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Swelling 15 Months After A TKR

Hi my favorite readers! One of the most common concerns I hear about from readers who have had a total knee replacement is that of swelling. It seems that throughout the recuperation process, this is an area of interest. I know in my case, I was expecting my tkr knee swelling to go down after just a few months.

Think again. It is common for my tkr knee to swell after exercise, but my surgery was almost 16 months ago. And, it still swells up and requires icing. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact.

The last couple of weeks there has been increased swelling due to the fact that I am kicking some butt with my new ortho shoes. 🙂 For the first time in 30 plus years, I can walk without pain – like an “ordinary” person. And, my recuperation is at a point that I can have a “normal” gait. Woohoo!!! So…I am taking advantage of it.

I was told by my doctor, at my year follow-up, that my knee may be swollen for the rest of my life. It was nothing to be concerned about. Hmm. Can’t wait for bathing suit season. NOT!! (That was my attempt at a joke).

Hope this helps others who are going through the same thing. Think of the alternatives and be grateful. 🙂

If you have enjoyed this article, I’d appreciate it if you would share it with others. Thanks!






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18 comments to Swelling 15 Months After A TKR

  • Topics about Bathing | Swelling 15 Months After A TKR

    […] Liyakasa, Kelly added an interesting post today on Swelling 15 Months After A TKRHere’s a small readingIt was nothing to be concerned about. Hmm. Can’t wait for bathing suit season. NOT!! (That was my attempt at a joke). […]

  • russ

    I too am concerned over swelling….I am only 4 wks out and am anxious over the swelling i can only bend 115 degrees with the therapist help…..it is real painful in therapy but I guess this is how it is and hopefully it gets better……thanks for your input….15 months out I would have thought you would be back to “normal” I needed that wake up….

  • booktoots

    Thanks for your input, Russ.
    I also thought the swelling would be gone by now, but was told that it may be with me forever. Oh well. At least there is no joint pain like before my tkr.

    Good luck!

  • Janine

    My mom had tkr on her right knee in December and still has some pain and a lot of swelling. She sits at a computer much of the day and that makes it worse. She says that when it swells it feels like a tight band around her knee and her mobility is very limited. When it is really bad, she is fortunate if she is able to get to 90; however, in good times she’s at about 110. She gets very discouraged that she isn’t back to normal. Was this band around the knee feeling something that you experienced? Does icing it help if the knee isn’t swellng due to exercise? Any pointers for her.

  • booktoots

    Hi Janine,
    Thanks for your comment. I didn’t have the band around the knee experience your mom has, but I do swear by icing to help her tkr knee. Icing rocks and is the best pain killer she can use. I use it even when I haven’t exercised.
    Have you read through my blog? If not, there are a variety of posts and comments that can help your mom.
    Good luck and keep in touch!

  • Mike

    Maybe not the right place for this question, but, how severe was your pain before your surgery? I’m at the point that if I twist the wrong way I start limping, but usually after an hour or so it eases up. I don’t use a cane or anything like that, and most of the time I don’t even have a limp. I’m starting to second guess my decision, and I have to be honest, the problems you guys are having with simple stuff like sitting and standing are scaring me. My doc has told me that I will be able to go back to work in 8 weeks, now I’m starting to wonder.

  • I HAD TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT 16 MONTHS AGO .NOW IM HAVING PAIN LIKE BEFORE OPERATION. WENT BACK TO DOCTOR AND WAS TOLD THERE IS INFLAMMATION. I WAS TAKING 6 ALIVE A DAY JUST TO GET TROUGH WORK AND BE PAIN FREE. NOW DOCTOR PUT ME ON MOTRIN 600 3TIMES A DAY. THE PAIN IS SO BAD. IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE THIS HAPPEN THIS LONG AFTER? I DONT THINK I WILL BE ABLE TO WORK ANYMORE. DOCTOR SAID BECAUSE I HAVE SUCK GOOD STRENGHT AND BEND I PROBBALY OVER WORKED IT. ANY HELP OUT THERE? TIRED OF PAIN AND STIFFNESS HELP

  • booktoots

    Hi Getz,
    Once again, I recommend icing as a natural pain killer. It works great for me. It’s cheap and effective! . 🙂
    Good luck!

