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Four Months after a Total Knee Replacement

Four months later, my knee is still swollen and the flexibility still needs improved.  It can be depressing, but there is no joint pain like prior to my surgery.  I can walk without pain and do not need to carry around crutches like I did prior to my total knee replacement.

When someone (friend) asks me how my knee is, I reply “It’s getting there.”  What else can I say?  It’s a long process. Am I wrong to think that replying “oh, I’m working on going downstairs, I can go upstairs, I still need to work on flexibility, I have no pain in my hamstring, etc,” is not interesting to others?

I’ve learned to reply this way since I’ve heard “suck it up” so many times throughout my life.  I don’t need to hear that when the pain is so intense, it’s depressing.  That includes a week after having the major surgery. Who needs that?

FYI: I started going downstairs without using the railings, but it is still slow.  Going upstairs is easy, though.  Nice.  Stairs are not easy to do during the recuperation process.

Hoping this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






132 comments to Four Months after a Total Knee Replacement

  • Debi

    I am going to reply to this post since I am at 4 months on the 18th…….I can not do stairs without the railing, I’m too unstable right now. Going up is definitely easier than going down.

    When I go somewhere that I have to sit for an hour or more, I take a shoe box with me for a foot rest, because I am short, my legs are short, and my feet rarely touch the floor let alone sit flat on the floor, so the shoe box helps take the “hanging” pressure off my thigh….but last Wed. when I had the 5 hour meeting, I forgot my shoe box! I sat at the end of the table and propped my foot on the support brace on the folding table….it was NOT the same, hence the intense swelling in my leg for days now.

    Last night, I wrapped my leg from ankle to thigh in my ace bandage and put ice on my outer knee, and this morning the swelling is gone and pain has subsided, although, all I’ve done this morning is sit here with computer in my lap!

    Yes, people are constantly asking how it’s going, and I try to say the same thing, it’s better than last week but not there yet! Everyone at work comments on my gimpy-ness (is that a word?) in the morning, b/c it’s always stiff early in the day and my gait reflects that. I try very hard NOT to limp, but sometimes can’t be helped.

    I still have trouble at night when I try to turn over and lift the tkr leg over the other one…..and I have so many pillows in bed I look like I’m sleeping with Snuffleupagus….lol.

    It’s going to be a nice day, the sun is finally peeking out and my garage is in dire need of a spring cleaning and organizing……oh no!!!!

    Debi

  • F. E. Roddy

    I am four months out and I’m doing great. I am doing taekwondo including sparring. Yes there is steal some weakness in my quad muscle but I keep doing therapy. I haven’t heard either of you mention therapy. Therapy is the key to the success of this TKR. It all depends on what you believe you can accomplish. Yes it’s tough and it’s a hard row to hoe but you will get better only if you work hard. Yes, my knew knee clanks around sometimes but theres no pain assoiciated with it.

    I consider my surgery to be a total success and I am going to practice taekwondo and even hapkido at 54 years old. I did receive my second black belt just before my knee surgery and I will continue. I love my new Krames Titanium knee.

  • Rich

    I’m 3 months out from total knee replacement and doing great. Still a little swelling but it improves daily. Will have other knee replaced after this coming football season. It has been a total success as I replaced the bone on bone arthritic pain with the pain of rehab and challenging workouts! I’ve not hurt since the minute I woke up and any problems with steps and movement are the results of the bone on bone in the other knee. There are several reasons for the terrific outcome I believe. First, I prepared physically for the grind with daily workouts prior to surgery. This allowed me to be back to work full time in 3 weeks. I’m still young at 62 and that helped. I’ve never smoked and that plays a part but most important is I chose the implant with my surgeon and we decided to go custom where a CT scan was performed and the sizing and instruments were made to fit my particular knee. There was no violation of the canal in each bone helping the healing process and the pain was reduced so that after the anesthesia wore off I needed no additional medication. The technology is new but it works extremely well. If I were able to give anyone advice I’d say go custom. The system is called My Knee!

  • Hi Rich,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your positive comment. Great to hear you’re doing so well!
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Neil

    This Friday I reach four months post TKR in my right leg. The biggest issue I face is getting a good night’s sleep. I am tossing and turning trying to get into comfortable positions all night and that is after taking Tramadol and Panadol prior to turning in.
    It can grind a bit if I walk too much but it doesn’t hurt when it does.
    I have to have my other one done in the near future and was hoping to be fully recovered from this one before tackling the other one but I can’t see that happening.
    Still, during the day the pain is almost non existant. I can live with that!!

  • mary

    I am at four months with my tkr and my knee doesnt feel bad its my feet, and one of my calves. I can barely walk at times its very frustrating. I finished PT a couple weeks ago. Any one experience the feet pain?

  • Hi Mary,
    Thanks for dropping by and leaving your tkr-related comment. My calves hurt throughout my recuperation, especially after overdoing my exercise. Whenever I had foot pain (or still do), it means I need a new arch-support insole or a new pair of shoes. Perhaps other readers will post comments about their experiences.
    Good luck and stay in touch!

  • Taaron

    It is so nice to hear the positives and I am hoping that someone can commiserate a little with me. 4 months ago I had my TKR. I finish therapy on Friday and am still dealing with a lot of pain in the tendons. I have a huge amount of swelling that I can’t get down. I have total flexibility (yeah) and can walk up and down stairs unaided. However, on a scale of 1-10, the pain is between a 5 and an 8. I am physically fit, 44 and a non-smoker. The PT doesn’t know what to do and the doc is puzzled too. The knee is hot to touch, but the doc says that can happen. Any suggestions? I am a gymnastics coach and so, I am on my feet a lot. I am trying not to get discouraged because I know, overall, I had to do the surgery. Ugh!

  • Hi Taaron,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your tkr comment. My knee was hot to the touch for about a year my tkr. It happened every time I exercised and/or used it for an extended period of time. My pain during that stage was also equivalent to yours.
    Hope this helps.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Cath

    Hi
    I am at the 4 month mark with my TKR on my left knee and for the first 6 weeks was doing fantastic was nearly of the aid and was walking around the block… until one day when I came back from a walk and fell over then again the next day and again about a week later had all the xrays and ultra sounds possible, they tell me nothing is wrong but it just doesn’t feel right, they said I sprained my knee and because I have what they call a floating knee cap I continued to slip and stumble so back to the physio I went she told to start tapping it again like I did post op to keep my knee cap in place, so still tapping it now and I still have so much swelling and have lost all confidence in walking I am doing my exercises and I have a exercise bike which I try to use everyday some days its just too painful!! Just wondering what else I can do to help myself get off using the walking stick!!! Thanks Cath

  • Hi Cath,
    Sorry to hear about all your falls and difficulties. Yikes…
    Isometrics strengthen muscles without any joint stress. I found them very helpful during my tkr recuperation as a preparation for walking without aides. You can do the exercises any where.
    As usual, you may be different. Consult with your doctor first.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Cathy P

    I’m four months out and seem to be regressing. I am using a walker, was doing without one. My balance is crummy, if I walk without the walker, I use my arms to balance and look like I’m flying!!! My boss and co-workers think I’m worse than before but the pain is less than before and I’m not falling down three or four times a day like before. Still can’t tell if its the opposite knee or this one. Sure is discourging. I did physical therapy and also have the 105 degree flexion everyone thinks is sso great…..just can’t walk good or do stairs. Do I go back to the surgeon or keep going?

  • Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for visiting my site. It’s up to you whether you need to schedule a doctor’s visit or keep going. Me…I’d keep going. You’re only four months post tkr. You are doing better than I was at your stage.
    Who cares what your boss and co-workers think? Did they go through the operation?
    Recommendation….do balance exercises. Use a chair as a balancing tool.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Judy

    Thank you booktoots for publishing this blog and thanks to all of you who posted comments. In two weeks I will be four months since TKR surgery and I’m still in pain. From the attitude of my doctor and physical therapist, I was beginning to think I was the only one.

