithfully. My gait is “normal”.
  • Knee bends: still tricky, not very deep, but doable
    • Hamstring: now being used, still needs stretching to work properly
    • Icing: Finally appreciate the benefits of icing and use it regularly
    • Bicycling: Exercise bikes for flexibility. Good.

Working on:

  • Flexibility: Still being worked on. The best exercise for this, is using an exercise bike. My flexibility is still a major issue. The largest tkr after effect, actually.
  • Stairs. No comment other than frustrating. On the positive side, I have noticed the degree of angle between stairs. Never noticed that before. 🙂
  • Swelling. Knee is still swollen. Worse after exercising. Requires icing more.
  • Pain. Muscles can hurt during and after exercising. Oh well. Part of the process.

Less Than Positive:

  • Recently, my nonsurgical leg has started to hurt in the hip area. It’s probably due to the fact that I am still favoring my bionic leg. I just take breaks from stairs when this happens. And, I ice.
  • Nerve pain near bionic knee. Oh well, so be it.

Hope all this helps others going through the same thing. Everyone recuperates at their own pace.

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5 Responses

  1. I have just learned of your website, and I am totally amazed by what you are writing. I could almost swear you are writing about my experience. My operation was just going on 8 months, and your diary entry for your 8 monthly anniversary is exactly what I am going through now. I have remedial massage weekly, which helps immensely, and have had one bowen therapy session (which I am not sure how it is going to be, but they say you should not make your mind up on Bowen until at least 3 sessions), I have iced, heated, bent, twisted and just about anything else you could come up with, but I still have lots of muscle pain. My masseur thinks it is all to do with the scar tissue, from before the operation as well as after, and she is working hard to break it all down into muscle again. I know I found some great relief from her treatments at first, but seem to have reached a plateau now. I have been using the excercise bike which I swear by, but I have a real love/hate relationship with it at the moment, and also lthe pool was an extremely helpful too, now that it is summer. I was afraid to even attemp[t the little steps in the pool at first, but can now do breast stroke (great for the bending) as well as squats and all sorts of wonderful stretches and bends. I dont hesitate to dive in now, and even attempt summersaults in the water, although it is very difficult to come up straight. It is just the pain in the connective muscles that I still have a problem with, but I am hoping that will sort itself out eventually. Thank you for you views and thoughts on the subject, I thought I was the only one going through this. I need the other knee done as well, but am so hesitant to do it after the bad experience I had with this one. I think my biggest problem all over was the first physio session after the op. My knee was litterally bent (or I should say manipulated) from 65 degrees to 90 degrees in one fast movement. It hurt like hell, swelled up instantly and remained like that for the better part of two weeks. I could hardly walk, let alone excercise it, and of course, I refused to go near the physiotherapist again. All major setbacks it the healing and recovery process, but with lots of hard work, and help from caring people, I am now getting there, with a long road still in front of me. I need to do more walking, but like you said in your 8 monthly entry, even a short walk makes it flare up, pain sets in, and I go backwards. But I wish you all the best in your recovery, you are miles ahead of me, and I would love to read more about your outcome…. take care…. Lynne from Aussie

  2. Hi Lynne
    You sound as if you’re in the same place as me – I had the first op over a year ago now, and a manipulation and arthroscopy 6 months ago, but its the muscles/tendons – I think – that are still the problem.I’ve done everything recommended and am now swimming and going to the gym 3 times a week.The puzzeling thing here is that every now and then it is almost comfortable then things go wrong again and every step is an effort with stiffness and, not exactly pain as pills don’t help, but certainly tight bands.
    Nobody seems to know what to do for the best which is unsettling, massage is good for around quarter of an hour….Oh well, I’m good at putting in the hard work its just not knowing in which direction to put it!

  3. Hi again, I lost your address when my computer crashed about two weeks ago, but after much frustration and hard work (much like after the tkr??) I am back on line. My knee seems to be coming along nicely now, with some pain sleeping, (although I can now turn over in bed through the night), and I still have trouble getting more than 90 – 100 degree bends, but overall , I am pleased with the progress. Somebody told me it can take up to 12 – 14 months for the leg to feel normal, and I am starting to think that is the truth. I have now been laid up for two weeks, well most of the time anyhow, with tendonitis in the archilles tendons. Very painful to walk, and put me behind in my daily rehab routine, but getting better each day. I hope you are going good, and it would be great to hear from you again. I find myself comparing my progress to yours, and it is so comforting to know I am not the only person to have had a bad experience. One of my best friends is a truck driver, and he had one knee done about two years before me. Seeing him back at work about 10 weeks after his op, more or less persuaded me to have mine done. It didnt look too bad an ordeal!!!! That was a bad joke, huh??? For me it was. Anyway, thank you again and god bless you….. take care, and keep the program happening….. Lynne

  4. Hi Lynne,
    Well, this week I’ve decided I can’t put up with it anymore and made an appointment with a London Knee Clinic consultant. It was a bit like sticking a pin in a list as no one was about to help me choose the right person. What a treat, he took me seriously, was nice to me, unlike the last one who just told me I was fine when I said I was not, and was straight on the plot.Probably its patella tendon shortening and the whole thing agrivated by bad leg muscles, but theres probably some arthofibrosis in there which might or might not need another arthroscopy.
    So, I have an 8 week serious physio ordeal, brilliant girl who gives me a serious massage after which I feel better than I have for months. Lots of stretches to do 3 times a day + gym stuff, and after 2 months will see the consultant again and maybe things will be better or if they are not he knows what to do, wow, the relief.
    OK, I’ve done consultants for help before, and they just ignored me, I’ve done physio’s for ever, but its been, I now see, very low key stuff, it looks like that if you have a problem you need to go straight to the specialists.
    Its bad news for you with tendonitis, and yup, I have friends who were back at excersise classes and skiiing within the year – a bad joke as you say….! but great for them.
    Does this help? Just don’t hang on in there too long…
    All best, and let me know how things go
    Sally

  5. Hello, all. Have I news for you?!
    Two years after my total knee replacement, which was very successful and allowed me to do everything but kneel down, I discovered a shortening in my good leg. Eighteen months later I was obliged to wearing shoes with half inch extra sole on the good leg, an extra instep support for the operated-on leg. I have had massage therapy, chiropractic and physiotherapy. Still the good leg is one inch shorter when I stand with feet together for the doctor and shoemaker, and on my tiippy-toes on the good leg. I now have a one inch sole on my winter shoes, and still with extra shoe inserts. But a heel cushion for the operated-on side makes the pain bearable for a short spell of walking the Malls before I am obliged to sit and rest: both hips, lower back, the whole of my operated-on leg.
    If you can see a bright light on the horizon, good luck to you!
    RioRita.

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