Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: CindyMO, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I suffer from arthritis all over my body. Needless to say my joints are worn out. I had knee replacement in March of 2015. I also journal through the process of healing, charting my progress. Pain totally subsided about week 5 to 6. Now I am at week 19, still a lot of swelling, and I do not climb stairs very well. I use my cane when in public as my balance is not stable and people bump into you knocking you off balance. Other issues plague me and it makes my other knee hurt. I did return to work at week 13. Very difficult as we work on concrete floors and climb stairs. Hoping at week 26 which will be six months I see more improvement. Not sure about being 100 percent but I am better. I do water therapy 3 times a week which helps. Reminding myself it may take a year or 18 months for me to feel more normal. Hang in there and good luck to those facing knee replacement because overall I am so much better.

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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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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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