  • snowy

    Almost 3month2 weeks. Still a lot of pain… bend is only58 and dr says if he does manipulation under anesthesia, he could break my leg. He said I have brittle bones. Has many heard of a knee breaking during MUA?? Very scared here also how long is normal to take the drugs for pain…. this just seems to go on and on…. thank yoo for any information

  • Hi Snowy,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I had the same experiences you are having when I was at your stage. I am not a manipulation patient, so perhaps someone else will pitch in with a response. Personally, I NEVER would consider having one. I’ve written about this in other posts.
    There is no such thing as “normal.” Everyone is different in their recuperation process. There are also posts on this site about pain killers during recuperation. Take a look around…
    Keep in touch and good luck! It is natural to be scared…

  • joesockit

    4 months out, up till 3 weeks ago I was doing fine. Tonight i almost cannot walk. The knee is swelled, and extremely stiff, hot. There was no injury I can remember.
    I fear infection. My office seems to be a hotbed of Celulitis. I’ve had it twice. most of the people working there have had it at least once.
    This is bad stuff for joints. I got it 2 days after the operation and was back in the hospital for 5 days. I don’t get it!! I have to work or Ill lose my home. This replacement knee is the worst decision of my life even with the previous pain. The medical bills are going to bankrupt me.

  • Rob

    I had tkr 3 1/2 months ago. I do water exercises at a local pool 3 times a week. I sometimes take pain pills at night, but generally do without them. I have some pain (between 3&5) when I walk, and make an effort to walk without limping. My knee has minimal swelling, but is often hot to the touch, and I ice it regularly. My knee clicks when I walk which is annoying, but my Dr. Says its normal.

  • Thanks for your insight, Rob. I’m sure it’ll help others, as well. Good luck and keep in touch!

  • sylvia

    gosh, I had TKR 6 weeks ago, I guess my questions is stupid. I was wondering about the limp. But after reading all the posts, I realize, I’m doing great. Sorry to bother you.

  • Hi Sylvia,
    No problem. Thanks for stopping by.

  • After 4 months I feel worse than before my surgery. My Dr makes me feelnlike I am abnormal. Its good to hear others having problems too. My calves and my feet kill me. I thought it was strange that some of my worst proplems are when I sleep. Every time I move I wake up because of the pain. I’m still taking pain pills. Anyone else still on pain pills? What do u do when your Dr says you should be fine and your not?

  • Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    If you’re that uncomfortable with your doctor, find another one. There are plenty available who are compassionate and caring.
    You are not abnormal, your doctor’s behavior is. Good luck and keep in touch…

  • Hi, I am four months from a TKR on my left knee. After about two months, my right knee began hurting. Now it’s hurting more than my new knee. It is painful for me to get up from sitting position. I find if I massage my lower quads, by my patella, it doesn’t hurt when I get up. Both knees hurt when I get up. YIKES. I don’t want another surgery. Really. I still have heat and swelling in my knee (inflamed) needs ice. I use ice alot. Started going back to the gym after three months. Ride bike, #1 resistance. Walk around the track a few times, maybe do some upper body and I’m out of there. Come home and ICE. In the morning, with the stiffness, I find that if I give my legs a few good stretches and bends before I get up, it isn’t so painful. Great to hear you all sharing your experience. Thanks. Mary

  • Janet

    I’m four months post left TKR and my knee is still very stiff. Stiff to the extent that I have had two manipulations but still with no real positive outcome. At its best, I can bend the knee to 90 degrees; when I wake up in the morning, the knee is so stiff I can’t bend beyond 70 degrees. There is still some degree of pain but my main worry is the stiffness – the knee feels hard (as if the implant is too big) and going up and down stairs is murder! The stiffness wakes me up throughout the night as I find myself trying to bend and do all sorts of exercises in my sleep! I just do not know what else to do. Any suggestions? This is rather frustrating and all hopes of having my right knee (which now really bothers me) done is down the drain at the moment.

  • Hi Janet,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. If it’s any consolation, my ROM is 95 and I’m 6 years post-tkr. I experienced everything you’re going through…but without manipulations. Anyways…you may be interested in my book titled “Dealing With Insomnia After a TKR.” It’s available for sale through my Storefront page.
    Good luck and keep in touch!

  • Janet

    Hmmm! So at a ROM of 95, are you able to do stairs up and down okay? And how long did the stiffness last. This is indeed some consolidation – thanks a bunch.

  • Hi Janet,
    Yes, at 95 ROM, I can do stairs. I’ve written about stairs and stiffness throughout my site. Take a look around! Good luck and keep in touch…

  • Janet

    What a birthday present (today is my birthday!) I am surely going to take a look around – I need to do stairs!!!! Thanks a million.

  • Lyn

    I am about 3 1/2 months (surgery date was Jan 29 2014)out from tkr of the right knee and am awaiting another surgery for a bone cyct in my LEFT foot which is very painful at the moment and seems to be stalling my progress with my knee. I still limp quite a bit and am very unsteady although I can go up and down stairs I still go with my tkr leg first and am not strong enough to go up and down with out a hand rail or as a “normal” person would would handle stairs and I get tired out when walking a lot (use those electric carts if I going grocery shopping etc) and my back hurts from limping. I am still on pain meds (generic percocet 5/325 as they recently cut it back down and I take 1 or 2 as needed – usually having to take 2 still) and hate that when I call for refills the nurse always says you are way out from your surgery date and shouldn’t need them (its none of her business) and seems to get annoyed about me calling (I get refills about 10 days) I mostly need them at night and before phys therapy really… It is that the skin is so sensitive and that I cannot touch my knee or even have a sheet rest on it without it hurting so much it wakes me up at night and just aches. Plus as others have said my knee gets hot especially on outer side of knee (Doc says that is normal and to use ice as needed which I do) I do believe that my left ankle pain is hindering my progress (I limp because of both – knee feeling “weak” and ankle pain)and unfortunately after that surgery at the end of this month I will be in a wheelchair for 8 weeks because my right knee is not able to withstand me using crutches (won’t be able to weight bear on left foot at all after surgery)and I tried practicing with crutches but right knee just isn’t strong enough to support me on it’s own…I will still go to phys therapy while recovering from ankle surgery but will do my exercises laying down to keep my knee strong..I love my Doc and he has been great but his help is who is annoying me about my meds… So glad I am not the only one as I was thinking maybe something was wrong with me for still needing pain meds. Would LOVE to not need them and plan to tell my Doc about how his help has been with me regarding it as that is something between him and I not them! I do also still have swelling and cannot bend my knee totally (I can if I am sitting and force it to 90 degrees) but can’t like go down stairs etc…and like another poster I cannot let my leg “hang” if sitting I must have it supported (am short too)…I don’t have the pain I had BEFORE surgery which I am thankful for but this slow progress is driving me crazy!! I originally was supposed to go back to work (must lift 50 pounds steadily) and am glad I have this other surgery because there is no way I could work like this right now..and this stalling progress has me concerned…

  • Lyn

    Oh I did want to add that I have lost 16 pounds since my surgery 🙂 …

  • Great to hear, Lyn. Kudos!

  • Sophia

    Had my TKR on February 10, 2014. I have been doing great. The therapy is finished and I am able to take the stairs up and down without the rail. I am able to almost stretch my leg out completely. I am able to bend it almost all the way. I am able to walk a very good distance and stay up on my feet for a long period of time. I still have swelling, and some weakness, but the only pain I have is where I have my muscle spasms. I was told by my doctor that because of so much work that has been done to the left knee, including numerous revisions to a partial knee in there before, that my trek could be a pain in itself. I am doing better than I expected though. I go for my follow up in June. I am able to walk enough that I have lost the 8 pounds I put on after surgery and I will not look back. My right knee is a candidate for a TKR, but I don’t think I want to go through with it. Not for a long time or until I am barely able to walk. Loving my new knee! Thank you Dr. David Miller in Richmond, Va!

  • Hi Sophia,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your inspiring tkr comment. Great to hear you’re doing so well! Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Shari

    Tkr on left knee March 4, 2014. Left hospital with only 65 degrees flexion and -20 extension. Started outpatient pt three days after surgery as well as at home CPM. Was never able to get more than 85 degrees flexion and -15 extension at five weeks, so had a MUA at six weeks followed by pt every day for two weeks. ROM regressed every day, and I’m back to 85 degrees flexion, but I have improved to -3 degrees extension. Ever since the surgery, I have had major swelling and heat in my knee. Also developed a rash at about three weeks through six weeks. Had constant (constant!) anterior nerve pain until my therapist started using dexamethasone with iontophoresis about six weeks ago. That seems to have completely made the nerve pain go away, and it has helped with the swelling. I still use a cane about 40 percent of the time, and I cannot do stairs at all. Still have lots of pain with each step. (I took pain medication for about the first six weeks, then only before pt, and now none at all since I’ve gone back to work.) Dr. diagnosed my problem as arthrofibrosis and now suggests open surgery to clean everything out and possibly do a pcl release. I’m 48 and had the first of my five surgeries on this knee when I was 21. I was sure hoping this tkr was going to get me back to the activities I enjoy: hiking, gardening, canoeing. Right now, I’d like to just be able to walk without pain and bend my leg.

