Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: Angie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I had both my knees replaced 12/21/15. I was unprepared for the amount of pain I experienced. In addition my knees did not perform uniformly. My left knee progressed better than the right but still barely passed 90 degrees by my six week check. I continued in physical therapy until last week and I still have limited range of motion. My left knee is 4 and 109 degrees, my right is 5 and 94 degrees. I'm an active person so I feel like I am missing out on the things I enjoy. Conservative estimates say I will be at my best in eight months to a year. The pain I experienced before surgery is gone and replaced with the pain of my impatience.

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Comment from: Cindy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I am almost 8 weeks post operation, having had a right total knee replacement (TKR) on December 30, 2015. I'm still getting in home physical therapy 3 times a week. I haven't been given the ok to drive yet. I have about a 4 degree straightening now and can get to 111 bending but it's still extremely painful to do that. I'm using a cane now but mostly just for balance because I can walk without it. My knee is still very stiff and I still don't sleep well. Three times a day I do my stretching exercises and other exercises that my physical therapist (PT) and his assistant (PTA) have prescribed. I wonder when the stiffness will go away and the pain on bending. I need to have my other knee replaced and I'm thinking of doing that in the fall but wonder if this knee will be healed enough by then to do the other one. Reading these other patient accounts is both helpful and frightening. Most everyone I know personally who have had TKRs have said it's the best thing they've ever done. I hope I'll get to the point that I can say that too. Right now I just hope the pain and stiffness goes away soon so I'll be feeling good about it too. I have an excellent PT and PTA and hope once I'm an outpatient I'll have good people too. My surgeon is the best in the area, never heard a bad word about him, ever. He's performed three other surgeries on me in the past and he's great. So I feel good that I know he did the best surgery on me but I feel a bit discouraged that I'm not making better progress with the pain and stiffness yet.

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Comment from: Anna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 26

I have suffered for 10 plus years with arthritis, and had torn meniscus repairs in past years. I had hyaluronic injections for two years with some success, and then went to acupuncture and Chinese herbs with good success for two years. My family doctor suggested I go ahead and get total knee replacements because the techniques are so improved. I looked for the right surgeon, and found an excellent one with high success rates. So I had my surgeries six weeks apart, my last one 8 weeks ago. It was really hard to go back into surgery but I cried and went ahead with it. Now I am thrilled, as the worst is behind me! Please, my advice is to get your prescription filled on your way home from the hospital as the pain will hit that evening as the anesthesia drugs wear off. I found that out the hard way as I thought I had enough left from first surgery and so had a dreadful night waiting for my pharmacy to open. Also you have to be on medicines for physical therapy, as the pain the first two weeks there is awful! I went back to acupuncture as soon as I could get there, and also used Mountain Magic essential oils (online, and I do not sell them). This got me off the pain medications at 4 1/2 weeks with just occasional Tylenol and later ibuprofen as needed. I am a retired registered nurse, and so realized how crucial it is to research your surgeon. Also having surgeries close together has helped me not have gait issues, as others have. Hope this helps. Good luck to you through this rough journey.

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Comment from: Marcy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 26

I had a total knee replacement on 4/1/15 and it was a great success. I was walking and climbing three stairs with a walker about two hours after the surgery. I only took opioid pain medication for about two days and assisted walking with walker or cane for about two weeks. I had five or six physical therapy visits post-surgery and reached full flexion and extension within three weeks. I attribute my great recovery to water walking before and after the surgery and I am still water walking at least three hours a week. At 9 months post-surgery, I am doing great. I have never really had any pain and the swelling was very minimal. I consider my knee replacement to be very successful.

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Comment from: maria527, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had total knee replacement surgery about 5 weeks ago and I'm so disappointed with my recovery that I cry every day. I can only straighten my knee to 4 degrees, but that is not what has me so stressed out. My greatest disappointment is that my range of motion (ROM) is only 85 degrees and when I am bent to that degree I am in the most excruciating pain. In most of the posts I have read on different sites, many patients have stated that they have their ROM of 115 in just a few weeks. My surgeon insists that I am not working hard enough, but believe me I am working to the best of my ability, but the pain is unbearable.

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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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