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Recuperation Spurts & A Total Knee Replacement

In a previous blog post I mentioned how distraught it was having my bionic knee area being stiff, swollen, and painful. It seemed to be getting worse and I just couldn’t figure it out. Well, something interesting happened just a couple of days later.

After wondering what I was doing wrong, I just became a “couch potato” while icing my knee and laying it on a pillow. I did this for an entire day. I did not walk up or down stairs, do any knee exercises, or walk that much.

Suddenly, after this short break period, there was a breakthrough. When I was laying down at night, I noticed my leg was lying flat on the bed. Normally, I go through great deliberations about resting my leg on a pillow in order to avoid pain. Usually, it was too painful to lay my leg flat on any surface. I was so surprised about this revelation, that I left my leg lying flat to see if there was going to be any pain. The pain did not start until about 20 minutes later. Even when it started, the pain was minimal compared to what it was previously. Wow. That was a definite change.

The next day, I noticed I had more flexibility going up and down stairs. And, the pain was lessened. Was this a result of my resting for an entire day?

It seems that these spurts are becoming more common. It must be part of the total knee replacement recuperation process.

2 comments to Recuperation Spurts & A Total Knee Replacement

  • Lynn

    Hi Booktoots, i experienced exactly the same thing.
    I have decided that the balance between too little exercise and too much exercise is a delicate affair. In fact I think I have been overdoing the amount of exercise thinking that the more I did the stronger my new knee would be if you follow my drift, but thereby creating most of the discomfort I have experienced at night while trying to sleep. My latest revelation is that I have misunderstood the time dimension of this recovery. Less is more! Recovery comes about sloooowly and the most important characteristic I need to have is patience. Once I worked that out, progress became much more rapid. Like you the knee is now straight, I can ride a bike on the road, no longer have any sign of a limp, can kneel while gardening, am sleeping normally, can get through a day easily without feeling tired, can walk for an hour on uneven tramping tracks and a couple of hours on footpaths; in fact feel pretty much ‘normal’ again. I had my operation on July 7th this year. I now understand when people say the recovery takes a year to be complete but life now three and a half months after the op is great.

  • Don Bell

    I have also struggled with how much exercise is the right amount. What strengthing exercises do you find helps the most and how often during the week do you do them. Also does your knee click when you walk … every step I take my knee clicks at the end of the stride just as I lift my foot off the ground to bring it forward for the next step.

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