  • Hi Shari,
    Thanks for visiting and leaving your interesting tkr story. Your situation sounds similar to what I experienced at your stage. It takes time to recuperate properly. Take a look around my site for different posts and comments on recuperation. You’re bound to find something useful.
    Good luck and keep in touch!

  • Jerry

    Had Bi-lateral total knee replacement on March 11th 2014.I had to ignore everyone who told me I was out of my mind.I was a P.E teacher and in decent shape but I trusted my surgeon who was not fazed with the thought of Bi lateral. I walked with a walker 30 minutes after surgery in my room and then after eating I tackled the nurses station.I was cleared the next morning to walk the halls and the therapist told me my range of motion was 115 on the left and 118 on the right. Third day morning was told if I could do stairs with a cane, I was out of there. Total time in the hospital was 42 hours. Not much swelling and I took myself the Oxy on Sat March 15th.Had Smith and Nephew traveler and great physical therapists .The last hurdle was getting the O.K the swing the golf club which was April 24th.It’s now July I walked 18 holes two weeks ago.I;m no hero I did what was told.The results are amazing…Don’t live in pain get it done!!!

  • Marion R.

    I had a TKR of my left knee on March 3rd, 2014. I really worked on getting up and walking and doing my exercises (which are painful,but necessary). During my Physical therapy, I hurt my Achilies tendon and have been having problems with those, getting a lump on the back of by ankle. I also get a sharp pain as if I pinch a nerve if walking on an uneven (grass) surface. My leg also gets warm and the incision gets very tight. My doctor told me to use Vitamin E oil on the incision and deep message it into the scar to break up the fibers that the scar has created. I too have problems going down the steps. I have a 110 degree bend, but still hurts going down. I was told by the doctor and therapist, it takes 6-8 months before the pain recides and 1 1/2 years to completely heal. After all, your 2 leg bones have been cut and that is a lot of surgery, including the 6″ scar to deal with.

  • Jon

    I am about 4 months post left tkr. I’m 55 and not certain how well I’m doing because I don’t know what to expect? Range of motion is at least 120 probably more. I ride the bike at the gym or 10 speed 5-6 miles, can do 50lbs leg extension using only the new knee, little to no pain, can go up stairs but still usually require a railing going down. The bad news is the leg still feels weak and can be stiff after sitting for extended periods. I occassionaly have a slight limp and like others, my feet/ankles often hurt. Occassionaly there is some swelling. Try and do some exercise 2-3 times a week. So is this normal progress and can I expect more progress?

  • Hi Jon,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. You sound like your progressing well, in my opinion. I am 6.75 years post-tkr and still get stiff after sitting. Keep up the great work and stay in touch!

  • truckinguy

    I had my rktr 2 yrs ago and it has been great. Some clunking due to the design etc but awesome.
    I also had the lktr done June 2 2014 ( 10 weeks) and this one seems different. I can’t remember the rtkr at this point so i can compare. But this one gives me pain down the outside of the calf going upstairs and down. It’s been a while and seems stubborn in going away.

  • I’m at 3 1/2 months out and relieved to find I’m not a wimp! I’m doing everything I did before my knee went out and didn’t realize how physically demanding my job was before my surgery. I take codeine/Tylenol pills from Canada because State doc are paranoid about drug overdoses. I can walk without limping and have a rom of 118 but still have 24/7 discomfort and/or outright pain the no amount of icing seems to help. Everybody tells me how well I’m doing but they don’t known that it always hurts. When will it ever stop? My PT said that somewhere between 3-6 months I’ll realize it doesn’t hurt.

  • Ginette

    Right TKR 4 months today! The first 3 months were incredibly hard and oftentimes depressing. There has been significant progress in the last month ( extension, flexion, pain…) . I have resumed most activities . However, there is still stiffness after a period of inactivity and the legs ( yes both) feel weak. I try to walk as much as possible – this can be done pretty much without discomfort however the pace is relatively slow….cannot seem to speed it up even if I try!

    So recovery is still ongoing but there is some improvement every week ! I a now considering a left TKR ….something that seemed impossible the first 3 months.

    So hang in there. Things do get better.

  • Roz

    I want to say thank you to all for your input here. I had my tkr 19th June 2014 and although doing really well and have a good bend of over 100 degrees, I find I get a stiff knee when standing up and still have that heavy feel around the knee. I was told by the Physio that this was because of the muscles being cut as well as my having a scar from cartilage being taken out in the 70’s. I’m 71 and I guess that is also a reason for a slower healing process.
    The physio said that now, at this time, the healing is almost done and it is the work of building up the muscles. I too get a little depressed as have good days and then the next not so easy. I do my exercises regularly and at one stage had the feeling of a very tight elastic band around the knee but this has decreased with time.
    I will keep on keeping on as they say and get encouragement from all of the statements here.

  • Barba

    I had a TKR May 1st. Did everything I was suppose to and was bending my knee 120 degree. Squatting, canning, going up and down steps . Doing great. Then around 6 weeks ago my knee is swollen, painful and not flexible like it was. My doctor said, it was the bursa sac and gave me a steroid shot. May have help a little bit but everything is back to the same way . I feel discouraged. I am going to try ice and ted hose for a few days but going back to the doctor if not better in a few days. Any help

  • LORI

    It is 4 months since i had my surgery. I have been going to physical theray and doing well but lately my calfs hurt and my other knee hurts as well but dont want to get the surgery done on that knee until i start feeling better with this one first. Friends and family keep telling me i am doing to much and that is why i am in pain . I dont think i am doing to much. It hurts to walk in both of my calfs i have pain. Anyone else experience something like this.

  • Hi Lori,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. Don’t listen to your family and friends unless they have had a tkr. No one can possibly understand what you’re going through except someone else who has been through it. You’re experiencing the same things I was at 4 months. My tkr calf still hurts some times, 6.5 years post tkr…if that’s any consolation. Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Roz

    Hi again. Now 4 and half months out of TKR and still going well but wanted to ask, is it ok to use an walking machine for walk practice?
    My friend who has had a tkr two years ago, just told me that I should only walk on grass and a walking machine could cause wear.
    Good luck to those who are having trouble. I do get swelling but the stiffness is gradually decreasing as is the ‘hot’ spot under knee.

  • Hi Roz,
    Thanks again for visiting my site. This just goes to show that everyone is different. I would not have been walking on grass at only 4.5 months post-tkr. You need to ask your medical care provider whether a walking machine is a good bet. I, nor any of my readers, can tell you what is best for you. We only share our experiences. I have no experience with a walking machine.
    Good luck and keep in touch!

  • Roz Wyllie

    Hi and thanks for your suggestion re walking on grass etc. I have just returned from our trip to the seaside and did the right things such as walk on cement paths etc BUT the place where we stayed, was on a huge hill and sharp walk down to the main street. By huge I mean steep, even fit people can puff going up it. I walked down it very very slowly but have found it has taken me nearly a week for my leg to feel like it is getting back on track. Aching on the inside of the TKR and down the front of my leg. I just hope all is ok. Friend who was a nurse says I’m doing great and I see physio this week so will hope they say the same.
    It is ok to walk on the walking machine as long as I don’t go too fast and have it in the ‘flat’ position so that helps on rainy days. I walk 3k a week at the moment.

  • Joy

    My TKR was July 15, 2014 so I’m a little over 4 mo post op. I am 56 yrs old, non-smoker and am reasonably active. I finished my PT at the end of Oct and if my ins would pay for it, I would keep going because I felt so strong afterwards. I try to excersize at home with Walk at home videos. I can do stairs well with a railing but mostly use the elevator at work. Still have some stiffness and swelling but no real pain with the joint. My pains are around my wound. They are nagging little pains but I get nervous. The scar is a little redder and bulging at the top of the incision but it’s been like that since the surgery. My surgeon had a name for it but I can’t remember what he said. I did notice a little darker spot on it recently and wondered what that might be. All in all I feel like this was a success and will probably have to have the other knee done eventually.

