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Five Months after a Total Knee Replacement

Hi my favorite readers! Well, something great happened today.  I was icing my knee after an hour long walk when I noticed something.  I could see the outline of my kneecap (patella)!  That means that my swelling is starting to go down, and I could actually feel my knee cap for the first time since my surgery.

It’s amazing how the small things in life can be so important. 🙂

There is still a ways to go, but….woohoo!! Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






31 comments to Five Months after a Total Knee Replacement

  • Carolyn Valdez

    I’m now 5 months post TKR, left knee, and I’m still in so much pain. It gets stiff, it pops when I walk and that hurts, and sleeping is still extremely difficult. No position is comfortable and I end up tossing and turning and crying out in pain when I shift my left into different positions. I can bend it, I can walk on it, and I can ride my exercise bicycle twice a day for 15-20 min. intervals but the pain and numbess are still there. When does this go away??

  • Booktoots

    Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment. Everyone visiting this site, who has undergone a tkr, understands how you feel. It may not seem possible now, but it does get better. It took me a solid eight months before I could sleep more than two hours at a time.
    Take a look around this site to find more information and support. Hang in there, keep exercising and keep in touch!
    Good luck!

  • Posts like this brighten up my day. Thanks for tknaig the time.

  • I am glad I found your site. I am taking the Internet seriously now. I am retired and can dive into it. There is quite a rich diversity of information in blogs so I am getting involved and commenting.

    Your blog is not like most of the blogs that I read on the Internet, and I like the style of what you are presenting here. I am approaching this from all sides, sonce I recently had a tkr and am starting my own website with its own blog. TheVeryBest2You

  • eve

    hi
    i am 5 months post up and very upset i am 50yrs old an a nurse i went back to work but still work with a cane still cannot sleep at night i stop pt cause i am so tried and have no engry to go to pt so i walk to work and used the staries daily i walk alot at work will i every be the same

  • Rich

    In 2 days it will be 5 months since my total knee replacement on 12/12/12. My knee never felt better or more natural. The other knee needs the surgery and is scheduled for late November and I couldn’t be more happy with the results. I felt it was important to write about the great results because many times we only read about the problems people are having. I believe that most are very satisfied with their TKA. Here is what my experience tells me is important to having the results you’d like: first, try to get in the best physical condition your body will allow before the surgery. Pick a surgeon who uses the best and latest technology both of which can be learned about by researching on the internet. Choose a custom knee system the uses CT scan evaluation of your knee prior to surgery so the implants can be fitted to your individual anatomy. If you smoke or consume alcohol limit both or quit all together prior to and during your recovery. Use an ice and compression device after surgery and do all the exercises your doctor and therapist ask. Find a pool to work out in as well as a gym or fitness center and work that new joint as advised to do. Most important is to have a good and positive outlook and the confidence that if you do what’s expected you’ll have the results you’d expect. I believe the patient is the most important element of successful TKA surgery! I’m getting ready for my next TKA and I expect the outcome to be even better the second time around!

  • Lori

    I am five month post tkr. When I leave leg straight I pains me fro buttocks through ankle. It
    It it a burning sensation that causes pain I my ankle. Any ideas

  • kelly

    I am also 5 months post op. My knee still gives me problems at night but much of the pain is gone. I still have bad pain climbing stairs and standing from a soft or low chair, but the walking is much better. It does not feel natural. Instead, it feels like I am always wearing one of those metal jointed knee braces. I can live with that. I still need to increase muscle strength but I do think that I’m improving slowly but surely.

  • I am five months since my tkr.The first three months I had hardly any pain.On a scale of 1 to 10 mine was a 1 or 2.After the third month my knee started to hurt a little more.The pain now is probably a 5 or 6.The most pain is when I stand up from a low chair.It just seems I am regressing instead of progressing.Hopefully this is just temporary.

  • Shirley

    I am seven days from 5 months total knee replacement, surgery was April 23. I still have difficulty walking my knee is very still even though. I have pt twice per week. I also have a bike one like the ones they have at the gym, I exercise one hour daily at home. My range of motion is less than 100. My problem is that after the exercise I can walk and bend my knee then after a short time it is stiff again. I feel like it is taking too long to heal I am doing the work but I am not seeing the results. It is very uncomfortable to sleep without taking a sleeping pill.

