Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.

Comment from: Mama teacher, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I had a total knee replacement of my left knee early January 2016. The first few days after surgery were very painful. My doctor ordered in home physical therapy which started a couple days after surgery. He also gave me a foam wedge to elevate my knee above my heart. I have to say that by the fourth or fifth day post operation I knew the knee was way better. I went down the stairs and it didn't hurt the same. This was an ache, not a stabbing cramping pain. After a week, I wasn't using narcotic pain medicine during the day. After 3 weeks of at home care I could walk with a cane, go up and down the stairs, bend about 95 degrees and go about 175 straight. I began to go to an out of home therapy after that. My pain was worse in my upper calf and behind my knee. My therapists massaged back there all the time. Some work out days were rough. I took narcotics then. I used lots of ice. After about 9 more weeks I was about as good as I could be. I could bend the leg till my heel was on my rear end and straighten 180 degrees. I was strong. I still had minor swelling and still do now in July. The hamstring and calf pain did improve, but anytime I'm swollen the fluid drains behind the knee and irritates the calf. Anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, ice, all of these help. I had said in the hospital that it hurt too bad for me to consider replacing the second knee, but seeing how much better my left is now makes me feel like the pain is worth it. In therapy I saw several other people with knee replacements who were struggling to heal. I figure the post-operative care and immediate physical therapy must have made the difference for me. The great doctor and my age had something to do with it too I hear.

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Comment from: Optimistic, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I had total knee replacement on 4-12-16. I am almost at the 3 month mark now and things have improved. My last ROM (range of motion) was 115 and should be better than that now. I am still using the ice machine when I get off work, just because it does make it feel better. The back of my knee and upper calf still hurt a good bit of the time. My doctor told me that I should really tell a difference at 6 months. I don't know that I would do it again knowing what I know now. Hopefully, the other knee will not require it.

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Comment from: Flower Girl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I'm 10 weeks post-operation from my total knee replacement (TKR). I went to rehabilitation for one week because I live alone. I am down to physiotherapy twice a week. I had a very hard time sleeping first 7 weeks and still have constant aching either underneath calf or side of knee. I think my balance when walking with walker and now with cane affects everything. I have to work on lifting my TKR leg up more when walking to straighten out. I would like one day without pain. I ice a lot and use heat as well. I had my other knee done in 2012. It does take over a year to feel normal again. Very frustrating at times. I am not able to stand or sit for long periods of time. Achy!

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Comment from: Linny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I am 7 weeks post bilateral knee replacements. I was in the hospital for 10 days due to post operation deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in one leg and pulmonary embolism in both lungs. After leaving the hospital, I was put in a nursing home for 5 days due to persistent bleeding from the DVT knee and being on oxygen and the need for shots in the stomach, of blood thinners. Due to the late start in physiotherapy (PT), my knees are quite stiff and I just went from walker to cane. I have PT 3 times a week and may have to have manipulation to decrease the stiffness. Nobody has told me how much to exercise at home. I am doing all the exercises that I do in PT once a day.

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Comment from: teddysmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I had right total knee replacement on 6/20/16. I was in the hospital overnight and released the next day after I could walk to the bathroom, down the hall, and up and down a flight of 5 stairs with a cane. I did all of this without problems. My problem and still today is that I cannot lift my leg without assistance from the handle of my cane. I stopped all pain medications after day 3. I have no pain. I am very concerned that I am unable to lift my leg. I start physical therapy in 2 days. I hope they can help me. I can walk with a cane, climb 2 flights of 10 stairs each, shower, dress myself and get my own icepacks and so on. I just want to lift my leg like a normal person.

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Comment from: tornado pap, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 05

I had total knee replacement 5 weeks ago on May 25th. I am doing very well and the doctor says it is because I am doing my physiotherapy (PT) each day. It hurts to do them for sure but by next week I will be discharged from my PT. My range of motion is at 120 now and I am very pleased. I still walk with the cane when outdoors but each day is an improvement. My night time does still have some pain from lying idle but it is getting much better each day. Last June 28th I had back surgery and it required about 10 months to heal and recover but now that the knee is repaired I am close to being without pain for the first time in nearly 4 years.

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Patient Comments

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Total Knee Replacement - Experience Question: Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.
Total Knee Replacement - Candidate and Causes Question: What was the cause of you needing a total knee replacement?
Total Knee Replacement - Exercises and Physical-Therapy Question: Please share your experience with exercises and physical-therapy following a total knee replacement surgery.

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