Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

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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Comment from: Steve, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 20

I underwent a total knee replacement on the 13th of November 2015. I had been suffering advanced osteoarthritis for many years and had been putting off the surgery for as long as possible. The surgery has been an outstanding success. I was reasonably fit leading up to the surgery and was a regular road cyclist and as a result I have relatively strong leg muscles. I have been back riding for the past three weeks although I am only averaging 25 to 30 kilometers per ride and am riding about three times per week. This will be increase as my endurance returns. I am in no pain at all and have a range of movement from 0 to 125 degrees. I have some slight swelling occasionally after some rides but that is easily managed by applying an ice pack. I am still attending outpatient physiotherapy twice a week (three hour sessions) and I could not be happier with the result.

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Comment from: Carlos, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 20

I replaced right knee on 11/23/15 after replacing left knee on 7/14/14. Latest replacement went much easier than first. I returned to work after two weeks with the first despite lots of pain but this time took off for three weeks. But it was much easier this time with mucho less pain. I quit the opioid pain killers after four weeks. By six weeks flex was up to 120 degrees. Physiotherapy began at home then moved to clinic for five weeks, ending 1/21/16. I credit the difference between the two in terms of pain to a change in procedure. Now the medical team used ultra sound to find the nerves around my knee then injected pain killer all around the knee at the time of surgery. For the first three days I was entirely pain free; incredible. The pain kicked in after that but much less than the first time. This was not done with the first knee. My doctor began this procedure two months after my first knee replacement. I'm taking six months to recover before mounting a horse and a year before returning to snowboarding. I hope everything holds together.

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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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