  • Hi Shirley,
    I just sent a private message. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.
    You’re experiencing the same things I was at your stage of tkr recuperation. It will get better!
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • neesie

    I’m 5 months post TKR and two weeks post hernia surgery (HS). Still have a lot of pain and swelling in my knee. My pain an swelling has increased since HS but I expect that to improve as I recover. I too was starting to see the outline of my knee cap right before the set back from HS. I know everyone’s healing time is different, I’m just really looking forward to the day I wake up pain free!

  • Same exact problem as Paul. First 3 months little pain. Now 5 months painfull when first standing, eases after a few steps.

  • Hi Gerald,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I am certain others, including Paul, will appreciate your insight. Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Vicki Hester

    I’m a little over five months and still stiff and in pain. I walk every day, do Pilates and yoga, ice, have a great social life, don’t drink or smoke, and am a size 12 headed toward a size 10. I include my size for those Yonkers who assume tkr’s result from weight! RA , osteo arthitis, and low thyroid run in my family. I assume that auto immune issues lead to slower healing. If any of you have auto immune disorders, they could be the reason for slow healing. However, the friends that I know who have had both knees done will tell you that each knee healed differently. One can heal quickly and one can heal slowly. Doctors have no idea what causes slow healing. A young, thin, active person can heal slowly while an 85- year-old less active person can be driving and buying groceries in four weeks. I know two of the latter and one is an unhappy person. So don’t let people insinuate that it is somehow your fault. It is what it is. We just have to keep icing and smiling. And waiting. ?

  • Vicki Hester

    I should add to the above that I am bending at 135 degrees, proof that I did well in rehab. My doc is very happy with my extension and flexibility. He says docs have no explanation for healing rates. My next knee, he said, could recover quickly, though I’m in no hurry to find out!

  • Dianna

    Almost 5 months post TKR. Still very stiff in the morning. I try to go to the gym 2-3 times a week. I was up to walking 2 miles at the gym but decided that my good knee hurt after that exercise. I can use an exercise bike for 35 minutes. I always am pushing forward on a step and pushing my knee as far back as I can on a recliner in a sitting position. My knee still has fluid and hurts when I try to push it forward and backwards as far as I go physically go. My knee looks a lot larger then my good knee. Hopefully my knee will look normal size in the months to come. I just want to get the water off and the scar tissue to unlock at some point. I hate that I had this done, I am 66 and very healthy but I have had one up hill battle to recovery.

  • TKR both knees 5 1/2 months ago i feel at times that they are tighter now than after 1 month .Yes i can put on socks and x my legs and thank fully i have not had trouble sleeping.But i feel at times that the tightness will never end.Please tell me i’am wrong.

  • Hi Robert,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. You asked about tightness in your tkr area. Wish I could be positive on this area, but it is still happening to me. It’s been nine years since my total knee replacement. Sometimes it is worse than others, but it still exists. It could be much worse, though. Hang in there!

  • rick jackson

    4 1/2 months post bilateral TKR. yeah yeah, yeah, it does take time. I’m not “there” yet, but what helps is to notice the changes for the good. I notice, and appreciate “wow, see how much smoother I am getting my legs into the car???” that kind of thing. somewhere in the 3 month period,my right knee began to feel “normal” first,” glimpses” of normal, then more and more. (mind you I still get stiff (again, slowly less and less) when sitting too long, like in the car etc.at 4 and 1/2 months FINALLY, my left knee is feeling normal, again NOT full time, but glimpses, then longer glimpses, etc. I’ve finally turned the corner where the “glimpse” is lasting longer. It shows me it IS healing and I know it will continue to get better. It just takes time dammit!!! both legs are weak, I can’t walk great distances, but thats improving too. I remind myself that the fine print on these new knees says “6months to a year” for full recovery, and sometimes more. I recommend just keep at excercising, try to find that sweet spot between not enough and too much, stats show 95% of us will get there.

  • Renee

    Hi, just found your site. July 8th will be 5 months. I’m doing really pretty great, 135 degree bend after 9 weeks (only self physical therapy no help just at home alone) was driving my weekly 200 mile round trip at 7 weeks postoperative. Haven’t taken pain pills in months unless we are going hiking. Lots of swelling gone, does get stiff if sitting long.

    I don’t understand though why I have had pain in my hip since, why my knee is still popping , why when I lay on my side in bed and bend sometimes I get a sharp stabbing pain in back above my knee. Tendons? Ligaments? And I don’t understand why when I look down at my knees in a sitting position the operated knee looks crooked.
    Anyone else experiencing these things?