  • Thank you for all the comments, it is great to have a community to get ideas and support.
    I am 3 months 2 weeks post surgery. For those that have been writing about nerve pain, sheets painful on leg, no sleep etc. I have the same thing, I fortunately have a terrific surgeon who recognized quickly a neurogenic process going on and prescribed Amitriptyline 25 mg at night. I have significant improvement in that ” nerve pain” on the knee replacement leg with this medicine. I went from this is the worst thing I have ever done to being satisfied with knee and an MD that understood the nerve thing does happen to some people and treats it.

  • Hi Denise,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment about tkr nerve pain. It’s great to hear your viewpoint about the surgery has changed. I have written about tkr nerve pain on other posts throughout this site. Take a look around!
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Jax

    Hi, I had a tkr on my right knee 4 months ago, my other knee was done about 3 yrs ago and still causes problems so I hoped this one would be better but unfortunately it seems to be the same. Anatomically my patella sits lower than most so causes some problems, I still have sever pain on the inside of my knee and down my shin, also when I walk around and it doesn’t have to be far I have excruciating pain in my back and my calves and the shin pain is worsened. I also don’t have a significant bend 80 to 85 when really pushed and told I have significant wasting of my vmo. ( vast us medial sobriquets ) and now have two clicking knees .After going back to the consultant twice he is unsure why I am suffering and has done a blood test? And told me to continue pt twice a week and contine at home daily and continue taking the meds.
    Although I have gained
    strength in my legs she cannot get my leg to bend anymore even with brute force, they have said I may need a forced bend under antithetic but have
    read a lot of reviews here saying they haven’t improved and I wonder if I should bother! I am still off work as consultant won’t discharge me. I feel
    utterly frustrated as I hoped this time I would be pain free and able to run
    around! I wish!!!!!! This has such an impact on every aspect of my life!
    Disappointed and frustrated
    Anyone out there have any suggestions ? I wonder if I’ll ever get back to work at this rate

  • Ginny

    Hi all, I had a TKR on December 1st – 3 months ago and everything most are saying is familiar. The key to recovery has been hard work every day, I am still going to therapy 5 days a week, two days are water which I have done as soon as the scar was healed – really helps with the swelling, I ice a lot and elevate my leg under my desk at work. Lots of rest and lots of lots of stretching and exercising, exercising on the bike and walking backwards on the treadmill helped keep my flexion and extension good. Never let anyone criticise you for taking pain meds, you need them if you are going to keep moving. I hate the feel of the knee – heavy and hard, worse in the water but how amazing that I am pain free for the first time in four years. The pain of the joint is nothing compared to the bone on bone. Hang in there, keep moving and working it and treat the symptoms and be gentle on yourself – it takes time.

  • Victoria

    Hi there, I am 3 1/2 months out from TKR. I still do not have full extension by 7 degrees and can only bend to 110. Although standing w/o locking my knee can be difficult, I have another more bothersome issue. When I am walking I need to stop and sit down (only for a minutes or so) or stop and manual lift up my leg to bend my knee. For some reason my knee gets stiff and I end up dragging my leg all stiff like. For some reason my knee stiffens up or feels all tight and congested. I thought it was just swelling but forcing it into a 90 degree bend makes it functional again for about 5 minutes. I have never seen this mentioned anywhere and my doctor thinks I am nuts, just my muscles are week. Does not seem correct. I am 55 and diabetic. Never took any drugs after the hospital as all I tried made me so sick. I sort of blame this for my slow start towards recovery in PT. Has anyone ever heard of this stiff knee syndrome before? Wish I had my old knee back as this one seems to large and bulky. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  • Hi Victoria,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. My knee/leg did the same thing for months after my tkr.It still does when I overdue it..and I am seven years post-tkr. Perhaps others will share stories about their experiences. You are not alone.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Nora

    Hi Marie – thank you for this site. I had my TKR on December 8th – over three months ago and overall, I’m doing pretty well. I returned to work full about three weeks post surgery and have had issues with stiffness due to being at my desk. I try to get up and walk around as often as I can. I’m fine going up stairs, working next on going downstairs normally. I take pilates two times a week and am able to be on the floor mats and also kneel, but that is not completely comfortable yet. I think the stretching with pilates and the focus on balance helps me. I’m not walking as far as I’d like yet but I’m working on it. The rehab and recovery take work but it’s already worth it not having the pain that I had before the surgery. I think we need to be kind to ourselves and know that healing takes time but also know when to give ourselves a nudge to get the exercise that will help us make progress. Wishing everyone experiencing this the very best – it takes courage to make the decision to have the surgery and it’s helpful to hear the experience of others. Thank you.

  • Linda

    Hi, just want to say I am so glad I found your feed. I am 4 months 3 weeks out from r-TKR. After in home post-op PT (for 4 weeks and outpatient PT for 6 weeks) I have been on my own. I have been feeling like I should be doing better at this point but the post on here make me realize even more that we each progress at a different rate. I am 63+, retired and was feeling frustrated that I am not 90%. I had a crushing injury to the same knee 11 years ago so I seriously doubt it will ever be 100%, as it never was after that accident. I am doing ok on stairs, driving, walking, shopping and most daily activities. I still have heat in the knee at times, can’t get down on my knees and am not at “goal” of 120 degrees flex or totally straight extension. All of which were bothering me but as I said above, your comments ( all of you) good or bad have been a great boost to me. I hope each of you continues to do better and better. Thanks

  • Hi Linda,
    So glad we could be of help. 🙂 Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. Stay in touch and good luck!

  • I had bilateral knee replacement in November. I did physical therapy up until January. I felt fine, almost as if I did not have anything done. Steps were hard, walking was fine. Now, I feel stiffness and pain again in legs and knees. Do you think I need more therapy? The arthritis dr I see said I just need pain medication and wants me to take tramadol. She said since I stopped that in Jan and now feel pain, I need it. Any thoughts????

  • Lynn, I had bilateral knees in late January 2015, was released from PT house visits (never did get sent to outpatient) at 1 mo. Still have some swelling in the right knee (which was the worst/longest suffering one) and discomfort mostly from the swelling at times. I am 67 and a farmer and artist, so I do a LOT of stuff and live in the northeast, so when I have been outside thus far it’s mostly been on uneven, snowy ground. I finally got on my snow shoes yesterday and that was wonderful! Like Booktoots has said, I ice and elevate when knee really complains (like after I sank through the snow 5 times doing chores the other day!) and I take OTC tylenol when I feel I need it, maybe one dose every few days. Steps are still hard, but when there are railings (our front has none, back just one) I can go up ‘properly’. Down is harder.

  • Katy

    HI . Had TKR Feb 4 2015. I was doing pretty good and had first day of therapy 4 days after surgery . I had about a level 4 pain but walked into therapy no crutch or walker. THis PT wanted to see how far I could bend my knee which was 23 inches around from swelling. I was able to go to 90.2 degrees and that hurt. This guy was 6’4″ weighed about 190. He decided to see what he could push it too. When he pushed I literally saw stars expllode in my head and I yelled out. He said he moved it to 96 degrees.
    After an hour of exercises he decide to push it again and he leaned into my knee and was measuring and said, “Guess where we are now guess where we are now?” It hardly registered what he was saying because my leg was exploding into pain like a blow torch.
    I told him we are in HELL! He shoved it to 107 degrees. I walked out in tears and on a walker and had to use the walk for 5 more weeks. I had walked in on my own. I reported his dumbself to BCBC and they told me to report him to the state Health which I did and Im waiting to see what will happen.
    I can bend on my own 122 degrees the last time I was at PT (a new place) but that was pushing it. I still can’t flex it back and feel it needs a couple of degrees. It still swells and my foot swells whenever I drive. Been using a recumbent bike
    but I usually overdo after a mile and then I hurt for a couple days.
    I have a Smith and Nephew knee. I hope to get the other one done end of year maybe.
    I did run into the back of my Miata put’n groceries in and it hit like I ran into a steel trailer hitch. I about passed out. I still ache on the side of my knee in particular.
    Hope all of you get better soon. ANd never let a PT shove you past your hurting point. There’s therapist that let you push it as far as YOU CAN GO. Not how far they can go.

