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Ten Months After Total Knee Replacement

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

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


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

Working on:

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

Less Than Positive:

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

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

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

26 comments to Ten Months After Total Knee Replacement

  • Lynne

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

  • Sally

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

  • Lynne

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

  • Sally

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

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

  • Kathy

    After 10 months still stiff and some pain – still working hard pt and the pool and walking will see the dr. in June. Does the stiffness ever go away?

  • booktoo1

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment. Everyone differs, but my stiffness has not gone away due to 35-year scar tissue.
    Take a look around this site and find other feedback that may help you during your recuperation.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • After fifteen months my knee replacement is still aching, I have to work as bar staff and am 63 years old (no choice) so on my feet and rushing around. I do aqua aerobics three times a week in water it helps butI have to rest a lot to get the knee going for work.
    Its not easy and I wish the pain wasn’t so bad.
    Has anyone else had the same experience.

  • Hello All!
    I just wanted to give you an update on my TKR. I am now in week ten of my recovery. I can now climb stairs, walk around stores without a cane, ride a bicycle, and walk the treadmill for 20 minutes. My Physical Therapist told me my ROM is 120 degrees. My only problem is I still can’t straighten my left knee. It is at 6 degrees. I also experience real tightness if I stand for sometime. I explain it best as saying I feel like I have an ace bandage on my knee and it’s too tight. I stopped all my pain medication but will take Advil for my pain. I only have one more week with my Physical Therapist so I’m getting nervous about my recovery. As a footnote I’d like you all to know I had my right knee replaced 3 years ago and I am almost pain free. My ROM is 140 degrees. So, I want you all to know that in time you will get better. Stay positive, do your exercise, and ice ice ice!!!!

  • Hi Michael,
    Fantastic update! Thanks for stopping by again and sharing it. Your symptoms sound exactly like mine. With your positive attitude and diligence, I’m sure you’ll do fine after PT ends.
    I’ve written other posts about straightening exercises. Take a look around!
    Good luck and stay in touch!

  • Lalitha

    My mother had tkr 8 months ago sometimes her top knee hurts and after a short trip strained her side muscles of the knee. When do they become pain free. she is 70 years old

  • Hi Lalitha,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment concerning your mom. Everyone recuperates at their own pace. Those muscles still hurt me after overdoing – and it’s 6 years post tkr. At 8 months, it was a common occurrence.
    Tell your mom “good luck” and keep in touch!

  • Hugh

    Hi everyone
    Im just entering my third week since my TKR of the right knee. during my third week I found that I could straight leg raise efficiently and i could go up the stairs as I would normally, coming down the stairs is a little more tricky. Yesterday I walked a mile and a half with just my stick which I found it fairly comfortable. I have suffered with arthritis in this knee from being a child and for over 40 years so I have had a degree of existing muscle wastage so my problem is trying to build up the muscle which still remains painful. I only ever had 90 degree flexion which I have almost reached now, and I can straighten the leg. Unfortunately I am unable to take any anti-inflamatory drugs and can only take Paracetamol for the discomfort. It still feels as though my knee has a tight bandage around it all the time. Having read some of your comments it seems as though everyone has similar problems and that there is no definitive ways of going about your recuperation apart from exercising as much as possible, and being patient. Everyone goes at there own pace as everyone is different, don’t get disheartened, stick at it and it should get better. It was always going to be the hardest part.

  • Rosalyn

    Hello all
    I am delighted to have come upon your excellent site. I am 47 days post op from TKR, and tonight, the stiffness after sitting down and watching a 2 hour movie was so bad, it was frightening. After bending and massaging for about 20 minutes, and then finding your website, I am relieved to know I am not alone. My range of motion is not what it should be for my therapist, but I now plan to add some exercises in the pool. No quick fixes, obviously! Again, thank you for being the voice of assurance! I will visit your site often, I am certain.

  • I am in my 14 month after total knee repalcement.I still have pain and sometimes swelling,hurts to walk at times.