  • Sue Gibson

    7 months time recovering from my right knee replacement and other than tightness, it is doing great! However after five months with my left knee replacement, I can’t say the same thing. I understand the tightness, but lately I am having pain when I moved my knee in any left or right motion in front or back. Anyone else having this issue. I will wake up at might in extreme pain because it has moved into a postion that causes pain. Don’t know whether I need to call doctor or if this is normal?

  • Hi Sue,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your tkr comment. There is no such thing as normal. Everyone recuperates differently. If it is any consolation, I experienced the same type of pain you have at your stage. If it still concerns you or continues, I would recommend calling your doctor. Good luck and keep in touch!

  • I visited you site today 15 December 2017, after 5 1/2 months of TKR, and am glad to give my 2 cents. I can tell the readers, that in my case, I have no pain, don’t use a cane any longer, and really glad I did the procedure. I do ride my bike here in Hoi An, Vietnam for an hour every other day, and walk the beach for a few minutes, but other than that, not much exercise, as I am a Wall Street-er, and sit quite often by the screens. I can say that when I walk, I know that I have had the TKR, but no discomfort and no pain. I sleep like I did before, great. I am 76 but a former world class athlete, so maybe good genes. They say that after 6 months (2 weeks from now), most TKR patients are pretty much back to normal and I think I must be on target. Best to all those that are recuperating with me, John

  • Hi John,
    Thanks for taking the time to visit my site and leave your interesting/inspiring tkr comment. It sounds like you are doing great! I am certain your positive feedback will help others.
    Keep up the good work and check back often.

  • Suz

    Jan 3, 2018 will make me 5 months post op tkr of right knee. I did great with my surgery and recovery. Walking without cane at 3 weeks, no pain when sleeping pretty much right away, did really well with pt and was released after 4 weeks.
    Now I have stiffness in my knee that’s driving me nuts. So glad I came here and saw so many with the same which is telling me this is normal for this time of recovery. My knee pops too, don’t like it. I have no pain at all, just uncomfortable from stiffness.
    Unfortunately exercise is limited as I’m having my left knee done on Jan 9, 2018. Walking is limited to very short distances. I can stand in one spot for 20 min w/o pain, buy boy do I get stiff.
    Surgeon told me full recovery can take 18 months. Sometimes I think I’m nuts for getting the other done, but I really think I will do much better when that pain is gone and I can actually go for a walk.
    Hang in there fellow TKR’s. I’m sure the pain we all had pre surgery was a lot worse than anything we are experiencing now.
    Wish me luck for Jan 9th!! ?

  • Bill

    Fellow patients,
    I’m a male 70 years if age. Feb. 18, 2018 will be five months since my total right knee replacement. Stairs fine. Half hour bike, half hour treadmill four times a week. Also some swimming. I no longer have pain while sleeping. Stiffness when I get out of bed. I can get my leg dead flat on a hard surface only by having my wife put all her weight on the knee, which I do twice a day for two periods of about thirty second each, and it’s a very, very painful procedure, but I persist. I can flex to 130 degrees or better with some pain. There is still considerable swelling, but it has abated steadily. I use Mederma twice a day to reduce the visibility of the scar. I also, conscientiously, keep it out of the sun.
    I’m optimistic, but I thought I’d be further along by now.

  • Thanks for taking the time to visit my site, Bill, and leaving your tkr comment. Sounds like you are doing well, being diligent in your tkr recuperation work. You’re doing better than I was at your stage. 🙂
    Stay in touch and best of luck! It does get better..

  • 2nd TKR ice do everything right. Still feels like a band around it. 5 months out. How long does it take for this to get better?

  • Felipe'

    I’m a 57 yr old male and I had TKR about 5 months ago. Progress seemed good for the first 3 months but now it seems like I’m walking with a limp and still have pain when I first stand up from sitting. When I do strengthening such as on the leg press it does not hurt and I can do it, but the next day walking and standing hurts more. Many that I have talked too say it takes about a year for it to feel totally normal. Its interesting to see that others have the same or similar recovery issues. Thank you for the forum.

  • Hi Felipe,
    Thanks for taking the time to visit my site and leave your informative tkr comment. TKR recuperation is, indeed, different – but same- for all of us. Keep up the good work and best of luck!

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