Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: Peggy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I am 5 weeks post operation for total knee replacement. I am doing much better, driving at 2 weeks, released to do anything I want. I am having outpatient physical therapy to help get my knee bend to be where it should be, but it is still swollen and painful when I do the knee bends. I can't understand why the surgeon did not talk to me about the bruising, swelling and pain especially at night; even the cold pack's pressure hurt my knee. And when I try to elevate that leg it hurts more. Opioids did little for pain. It was excruciating. I had no idea it would be that bad. I know that they are rough in surgery to make sure the new knee works. I just wish that the surgeons are more open and talk to us. We are human, this is our body that they are manhandling while we are out. Please talk to your surgeon and try to have him explain it all step by step. I learned the hard way, no more; I am proactive in my care from now on.

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Comment from: Mamaw, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

Six weeks ago to the day I had total knee replacement on left leg. This past Friday I was allowed to put full foot on floor. The doctor broke my femur during surgery. I have to endure extra pain and recovery time because of this. I had walked on toes for over 5 weeks. I am not allowed to do anything. The doctor said Friday I may need a manipulation because of range of motion (ROM). I was at 118 yesterday. Of course it varies each day. Therapists are really trying to get me at full ROM. So am I. I have until 8/12 to get full range back. I go to rehabilitation 3 times a week and this is my 4th week.

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Comment from: William, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 25

Since my total knee replacement surgery on April 27th, I've been able to walk without any assisted devices, climb stairs, bend to 120 plus and basically move more freely. Yes, in the beginning there was pain and stiffness and that should be expected but as each week went by I stayed aggressive with my rehabilitation. The leg steadily improved to the point that I'm able to play tennis again albeit not full out. Keep working hard and know that the pain you are having now will eventually go away.

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Comment from: Deb123, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

I had quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement on February 16, 2016 and am having the other knee done on August 9th. I had a hard time for several weeks with pain after my first surgery, but now feel pretty good. It takes a good 4 to 5 months to feel better. When I had so much pain after the first surgery, I said I would never do the other knee. But my right knee feels so much better that now I realize I need the 2nd surgery. My left knee still being so bad hinders my everyday activity, I can't even go up and down steps properly at all. I am looking forward to being able to do that after my next surgery. I do believe the post-operative pain is worth it. Now that I know what to expect, I think perhaps I can get through this second surgery a bit easier, at least I hope so. If you are dealing with arthritis pain and need knee replacement surgery, I would advise you to do it; it is worth it in the long run.

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Comment from: debcat, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I am very happy to find this website and realize what I am going through is normal. I am 5 weeks out from bilateral knee replacement surgery and am apparently doing great! I still have significant pain particularly at night while trying to sleep. I am however pushing myself hard during the day. I am at 120 degrees in both knees! I have been driving for over 2 weeks now, biking, and walking with no type of aid. For safety if I am going out for longer walks I do bring a cane. After 10 years and 16 knee surgeries I am very happy with my decision so far to replace both knees. It's not an easy journey but hard work does pay off. Looking forward to getting my life back! Good luck with your rehabilitation! As they say hard work pays off and in this scenario I truly believe it!

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Comment from: Mama teacher, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I had a total knee replacement of my left knee early January 2016. The first few days after surgery were very painful. My doctor ordered in home physical therapy which started a couple days after surgery. He also gave me a foam wedge to elevate my knee above my heart. I have to say that by the fourth or fifth day post operation I knew the knee was way better. I went down the stairs and it didn't hurt the same. This was an ache, not a stabbing cramping pain. After a week, I wasn't using narcotic pain medicine during the day. After 3 weeks of at home care I could walk with a cane, go up and down the stairs, bend about 95 degrees and go about 175 straight. I began to go to an out of home therapy after that. My pain was worse in my upper calf and behind my knee. My therapists massaged back there all the time. Some work out days were rough. I took narcotics then. I used lots of ice. After about 9 more weeks I was about as good as I could be. I could bend the leg till my heel was on my rear end and straighten 180 degrees. I was strong. I still had minor swelling and still do now in July. The hamstring and calf pain did improve, but anytime I'm swollen the fluid drains behind the knee and irritates the calf. Anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, ice, all of these help. I had said in the hospital that it hurt too bad for me to consider replacing the second knee, but seeing how much better my left is now makes me feel like the pain is worth it. In therapy I saw several other people with knee replacements who were struggling to heal. I figure the post-operative care and immediate physical therapy must have made the difference for me. The great doctor and my age had something to do with it too I hear.

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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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