TKR Dead Weight: Is This You?

Hi everyone! I have received quite a few comments lately about the worries of having a very stiff and “nonfunctional” tkr (total knee replacement) leg for a time after the surgery.  Here’s some more insight about tkr dead weight: is this you?

Unexpected happening. My entire leg was a complete dead weight after surgery. I was not prepared for this aspect. No one told me about it, either. Nor did I read it in any tkr literature. None of my leg muscles were working (except my ankle and hamstrings).

Front stretching needed. My tkr knee needed gentle stretching exercises to increase the bend along the front part of my new knee.

Manually lift. Plus, I needed to manually lift my leg up onto sitting/laying surfaces. I used a towel or my hands to do this. That was one bizarre experience!

In hindsight, since our quadriceps are cut into during the total knee replacement, it goes without saying that a tkr dead weight situation would result. It just would have been nice to be informed of that so we could be properly prepared. It was a shocker to me!

Bent knee. I also needed to work on stretching out my hamstrings, along the backside of my knee, to straighten my leg. My leg would not lay flat on any surface. There was a slight bend in it.

No body weight support. Even though I was up and walking on a walker the day after my tkr, my muscles were still not developed enough to support my body weight.

No foot slides. I remember sitting in a chair and not being able to slide my foot at all. I am certain everyone goes through this. This is when those assisted physical therapy exercises come into play.

It has been eight years since my total knee replacement and my leg still gets stiff and painful after prolonged periods of walking or standing. I just rest, elevate, and ice. It’s no big deal.

Hope my tkr blog post about tkr dead weight helps others going through the same thing. Remember, you are not alone in this endeavor. Take a look around this site for more tkr insight from myself and readers.

Find this post about tkr dead weight interesting? Kindly share with others…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This award-winning site is owned and operated by  Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader.

6 thoughts on “TKR Dead Weight: Is This You?”

  1. Hi, I just read your blog about dead weight after tkr. I’m so glad I’m not alone. I need advice on how to handle this. This has been about 7 years for me with the same problem. Sometimes my leg feels completely dead! Massage helps but I don’t have the funds to constantly get them. Can you offer me any other advise.
    Thank you so much

  2. Hi Sandi,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. I have stated throughout my site, I do not offer advice. I, and my readers, only provide insight into personal experiences.
    The post you are commenting on is what I was experiencing immediately after my tkr surgery.
    I recommend contacting your medical care professional for expert advice regarding your concern.
    Best of luck and keep in touch..

  3. Thank you for your comments, Booktoots! I am 12 weeks into my tkr and I am in constant pain, haven’t slept through the night without being woken up by the pain, go to PT three times a week to endure much pain and stiffness during and afterwards, can’t take NSAIDS due to gastro issues so Tylenol is all I take, and now I am very depressed and regret having the surgery. I’m supposed to have my other knee done soon but NEVER want to do this again! I don’t feel like I’m getting much support from my doctor or therapist about the magnitude of my pain and how long it is lasting. Your words gave me a bit of hope for the future so thanks!

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your informative/inspirational tkr comment. It is always nice to know my insight helps others. The pain issue and the medical profession’s feedback is flabbergasting, in my opinion.

    Are you aware I have a book titled ‘Dealing With Insomnia After a TKR’? It contains over 100 real-life stories that may help you feel less alone. I’ve had readers enjoying perusing it during their sleepless nights. You can purchase it from the Booktoots’ Books Page. Here’s the link:

  5. Hi Marie,

    I am wondering if any of your readers have been diagnosed with arthrofibrosis and what they found helped them overcome it. That is what I have post surgery and what I am trying to find a cure for with very little help.

    Each one of my professionals has a different opinion from implanting nerve blocking electrodes in my knee to stopping PT altogether to repeat surgery to cut out the scar tissue. I have decided to start water walking in the local pool to increase ROM and strength and to just get out of this house before I lose my mind! Also came across a holistic tincture called Chang Shan that may help. I will give these a go and report back but would love more input from your followers.



  6. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for stopping by again and leaving your comment. I am not familiar with arthrofibrosis. It sounds like a research topic to me.
    It is always interesting to me how surgery is quickly offered as a solution to any tkr difficulty. Good for you to take a natural approach for now. Keep in touch and good luck!
    Hopefully, others will pitch in with their personal experiences about this condition.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.