  • Julie Ellis

    I am so happy to hear and share. I had partial knee replacement in both knees last November. I have a real stiffness, thickness feeling around my whole knee front and back. Not always, just when I over do it. I was told if I over do- I will have pain. Stairs are a killer and I have lots of stairs to climb every day. I was also told that after 5-6 months I should to be back to normal. I know many people who have had total and partial knee replacements. They all said it is the best thing they ever did and why didn’t they do it sooner, a new lease on life. I think the healing time varies depending on what you do. I can’t take it easy so my healing will be longer. I agree with icing, I think it is a miracle, morning and night. I fill zip lock baggies with water and freeze them- they are perfect!

  • M. Storniolo

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am surprised why this twist of fate did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  • 20 months post TKR… It took about 8 to 10 months for me to get a normal gait back. I thought it would never be normal. I don’t think that is the norm. I feel pretty good these days. I went to a lecture on TKRs and the people attending were all post TKR patients. The Lecturer said you may be feeling 75%, 85% or 90% better post operation and that is a good way to look at it. Some are better off than others, but most all are better. I use my Recombent Bike daily and paid $1500 for it….well worth it. I think you always have to exercise the TKR, but not sure…just that I do and I think it keeps it working better. I also go to the gym and do leg presses…keeping the quads strong helps a lot. Perhaps just doing squats would be just as good…just don’t let the knees go over the toes when doing squats. Since I have been exercising the quads, I notice I get up the stairs much easier. I wish everyone the best. Yes, I would get the operation again. I go dancing all the time and don’t miss a beat.

  • lisa

    my husband had a TKR 12 months ago. He is having pain, swelling and now weakness in his leg after using it alot to get through his work route. He is miserable. I am going to ice tonight. I hope it helps. But tomorrow he will do his work route again and come home with a big swollen painfull knee again. It’s becoming a vicous cycle. He is tired of taking Vicodin and wishes he could not take pain killers. But now that his pain is increasing he is actually having to increase the vicodin. Tommorow we meet with the doc to see if there is another pain medication he can switch to. I hope some day this will be better for him!

  • Suzze

    osteoarthritis in these swollen knees for almost 10 years. Have had Durolane shots years ago with no results. Contemplating tkr. Concern is, I do not need any pain meds now. My issues are stairs, getting out of chairs, bending, kneeling, dislocation, and now the stationary bike and walking are becoming increasingly painful. Have a script for cortisone injections and wondered if that would be a good route prior to tkr? Really hate the thought of surgery and a painful recovery when I am not in regular pain now, just a lot of mobility issues. Has anyone has success with cortisone injections and reduction of swelling?

  • Hi Suzze
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. Cortisone shots work for only three months, at least that’s what the medical profession says. Mine only worked for a few weeks. They may be a viable option for you. Perhaps others will pitch in with feedback.
    Good luck and keep in touch.

  • Suzze

    Thanks, Booktoots, for your response. Yes, I believe one is only allowed 3 in a lifetime as well. Can you tell me if your knees were/are extremely swollen and did the shots help reduce the swelling? Thanks, again.

  • Bernard

    TKR in Sept 2015, began recovery on track but in Jan knee stayed swollen and limited ROM. Had knee manipulation and knee consistently swollen up to 3 times its size. Had blood work done that showed slight elevation and tried to check fluid in knee but there was none. Dr does not know why the swelling. Cannot put full weight on knee. Have tried ice, compression stocking, elevation,everything.

  • Margie

    My mom is 82 years young and had total knee replacement in Dec 2014. She did wonderful post surgery and with physical therapy for six to 8 weeks after. However, she has not been 100% yet. She continues to have pain, swelling and stiffness. She has also suffered with tendinitis. She has had several cortizone shots – one helped and the other two were not so helpful. She has continued to do some of her PT on her own (she says), but I don’t think daily. Recently, a friend shared her husband (who had TKR about 2 years ago) exercises “everyday” and says that if he misses a day, he has issues with stiffness, etc. My mom’s surgeon says all is fine. (She has an appointment with a another surgeon in a few weeks.) Oh, she “hates” to take any meds – says they are going to destroy her liver. Worried about her becoming depressed. Help!
    Looking for any suggestions?

  • Hi Margie,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. Personally, I am eight years post-tkr and my knee gets very stiff if I do not exercise regularly. I have written about this throughout my site. Have your mom take a look around for more insight.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

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