Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 05

I had total knee replacement (TKR) on 1/4/16 and on 1/8/16 my flexion was 60 degrees and extension 10 degrees. By 2/5/16 flexion was 110 degrees and extension 0 degrees. I have been to physical therapy. It is now 4/4/16 and the pain is still pretty bad and I cannot put full weight on knee and stand for long period without pain. I do not get how some people seem to say that they did not need any device to help them walk after three months and walking unaided. I don't know when this pain will stop.

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Comment from: earl, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 05

I have 2 knee replacements, one 20 years old one 15 years old. I am 81. I left the hospital 5 days after surgery each time and my therapy was done at home by myself following instructions by the doctor. I returned to work 3 weeks later each time [carpenter]. I have used a glider rocker every day to exercise my knees, to remove any pain from heavy lifting etc. I still work, walk 2 miles a day climb stairs, dance and enjoy life. The glider rocker is the secret to my good recovery. I use it while watching TV.

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Comment from: Missie Marie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I had knee replacement surgery on my right knee five weeks ago. Post-surgery pain was much worse than I expected. I went straight from the hospital to a rehabilitation hospital. I was doing okay until day 8 when I experienced chest pains and shortness of breath. The nurse listened to my chest and told me I was fine. The next day the chest pain and breathing was worse, I collapsed and was rushed by ambulance to the closest emergency room where I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and given 2 percent chance of surviving the night. After spending 2 more weeks in the hospital including in the ICU flat on my back, I am finally home. My leg is stiff and swollen and the pain is excruciating. I am having trouble with blood thinners (my INR is 7.5 which is critically high) and they say it's too soon to know about permanent heart damage. I struggle to walk around the house with a walker, can't leave the house, and require 24 hour care. We may have to sell the house and move to assisted living. I am going through the red tape of setting up physical therapy but I don't know if it will work. I'm 68 years old and I'm just waiting to die.

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Comment from: duffsgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I'm 8 months out from double knee replacement. It has been a difficult trip but well worth it. Personally, if I had it to do again I would not get both done at the same time. Right knee has healed well but the left is weak and still swollen and I do have some pain in it. I take tramadol every 6 hours for the pain. It takes a full year to recover so I'm hoping all goes well as I reach my one year mark in July.

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Comment from: Helena, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

It is 19 days after total knee replacement. I have 0 straight and 95 degrees flex. I am taking pain and anti-inflammatory pills. I am still not sleeping through the night but I just get up and walk the stiffness out of my knee and go back to sleep. I am taking 12 hour slow release medicines twice a day, and if necessary Endone or Panadol Osteo during the day. Inside the house I walk with one cane and am walking 100 m outside and increasing this every day. I am still icing my knee three times a day and keeping my knee elevated when at rest. Physiotherapy is twice a week and I am doing the exercises 3 times a day. It still feels very tight but I find that stretching, though painful, eases the stiffness and so helps with the soreness. I am very glad I had it done. My hospital stay was 8 days to help with my pain management. Everything is now I feel under control. I know everyone is different and so recovery times will vary. I can only go by how much I improve day by day. Thank you for sharing, this has eased my concerns considerably.

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Comment from: Adrienne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I had my total knee replacement in July 2015, 8 months ago. I am still experiencing swelling of the leg but the knee joint is very satisfactory. Whether I could face another operation on my other knee, not too sure. Pain after surgery was pretty hard to cope with even with painkillers. Surgeon advised me first 6 weeks will be pretty difficult and I would certainly concur. Be ready for that difficult period, after that if you have done and continue the exercises all should be well. I try kneeling which I find pretty difficult.

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Comment from: Luis, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 22

Three month after left knee replacement surgery, I still get some inflammation that goes to my ankle as well when being on my feet for several hours. The left side of the knee seems more tender than the right. Going down the stairs is ok, but have to go slow since the knee is still tender and weak. I have been back to work after 3 weeks however because I have a desk job. Hope this helps.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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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