  • Hello again! Again I want to update everyone on my progress with a TKR on my left knee. I had the operation June 2013. It has now been 9 months and I still have knee pain. The two ligament that run along side the Patella are always sore and I also have tightness in my hamstrings. I just finished my latest session of physical therapy and have a ROM of about 124 but I can’t straighten my knee. It’s presently at about a 6 or 7. I go to the gym 4 times a week and do all kinds of exercises to strengthen my hamstrings (walking backward on the treadmill) and I work hard on my Quads. I also ride a stationary bicycle for 15 minutes. After completing these exercises my left knee swells up and I can hardly move. Once I get home I ice the knee for 15 minutes. I’ve found the biggest problem I have is sitting. If I sit for a half hour and try to get up my knee is stiff and very painful. I have to tell myself to walk heal/toe, heal/toe. Because of the stiffness I will find myself walking toe heal. This is not good. I talked to my surgeon last week and he told me the recovery can take a year to 18 months to heal. So, I’m trying to be positive and keep an upper lip as I work though this pain. Oh, I tried acupuncture for the knee but that was a total waste of money. Too all of you out there who are experiencing the same problem as me just be patient. I believe in my heart that given time I will be happy I had this operation and the quality of my life will improve.

  • Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your tkr update. It sounds like you’re doing well and being diligent. Keep up the great work and check back often. Everyone loves reading updates. 🙂

  • Hi Betty Jo,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment. Your symptoms are exactly the same as mine were at your recuperation point.
    Keep working and it’ll pay off.
    Stay in touch and good luck!

  • Susan Cicci

    I had a total bilateral knee replacement 10/1/13. Unfortunately, I did not find out until afterwards that I am unable to tolerate any pain medication, prescription or OTC. I need to have both knees manipulated and I am wondering if there is any other person who has had this procedure and who is unable to tolerate pain medication.

  • Hi Susan,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment. Many readers have gone through a revision and provided feedback. Just do a search for tkr revision on this site and a slew of articles will pop up. There’s bound to be something useful.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • It has been 9 weeks and I have a hard time to get comfortable to just get some sleep. I am walking without a cane yes it does swell up had been on pain med that make me forget the Tylenol make me get stomach cramps get hot and cold down to half tremadol not sure of spelling it is 2:37 and want to sleep. I just want to be myself again.

  • Eileen

    I am ten months post TKR. I am walking better, standing straight and would say that the knee is very success. I am, at last, glad that I had it done. It doesn’t do everything, and I Still can’t reach my feet to attend to them or put shoes and socks on . If I have nobody here I just stay as I am. So I’m not getting out as much as I should. I can drive, but have problems with parking as I need to open the car door wide to get out. Turned down for a blue badge.
    My unoperated hip is extremely painful. I am hoping this will settle, as I do not want another operation.
    Also, I can now sleep like a baby. Is this normal.? Given that I am in my 73rd year! I often wake in the night but then sleep until midday and wake up tired.
    A friend thinks it normal after an operation but I would like to hear feedback from others,

  • Ermelinda

    Great article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  • Donna

    I had a very bad experience with my tkr. 3 weeks after surgery, my knee became infected and I had to have another surgery to clean it out. That was 10 months ago. Today, I cannot bend my knee and I have serious scar tissue and pain. Cannot even walk without the use of a walker. Even though I had a lot of pain before surgery, I wish I hadn’t had the tkr. My other knee needs to be done but I refuse to because of everything I’ve been through.

  • tori

    Hi all,
    I too am so glad I found this site and insight here. 58 and 9 most post op. Kinda felt scared and alone like a failure somehow before reading these posts. ROM is great but the tendons on one side are often so painful as is my hip/ spine. My job requires I sit and it is indeed most difficult – blood pools at my foot sometimes (scary). I elevate every night after work, as well as “still” needing elevation and ice after exercising – in particular when I walk a couple of miles. . The doc keeps saying 12-18 mos… I see him soon tho and will talk about the pain in the band of the tendons on the outside of my TKR. It really hurts, and I’m truly a pretty tough cookie.
    Also my non replacement leg is now 3/4 inch shorter and have all my shoes altered. I’m going to try a cushion for the shoe of my surgical side. Thank-you Rio Rita.
    Committed today to work more on my quads, get deep massages, keep icing/ elevating, go back to physio if needed and stop beating myself up about it.
    Mostly I commit to patience. Decrease my negative self talk like”I still” need to lie down, rest, elevate and ice….

    Thank you Booktoots.
    Thank-you everyone!!! Reading your posts normalizes my experience sooo much.

  • Hi Tori,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your tkr feedback. It’s reassuring to know that you find my site so helpful. Keep in touch and good luck!

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