Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: Bill n Texas, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I was 64 when I had TKR (total knee replacement) on both knees, doing second one 9 months after the first one (insurance purposes). I played sports hard and had ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery on both knees prior and several scopes done also. I am 3 years out from the surgery and pain free. I can sort of run, shoot a few hoops, and walk anywhere. I wish I had done this sooner. I was down to where I could not walk 100 yards. I do really feel for patients that have had poor results and are still in pain. I did nothing special except maybe get lucky with my surgery and surgeon. I can tell you that this surgery hurts. That is why you need to take the pain medications they prescribe. Don't try to tough through it. Time your pain medicines to help you through the rehabilitation exercises. Here is my list for TKR surgery. Try to get in better shape before you go, you will need it to help you through the rehabilitation (sit-ups, leg lifts, stretching). Have a caregiver who can help you in the hospital and at home after the surgery. Directly after the surgery take all the pain medicines you can. When you go to your first few rehabs in the hospital, use the morphine pump if they put one in your knee. At your first rehab and all rehabs in the hospital you must try to straighten your knee. Don't worry as much about the flex, but try to straighten it out till you have tears. You cannot walk if you can't straighten your knee. The first day and days in rehab are the most important before scar tissue builds up. You have to gut it out. After rehab exercises, you must Ice your knee down and elevate it. Do this every time. After your surgery wound heals, see if you can have a friend or massage therapist rub your knee with warm oil or lotion. I don't know if this helps but it sure feels good. If your knee continues to hurt, tell your doctor. Before you go home from the hospital, have the ice packs at home and a supply of prescription and over the counter pain medicines. Be patient, the rehab can take 3 months or longer. Good luck.

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Comment from: Jd, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I had total knee replacement (TKR) on 6-3-15. I was up with walker 6 hours after, walking 200 ft. On day 1 with crutches I did multiple loops around the ward and stairs, pain tolerable. On day 2 I was still walking but leg is much weaker. I was given oxycodone and discharged. Next 2 weeks were 2 day forward and 1 back. I used lots of ice and had home physiotherapy (PT). I left hospital with 3 to 90 degree flex and in 2 weeks I had 0 to 115. I was off hydrocodone at 1 1/2 weeks (5 mg 2 to 3 times a day), used cane or crutch in public and none at home. At 4 weeks pain is now less than pre-operative. I am walking further than I could before. Strength is still less, I start PT next and week hope to be back to work in 2 weeks. Original injury was in 1979; it was tearing of most of the ligaments and tendons in knee and I had been bone on bone for over 15 years.

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Comment from: SuzanneH, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 16

I had both knees replaced 6th March 2015. It's now 14 weeks since they were done. I spent 1.5 weeks in private hospital, then transferred to another private hospital for 10 days for rehabilitation. I did pool exercises and physiotherapy daily. When I left hospital I had 132 and 130 degree bends in my knees. With being overweight my problem is getting off the toilet and low seats, I still hurt today. At the moment they are still stiff and tight. In hospital I was on high doses of pain relief and weaned off by about week 5 or 6. I ride my recumbent exercise bike almost daily for at least 30 minutes. Steps are still hard some days, more my right leg then left leg. I would do both together again, probably as it is one operation, 1 anesthetic, 1 pain killers and 1 rehabilitation. You don't realize how much you rely on your good leg when standing up, and not having good strong legs, that's where I have a problem.

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Comment from: Jauty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I had a total knee replacement 3 weeks ago. I had horrid swelling and needed morphine which led to awful constipation. However the calf and rest of leg below ache like mad. I had a check for DVT (deep vein thrombosis) but it is ok. I am still on paracetamol and Oramorph sparingly but the aching is horrid. I am doing well otherwise, walking and with 110 bend.

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Comment from: William, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I have to say after reading some of the posts of people walking around I am a little jealous. I have had 4 total knee replacements (TKRs) on the same knee and now was told yesterday I need to replace the knee in there now, this will be fifth. My first knee replacement was 11/2007. Sports had ruined my knee and the doctor, even though I was only 48 years old, assured me that it was the best thing to do. After months of physical therapy the pain would not ease. My orthopedic doctor sent me to a group that only specializes in knees and hip replacements. It was determined that the first orthopedic put the incorrect knee in me. So, in August 2008 I had the knee replaced for the second time. I was doing well at first, then a ligament grew incorrectly around the new knee and that knee had to be taken out. So, in January 2009 I had my 3rd TKR. Again, I was doing well until I fell in a hole at work. I came back to work in February and fell in a hole in March. March 2010 I had this knee put in. The scar tissue was so bad the doctor had to cut out so much scar tissue the surgery was one of the longest he had performed. Now, this knee is shot. How does one find the courage to have surgery 5!

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Total Knee Replacement - Experience Question: Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.
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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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