  • Hi Katy,
    Thanks for visiting and leaving your tkr comment. Your insight is appreciated. Good luck and keep in touch!

  • mollie

    It has been four months and some change since my right TKR and I feel much like you described. I can go upstairs. I have problems with downstairs. I do my therapy exercises faithfully and I’m still going to therapy once a week. I had managed 117 degrees with help three weeks ago. A week later I barely made it to 111 degrees. Last week it was 112 and hurt like hell. I have a ‘pusher’ therapist as well and I’m so sick of therapy I could scream. I don’t know what to do. I want to stop, but I’m afraid if I do I’ll never get the ROM back. Oh, I also do the recumbent bike and the elliptical – both with no resistance – almost every single day. Will it get better, will the movement increase as the swelling goes down…what? I use tiger balm on it – at night. I know, I sound like a big cry baby. things are so much better than they were before the surgery but…

  • Vickie

    I had TKR on Feb. 4th 2015 and I feel the same way some of you feel except I will never have the other one done. after 4 months I feel I should be doing better. I only had PT for 1 1/2 months, I felt it should have been longer. I can walk, but not for any length of time, I walk around the house like a 80 yr old woman and I am 58. My feet kill me if I do too much . the knee still hurts, can’t sleep cause I keep turning the wrong way and waking me up. Geezzzz, this has been an uphill battle. I have good knee bend and flexability but it hurts when I do it.
    Hope this is over soon.

  • Vickie

    I had TKR on Feb. 4th 2015 and I feel the same way some of you feel except I will never have the other one done. after 4 months I feel I should be doing better. I only had PT for 1 1/2 months, I felt it should have been longer. I can walk, but not for any length of time, I walk around the house like a 80 yr old woman and I am 58. My feet kill me if I do too much . the knee still hurts, can’t sleep cause I keep turning the wrong way and waking me up. Geezzzz, this has been an uphill battle. I have good knee bend and flexability but it hurts when I do it.
    Hope this is over soon. it was great to find this site, I was so scared that my knee wasn’t doing normal for the 4 month period and now I see it is. Thanks!!!

  • Hi Vickie,
    Thanks for leaving your tkr comments and feeling better about your situation. That is the purpose of this site. Kudos!
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Kevin

    Nice to find this site. I realize most, if not all the comments I am seeing are for people that are 3-4 months or longer after TKR, I’m only about 10 days out. I’ve been an athlete my entire life. No smoking, no drinking. I am expecting to heal quickly, although I know that my not be the case. I’m just starting therapy and using a walker, but my biggest issue is the pain in my left calf. (It was a left knee replacement). My biggest issue in trying to walk and straighten out my leg isn’t with my knee thusfar, but my calf. I have a severe ‘Charlie horse type bruising pain in my calf. Is this normal?, Would like to know if this happened to anyone else. I have a follow up appointment in 4 days with my first post op. exam, and of course will talk to the doctor, but just wondering if this is typical of a TKR. Thanks for your assistance.

  • Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I’m glad you find my site useful. I also experienced pain in my calf and I know many readers have shared stories of the same. I believe I have written other posts about this.Take a look around my site to gain further insight. You’re not alone!
    Keep in touch and good luck…

  • Sue

    My TKR surgery was Feb. 19. I returned to work after 5 weeks and felt like my recovery was a bit above normal. Now, 3 1/2 months later, I am not progressing as quickly. My have 24/7 pain (like a toothache) around the incision and kneecap. My stamina is not very good, as I need to sit down after much walking. I feel like the joint is OK, and it feels strong and doesn’t hurt, it is just the “outside” discomfort that is annoying. I could do better with my therapy exercises, but normal activity tends to wear me out.

  • Hello Everyone
    I had my RTKR on Feb 12. After reading all your comments I can count myself as one of the lucky few. I have complaints but they are minor compared to what others are experiencing. Having read all kinds of posts before the surgery I prepared myself for a recovery time of 6 months to a year or more. What I can see is that every person is different and you just have to try to work everyday and you will feel better! Four months is still very early. This was major surgery! I am having my left hip replaced next Feb and my left knee is severely damaged as well making my recovery a bit more complicated yet I have been able to walk in our neighbourhood and enjoy a bit of gardening this spring. This site is very good.Thank you

  • gamma

    4 mos 1 wk out. I can thoroughly relate to the stiff, hard feeling around knee cap. I just exercise, exercise exercise. Better than it was, that’s for sure! sleeping with sensitivity? I found a VERY soft pillow between the knees helps. Also, after incision has sealed, try applying a non-perfume, non-medicated film of lotion or vitamin E oil and then cover with Handi wrap. It really helps and apply vitamin E oil in a horizontal motion to vertical incision. Helps ease nerve pain and smooth out puckers. use a little pressure doing this. good luck to all!

  • I forgot to add that the most important part of my recovery has been the purchase of a cryo cuff. Mine is a Cothera. It was recommended to use by my Dr. and I would be lost without it. It was put on my knee in the operating room and I have used it everyday since. Basically it is a unit that you fill with ice and water then the icy water flows thru a hose attached to a knee cuff that you attach with Velcro. This can be safely used for hours. I have had almost no swelling right from the start and it works great for pain control and stiffness. Units in Canada are $350 and our insurance paid for most of it. I hope this may help some of you that are having problems.

  • Brian Vickery

    Two months post op TKR and I do feel the outside skin of lower leg stiffness. I do that flexion of ankle most anytime sitting down. When I get up from bed, or after sitting in a chair, there is a moment or two to get my muscles used to standing, and then stiffly walk to the next room . After a few walks around the house it gets a bit better. I can really only walk about 1/2 a mile and I am tired and have to sit for a bit. No real pain but stiffness is not good. I am 74 YO male. ex. carpenter. I can bend knee 114 deg. and I think 10 deg the other way , pushing down hard..
    The stiffness is worrisome. Climbing and descending especially is hard, especially on high risers
    I am on my last week of PT…. I hope this stiffness goes away, it is kind of embarrasing too.

  • rita

    Hi Booktoots
    I am so grateful that I found this blog
    I am 3 months after my TKR and I was totally getting discouraged from all the negative blogs on the web
    I am at 120 bend and I, have a lot of pain at back of my knee the hamstrings,when I bend my knee.
    I do one and half hour 3 times a week of aquafitness and daily therapy at home
    still have swelling,
    Im glad to hear that all will get better, I should have read the blogs before the surgery I never realized that it is a slow and long process, There are a lot of people at the Pool that have had the TKR and all of them are doing great after a year or more.

  • Pam

    I so glad I found this site…helps to read about others who are going through same thing I am. I am 58 and this is the first major joint surgery I have ever had. I am close to 3 months TKR on my right knee and I am doing pretty good considering how it was before the surgery. I do PT everyday in my home, as well as, doing 100 rounds on my recumbent bike…found that doing this, my knee works better throughout the day. I was told by my Orthopedic doctor that it will take up to 1 year to get full use of the knee without any other problems. When stiffness sets in, I rub it with pressure and sit with it bent…that usually helps. I still have swelling in the knee and my right ankle…so I try to walk around my house a lot to help with that problem. If the knee still has a hotness to it, I was told by my doctor that is normal (the knee is healing itself). Sleeping isn’t a problem any more, actually it is getting better each week. To be honest, my right knee is doing better than my left knee (which in time will be replaced too). For those who are experiencing problems, exercise as much as possible, and keep your chin up. For those who are doing well, congratulations on your positive outcomes! Remember how it was before the surgery…I was home-bounded and having pain everyday, all day…now I am able to do more things because I can walk better. To me the surgery and the long road ahead was worth it!

  • 5 months since TKR. in pain all the time. seems to have gotten worse.Went to my Dr. recently he told me my ligaments/tendons are strained and weak. also said I need to lose weight. The first month I was doing well. I lived in a rehab facility for 3 weeks. The PT was very hard, I yelled and screamed, almost cried. The pain was off the charts. Came home was doing ok ( still in pain) always the soreness and stiffness but my flexability was very good.im back to work now (light duty) but my knees hurt all the time, the pain is almost debillitating. Over the counter meds dont work. Im icing more because i dont know what else to do. My question is, am I going to get better? I cant take this type of pain much longer its making me depressed. Any suggestions?

  • Hi Richard,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I am certain we all understand what you are going through. The pain can be dehabilitating. It does get better, though. Take a look around my site for more insight into ways to naturally lower your pain. I do not offer medical advice, only personal story sharing.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Pat

    Hey Taaron I just passed my 4 month mark, and I too had much swelling on my knee. There was so much swelling I had to stop my P.T. By the way she too was puzzled why my knee was still swolen, matter of fact so much it inhibited me from keeping my knee straight and interfered with my flexibility. I started accupuncture about a month ago and since then the swelling went down, and I am still doing my home exercises I was doing in PT. I can go up and stairs without any problems or aids. I am walking, biking (5 miles on the avg./day). My flexation is so much better too. I get some pain running down my foot at night sometimes, but I know that will get better with time. PS my PT was very confused and frustrated as to why I JUST WAS NOT there with my progress as the time.
    My Doctors advice to me was because of the amount of swelling I had to stop the PT ASAP. Try the accupuncture, my doctor even recommended that I try it. Good luck with your

  • Deb

    Hello, I had bilateral TKA on June 9th and I am doing great. I have been off pain meds for 5 weeks now, done I/P and O/P therapy. I am going to the gym every other day and riding the bike and doing some light leg presses and arm weights. I must be careful that I don’t overdue it. Swelling is still there, but not a big deal. My life has improved 10 fold since the surgery and I would do it again….but only both at the same time! Hang in there folks, each day gets better and better.

  • Hi Deb,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your very positive tkr comment. It’s great hearing how well you are doing! Keep in touch and good luck.

  • barb

    Just reached my 4 months. Gee I guess I am doing ok . I have just started going to PT because of stiffness in my knee. I find when I use the stationery bike there is a clicking and crunching that feels weird but no pain. I am hoping that the PT will break up the scar tissue that they say is the cause. Otherwise I am able to doing all my regular activities. Stair climbing is still a little difficult but I’m sure will improve as time goes by. Doc did say 4 to 6 months is generally the recovery time. After all, this is no small surgery. If you are not doing regular exercise you will not get their flexibility back as quickly. I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. All you young pups, hang in there and keep on keeping on. Incidentally, I am 74.

  • Barb

    I am two weeks shy of four months after bilateral knee replacement. My knees are extremely swollen. The tenderness around the incision has lessened but the swelling is getting worse. It hurts to stand up and sit. After reading many of the comments for four months, I am beginning to see this is normal (for some) and may be another phase of the healing process.
    I walk a half mile every other day and the other day I ride my exercise bike for 5- 15 minutes. I do my exercises faithfully every morning. I drink lots of water. It is difficult to stand for very long as there is pain. I finished physical therapy 3 weeks ago.
    This surgery and recover was brutal for me. I am 60 and can count on one hand the times in my life I have been sick. I have never been on any kind of medications, except for an antibiotic for 10 days, once or twice in my life. Prior to my knees going bad, I walked for a half hour for exercise 5-6 days a week. But, I had arthritis in my knees that destroyed them. My knees were sore and started to knock prior to the cartilage breaking down completely. I only shared this to show this can happen to anyone. Even if you led a healthy life recovery may not be easy.
    One thing I am going to cut back on is sugar. Sugar causes inflammation. I like my sweets, especially under stress or for comfort. Because I am going on 4 months and still in pain, it is depressing me so I eat more sweets. Even though I can do allot of what I did prior to surgery, it tires me out quickly. I can stand and do activities for about an hour to an hour and a half, but I pay for it later. Every night I lay down to get off my legs by 7 pm. I take my pain medication only at night so I can sleep.
    I did make an appointment at the doctor next week to make sure there is nothing else going on. I don’t seem to have the symptoms of infection.
    I hope my doctor next week says everything is ok. I will keep doing what I am doing but change my diet. Everyone says it will get better and I believe them. Seems the number I hear most often is 6 months before the pain decreases. I envy those who healed quick as I was always a quick healer and thought I would this time, too.

  • Peter

    I am now over 4 months post surg. Had “spacer” replaced in my 9 yr old TNR. I have great range of motion(130 flex). Went back to work yesterday for 1st time since surg. I work in hospital, on my feet @24/7. After about 3hrs, knee started to swell and very uncomfortable at best. Have had knee aspirated twice in past 2 months. First time hardly got anything, second time got @75cc yellow-tan fluid. Dr. says 1st time lab report says gout, 2nd time no evidence of gout. Want to know is this possible. Why is there still pain & swelling??? Is there a point when you have done all you can and knee is just gonna stay that way??

  • Hi Peter,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr concern comment. It sounds to me like you need a second opinion. I, nor any of my readers, provide medical advice. I do know it is quite common to get mixed lab result messages.
    Good luck and keep in touch…

  • Barb

    Peter, see my note right above yours. I went to my doctor like I said and he took x-rays. Everything looks good and I am healing as expected. It can take 6 months and up to a year to completely heal. I am frustrated, too, at 4 months and still in pain and not able to do much without swelling. It takes time. Keep doing your exercises and seems like you should not have returned to work yet if you are on your feet 24/7.
    I had to back off on walking and start over slowly. It will get better.

  • Debbie

    I had bilateral TKR August 11, 2015. I will say I am doing great. My doctor released me at six weeks from therapy and no check-ups till year anniversary. I live in a bi-level home and was going up and downstairs within week of surgery. I pretty much do whatever I want when I want. I still have a little discomfort when I sit to long. Recovery is all in your attitude to therapy and your surgeons skill. My doctor couldn’t believe my progress. I had a goal set before surgery and have met it.

  • Hi Debbie,
    Kudos for your impressive recuperation. Thanks for visiting and sharing the news with us. Good luck and stay in touch!

  • Khris

    Hello all, i had tkr on nov,3,2015, i know everyone is different healing and pain wise,,, my concern is i was 86 deg. Presurgery….after 30 min on cpm at pt we can get 105 went from 90 to 105 (with force helping from pt person) pain and swelling suck i will say…after a couple hours and next day have real struggle to get 90 out of knee and im pulling with belt extensively,,,,i do work kner 2 to3 times a day 20 to 40 min.have recumbant bike and still nogo as far as pedaling all the way around but i do go forward and backward to stretch,,,,,leg is awsome strength wise just the center muscle of thigh is and seems to stay tight,,,i use a donjoy ice cooler therapy as well as heating pad …was told and saw post op xray,, i have a 6 inch rod instead of 2 inch in shin bone,,,any words of what i may try to keep flex after pt. I seem to loose it within an hour,,,,,,thank you

  • HI Khris,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. You’re experiencing what I was at your stage. I have written a number of tkr flexibility posts on this site. Take a look around for more insight. 🙂 Keep it touch and good luck!

  • Khris

    Well, went to pt today,,,,did cpm machine, legpress, squats ( kneeling ),,,the best flex we could get was a 97,,,,,,,wed before thanksgiving got 105,106, today,,,,5 days later 97,,,,,, im not happy, saw surgeon after ,,we discussed why i was limping around which i hadnt done alot of for a little while,,,,,he agreed,, im doing everything right but leg is not wanting to cooperate,,,,go figure,,,,, and hes gonna do some mua on dec. 8 on left after he replaces right knee,,,, why not im there and asleep already,,,, he also said my leg is awsome strength wise except that center muscle right at the incesion point, above the knee.

  • Darrell

    I had my right TKR on August 24 2015. I did and have done my PT religiously. As of today my knee hurts ALL the time. I can’t get past 120 without pain, tears and force. Dry needling has help to improve things. Too bad I had to wait for 3 months post op for that side of PT.
    I also found out that CPM machines LIE!!!!!…I was up to 120 in the hospital on day 2 and 130 at home for 3 weeks. PT folks & Drs have told me that they are not 100% valid – so don’t trust them. IMHO….

    Other than the pain, my biggest issue is with swelling!!! None on my doctors or surgeons will consider draining my knee. I can’t see my defined knee cap by the end of the day and or when I wake up in the morning. EVERYONE says “it’s normal”….THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Has anyone had swelling issues that a DR would drain? If so what are the magic words other that PLEASE!!!!!

    I must be a glutton for punishment because my left TKR is on December 28th of this year.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  • Joe Cabral

    I had a TKR on my right knee on August 25, 2015. I am a 78 year old active person who worked on my leg muscles pre op to help with my recovery after surgery, this helped so much. At four weeks I walked without any assistance of a cane or walker and was able to climb stairs cautiously. At four month post op, I do not take any medication for pain. The only issues that I presently have is knee sourness if stand or walk for an hour or so. I do need to work on some additional range of motion. Good results!!

  • Hi Darrell,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. I am 8-years post-tkr and still have knee swelling. I have written about this in other posts throughout my site. Kindly take a look around for more insight.
    I would never consider going to a doctor to drain my swelling. Some ice and rest will do the trick. The final decision is up to you, though.
    Good luck and keep in touch. Happy Holidays!

  • Kudos for doing so well, Joe! Keep up the great work. I still get soreness – 8 years post-tkr, after sitting or walking for an hour or so. No biggie.
    Good luck and keep in touch! Happy Holidays to you and yours, as well. 🙂

  • Khris

    Hello again everyone,,,,,my dec. 8 right tkr didnt happen. White cel, count was high he had me knocked out and nerve blocks in both legs at time of noticing high cel, count,,,,,he did do the mua on left knee and im a religious 115 at home and pt,,,,,, im only 7 weeks post tkr and still swell, sleep a little at night,,,,,,,,and yes you all were right it does get better,,,,,, only took 5 weeks but its better,,,,,,not healed but better,,,,,right knee WILL BE DONE dec 28,,,,ill let you know how i do,,,,,not looking forward to 5 weeks of aganizing hell again but 5 weeks is nothing compared to years of it,,,,, hate the fact that im only 44 yrs old, and knowing itll have to be done again in 10 to 20 years,,,,uuugggghhhhh,,,,merry christmas all,

  • Khris

    Darrell,,,, hello, im still new at my tkr also i have found that when i feel it starting tl swell i try and prop it up and i also wear a compression sleeve on my knee,,,,,not saying you should or should not but i was okd to by my surgeon when im up and about,,,,, i find at night it does go down ,,,not to normal but goes down ,,,even when i cant sleep which is most of the time i just lay there and find happy thoughts,,,,,yes its hard to,,,,,,have been told that when im upset or agrivated somehow it affects the blood flow and how knee heels,,,,,happyness is good,,,,,,i didnt believe it but it is true,,,,,what if i may ask is your activity like,,,,i know when im walking a cpl. Hours or so my knee also BLOWS UP SWELLING,,,,

  • Julia

    I am 4 weeks after TKR and had been doing very well. At 3 weeks I was at 117 and felt that I was able to bend my leg more and more each day. Then I woke up one morning at the beginning of my 4th week and my knee was so stiff I could tell that I had regressed. Two days later at PT I was down to 95. What happened? Now the pain is excruciating when I try to work on bending. I have had hip pain since the surgery and it just gets worse when I try to bend my knee. I can hardkey stand to ice it, which causes my hip to ache and knee to throb. Help anyone?

  • Khris

    Well hello again everyone,,,,,here it is jan. 25 2016,,,,my right knee was replaced dec. 28,2015 and i must say im 4 weeks post op as of today and this knee is ALOT BETTER pain wise theres none,,,,even with pt, it was 125 degrees pre surgery and at pt on dec 3 it was 98 and the following week was 110 degrees my surgeon knew i was hating life pain wise after left was done and was upset with me that i didnt tell him the amount of pain i was in,,,,,he did change my pain meds for the right knee and wow what a difference,, i sleep every night all night,, pt is awsome,,, hitting 118 115 consistantly,,found out from him he put the depuy synthes rotating platform knee In both legs and yes i can feel the rotation,,,,kinda weird but lovin life….anyway have faith in your surgeons,,,if something doesnt feel right,,,,CALL THEM dont hate life like i did with my left knee,,,,pain sucks and no pain makes pt better and healing better cause you sleep and your body needs that to heal…..happy new year all.

  • Judy

    I had bilateral TKR on October 7, 2015 and have done great! I actually NEVER used a walker or a cane. They actually seemed to be in my way. The PT laughed at me when seh saw me with my cane after therapy – she said ‘you know you are just carrying the cane – not using it’. When I went for my 2 week checkup the surgeon took video of me to show some of his patients that he thought might need to be motivated. So it’s been a little over 4 months and the stairs are still difficult, but I have to go up and down our stairs at home at least once a day. When I sit for a long time, there is some muscle pain when I stand up, but I have no pain at all when I sleep or really at any other time, other than stairs and standing after long sits. I am so glad I had both knees done at the same time. By Spring, I hope to be getting much better and enjoying some walks around the block. I am happy to be able to read that many others at 4 months are still having some muscle pain, etc. Not happy for them, but happy to see that it isn’t unusual. Thanks for this great forum!

  • Hello Judy,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr feedback. It sounds like you are doing great! I am certain others will find your information as useful and insightful as I have. Keep up the great work! Glad you find my site helpful. 🙂 Good luck and keep in touch.

  • Jeanne

    Thanks for this site…overall it feels optimistic, despite good and bad stories! Lately have felt bad that my progress seems to have stalled, but reading all the comments i realize that healing isn’t a neat, linear process, and everyone is different.

    One thing that i would like to add to this discussion is the importance of being prepared for surgery. I am 57 years old, slim, and fairly active, but I was rundown from late evenings at work and slightly anemic (hemoglobin 115). I figured i would finally get some rest when i checked into the hospital! Oh so wrong…
    I had my right TKR 11 weeks ago, and although the operation was a ‘success’ i lost a fair bit of blood and my hemoglobin dropped dangerously to 64. I stayed in the hospital for 6 days, and had two blood transfusions to bring me up to 89. The anemia led to a general feeling of anxiety and occasional panic attacks for the first month of my healing. All of this (and no sleep) set me back on my physio.

    Today at 2.5 months I have had 120 flex for at least 3 weeks, but still have a lot of swelling, especially when i walk. Knee pain is minimal — except at physio when we try to flex further. I was scheduled to have my left knee operated on in April, but i will postpone this because i am not ready. This time i want my blood count to be as high as possible, and my leg muscles to be stronger pre-op.

  • Jeanne

    One thing that i would like to ask of others: how long can i work on my extension? Is there a point where your leg heals slightly bent and there is nothing you can do about it?

  • Hi Jeanne,
    You are asking for medical advice, something I do not supply. Hence, I recommend asking your medical care provider. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback. Good luck!

  • Blenda

    Hi, I had a tkr Jan 4th, 2016, I’d like to know how long does the low energy level last? I get fatigued easily, this is’nt like my usual self, prior to surgery. Anyone experiencing this? Thanks for input

  • Hi Blenda,
    Thanks for stopping by. I was regularly fatigued and have written about it in other posts on this site. Take a look around to realize you are not alone. Good luck!

  • mike C

    Hi. I am 3 1/2 months in from TKR. I had a great recovery, painful physio, but that was to be expected. Within four weeks I had 120 degree bend and 135 degree in weeks six, so very pleased with recovery. Unfortunately, the last six weeks have seen a steady increase in pain level in my knee, shin and calf. Night time sleeping is poor and back on some pain relief, and I reluctantly limp.

  • Hi Mike,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your informative tkr comment. You are doing much better than I was at your stage. Keep up the great work and stay in touch!

  • Sandeep

    Thanks for keeping an informative website and article going for many years now! Reading through all the comments provides a great insight for anyone considering a TKR. A comment from Joe Cabral is particularly useful where he mentions how he had both pre and post-op PT, and that he’s been doing great.

  • LindaSue

    I had my left TKR Dec.21, 2015. I walked 5 years bone on bone and worked as a cashier full time. Before my TKR, my legs swelled because of my job, plus I am very sodium sensitive. After my TKR, it seems like all my leg swelling is going into just my left operated on leg. The other leg looks fairly normal. This swelling is affecting how far back I can bend my knee, which is 90/93*. By the end of the day, my leg feels like it is full of concrete when I am getting it up onto the bed. Recently, the doctor thinks I have lymphedema. If I had this condition before the TKR, why is it only affecting my left leg? I am going to PT for the lymphedema, plus I just received a machine to use at home. Very frustrating. I have been told it can take up to a year after TKR for my leg to return to “normal”. All in all, I don’t regret having the TKR done, as the pain I was in before surgery is gone. I need my right knee replaced, but due to the problems I am having with the left leg, I won’t have the other TKR done anytime soon.

  • Kathy

    I genuinely value your work, Great post.

  • Barb

    Hi all, I am at the 4 month stage after TKR, I do not have any pain in my knee now but I seem stuck at about 90/95 flex even tho I pushed my self to exercise ie swimming with water exercise, walking, physio and massage up until a month ago ( I had to return home to a cattle station ), my knee is still a bit swollen and tight feeling,,,I have found being on my feet for more than a couple of hours very painful to my calves and feet, but not knee, it really is frustrating and stops me getting about as much as I want, but I have started to ride (horses ) again little by little as I build my strength up again. I am thinking of buying or hiring an exercise bike to try and help with the flex have any of you found them to be helpfull.???
    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to Booktoots blog it has been very help full reading and thanks to Booktoots.

  • Hi Barb,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I have written about using exercise bikes in other posts throughout this site. The bikes have helped me tremendously. Take a look around my site for further insight!
    Keep in touch and good luck…

  • Dianna

    Hi I am just a little over 4 months out. I am active now. I go up the steps and they are wide and high mostly without any problems. I have a hard time going down and because of the pain and tightness, I turn my body when I am trying to go down the steps. Every morning my knee is very tight. I stretch all day to get it somewhat relaxed. I am in a pool three times a week and highly recommend all folks to try that if they have one available. I can do anything with my knee and leg in the pool. I have even walked up to 2 miles at the gym. I don’t recommend long walking though at a fast walk. I think a stationary exercise bike is best. I still have fluid and my knee is about 1/4 larger then my left knee. I guess it is a wait and see each day. I really try but I don’t think I will every be normal again.

  • Hi Dianna,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I am certain others will appreciate your insight, as well.
    There is one thing that I learned in psych class and that is the fact there is no such thing as normal. Everyone is different. Hope that makes you feel better.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Denise

    Hi, I am 4 1/2 months post-op from my bi-lateral knee replacement surgery. I had a great recovery and my range of motion is excellent. I am very active and continue to do my stretching exercises. Everything was going so well up until about 2 weeks ago. I took a 4 hr car ride and the next day another 4 hrs car ride back. While I was driving my left leg began to be very stiff and painful. It continues to be painful when I drive and when I have to get up from a sitting position. Once I am up and walking there is almost no pain. I visited this site to see if anyone else was experiencing such pain after 4 1/2 months.

  • Hi Denise,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. I have written posts about experiencing this pain and stiffness throughout my tkr recuperation. Take a look around to realize you are not alone. Good luck and keep in touch!

  • Linda Sutch

    I’m 3-1/2 months post op bilateral tkr. My right knee is fantastic. The left knee, however, is another story. Two days post op I developed DVT on the left and multiple pulmonary emboli in the lungs. The knee also bled for 12 days so I was anemic and required two units of blood. Well after in home PT and 8 weeks of outpatient PT, I am still only 90 degrees on the left. I went to the OS this week and asked if I thought PT was helping. Since all they do is force bend the knee til I was in tears, with no change, I told him no. He told me to stop going but exercise at home, and come back in 6 weeks. I’m really afraid he is going to want to do an MUA and it will be like starting all over again. I only have about 10 more sessions left on my insurance for PT. I need to start looking for a job. When does this all end?

  • CARLOS VERGARA

    My wife had Bilateral TKR 3 months ago and still in lots of pain on both knees specially the left.PT 3 times a week,ROM around 120-125 on both legs but the pain is constant and worse when standing up after been sitting for a while.Taking Tramadol but dont do much for pain.walking is a great task and pain increases after walking about half an hour.Please send your comments.

  • Hello Carlos,
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving the tkr comment about your wife. Your wife is doing better than I was at her post-tkr stage. I have written about the pain after sitting, stiffness, and other concerns you mention throughout my site. Take a look around for more insight.
    Keep in touch and best of luck to your wife!

  • Jill

    Great site, glad I am not alone. 14 weeks and had to give PT a break for a week. Knee was swollen and so sore all the time. Had the same guilt trip on pain meds. Realized this thing really hurts and why suffer.

    I ice and stretch all the time. Was doing well, but had a big set back. Was up to ROM 127 and measured 110 last week. I too wish I had read this post before my surgery. You really never know what to expect. I figured 3 months and I would be back to doing all the things I love. Fat chance, this is a slow process and now I know give it up to a year to be back in the full swing of things.

    Had my hip done 5 years ago, and it was a piece of cake to the knee. One of the most painful surgical experiences I have ever had. Was living on steroid shots till surgery so didn’t realize how bad it was.

    I have to keep reminding myself it will all be worth it when I am no longer feeling real pain.

    Oh and yes it is impossible to sleep any way except on my back still

    Good luck all, and be sure to pack your healing and PT patience

  • Great share..

    Proper care after the knee surgery is must. Keeping up your exercises will make a big difference to your recovery time. Exercise to strengthen your muscles so that you can move more easily, so prefer-

    Walking
    Use stairs
    Indulge yourself in household activities

  • Hello. I had TKR September 19, 2016 on my left knee. Then I had manipulation done January 12th. I am in pain all the time. I can only walk for a short time before I am really hurting and still walking with a cane. Getting up from a chair or out of bed really hurts. I am sleeping better although I usually wake up after a few hours with my knee feeling so tight. I am going to PT 2 to 3 days a week but sometimes I feel they push to hard which sets me back. Twice after PT I could hardly walk at all for the next 4 to 5 days. I am just so frustrated because I feel like I’m never going to get better.

  • Hang in there, Linda. It does get better, as long as you do not give up. Check back often to realize you are not alone. Best of luck!

  • kristin johnson

    hi checking in about my TKR it was 6 months ago I’m healing a doing ok! but my biggest concern lately is my swollen ankle. i did not have this kind of swelling 1 month or so ago but now its swollen all the time i am still having tendon pain. any ideas for what is going on thank you so much i really appreciate it

  • Hi Kristin,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. My ankle usually swells after standing and/or walking for awhile. You may be different. Hope this helps. Hang in there!

  • Frank

    I had my right TKR exactly 4 months ago and feel somewhat discouraged because 4 months after my left TKR I could engage in any activity with no discomfort or difficulty. This time I have diffivulty supporting my self when I first stand, my knee wants to give way. After a few steps it is OK, but from time-to- time I have pain running down from the edge of the left side of my knee joint and down the keft side of my Tibia for about six inches. This was the main pain I was having before surgery. Now I am wondering if there were some injured tendons in that area that were not repaired during the surgery. Once I get started walking it doen’t hurt until after about a mile. It also hurts when climbing steps.

  • Gosh after reading most all the comments,I think I am a miracle..I am 75 had right total knee replacement April 25,2017..only on a walker 3 days,,did my rehab several wks after,,my knee bend is 124,,133 before surgery but my surgeon said no one get back to the before bend.My scar healed fast,only visable on top of the knee but almost til you cannot see it now,I use Bio-Oil on the scar ever day after my Surgeon said it was ok…Not ever night but some nighst I take Tranadol,does not help my night pain because it is not the knee it is the bones in the top of my foot a front of my leg.But might help me to sleep..I wake up in the morning after laying with my leg straight and have some pain (but I also have Ostoarthitis)..but once I get but and about I am fine,,no problem walking after the walker I used nothing,my doctor said I was amazing,I give God and Dr.DeMent,Asheville N.C.)the credit..I got out and worked hours in the yard triming trees and bushes and weed eating and raking last wk..(now Aug 9,2017y),,so I feel the hurting in the back of my knee is me overdoing,,I knew better ,,

    Dr.Dement is the Best,,got to have the left one done also in the near future..he will do it…

  • Hi Jean,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. Glad to hear you are doing so well on all levels. Stay in touch and best of luck!

  • Kelly

    Thanks for forming this blog. It most encouraging! I’m 2 months 1 wk. out from left tkr. Still some swelling and ROM BARELY makes it to 90 AFTER I’ve done PT or my Home exercises. I can make it to 0 Straightening it. After reading some of the posts I don’t feel quite so disappointed in my progress. Too late to have just a manipulation. I would need a scope and THEN manipulate it while still under. We are going for the PT for another month and hoping it will free itself up as scar tissue is usually completely formed by 3 months. I am just now able to go up stairs using both hand rails but cannot go down yet.

  • Hi Kelly,
    Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave your compliment on my tkr blog. It’s always refreshing to know that others find my information useful. You sound like you’re doing about the same as I was at your stage. It does get better, with hard work.
    Keep in touch and best of luck to you!

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