2 months after knee replacement surgery - scar-pain-exercise

2 Months After TKR Surgery (Scars, Pain, and Progress)

Well, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight weeks since my TKR surgery. Time goes by slowly immediately after the surgery and starts to speed up once you’re mobile.

The first two weeks after surgery is a time when you are dependent on a caregiver. I had limited mobility and spent most of the time in the house sitting in my recliner.

I tried to stay busy with reading, crossword puzzles and doing my physical therapy but time crept by slowly. At the beginning of the 3rd week, my mobility increased dramatically.

You might be wondering: “What can I expect to do 2 months after knee replacement surgery?”

Maybe you’re doubting your progress and want to compare your scar, range of motion, and activity level with other people at 2 months post-op.

Everyone heals at different rates but it’s also comforting to know if you’re on the right track.  My progress has been slow and steady but I feel – and I’ve been told – that I’m ahead of schedule.

I’m now able to do things for myself and get outside more. Each week that goes by, my knee feels better and better.  It is now 8 weeks post surgery and I’ll share with you what I’m up to.

My Scar 2 Months Post Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement Scar 7 days after surgery          Knee replacement scar 2 months (8 weeks)

What a difference!  I began with a swollen knee and staples holding my leg together.  2 weeks later my staples were removed and 8 weeks later a very fine line marks the area I was cut open.

The body has an amazing way of healing itself.  Not only did my wound heal nicely, but the decrease in swelling is also evident.

During the healing process, I used my “Carmex” hydrating lotion on my scar 8 to 10 times a day, especially after swimming and after icing.  The Carmex lotion was recommended to me by my physical therapists.

I recommend asking your doctor and therapist a lot of questions about scar management.

I believed the extra care helped reduce the appearance of the scar.  Make sure you don’t forget to keep the scar moisturized otherwise it might crack or leave a larger scar.

I expected there to be a more visible scar but I’m also surprised at how well it looks.  Much better than I expected and I don’t feel any scar tissue under the scar.

Pain Level 2 Months After Knee Replacement

I continue to deal with tenderness in the knee after workouts.  The muscles and ligaments around the joint are sometimes tight.

I’m still taking a 325 mg aspirin each morning. My doctor asked me to take it for the first 42 days but since I am going to be in an airplane on week ten, I have decided to continue to take the aspirin until I return from my trip on week eleven.

Every now and then I will take a Tylenol (acetaminophen) if I am sore and feel like I may have overdone it during a workout. I no longer take one at night before going to bed.

Massaging my knee has definitely helped with soreness and tightness. I continue to use the “Free Up” massage cream once or twice a day massaging all around the knee.

You can massage your knee with your hands or an electric massager.  It really helps loosens things up.

The icing routine has paid dividends and I continue to ice several times a day, after workouts, walks and after swimming.

Range Of Motion 2 Months After TKR

After 8 weeks I can bend my knee well past 90 degrees to 121 degrees on my own. It’s further than what I could do before surgery and without the pain.

I can completely extend my leg too.

During the 8-week period, my progress with my range of motion was slow but steady. Looking back I have made enormous progress over the 8-week period.

I continue to do the range of motion exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments.

I Continue With Physical Therapy

I started offsite therapy three days a week on the third-week post surgery. The first week I was introduced to new exercises including the stationary bike and the Total Gym.

It was easy going at first.  I started out on the stationary bike as a warm-up for 5 minutes before moving to the Total Gym for 5 minutes of leg presses.

After those exercises, I would get a short massage and work on my range of motion exercises.

At 2 months, I am warming up with 10 minutes on a stationary bike (read about the best stationary bike after TKR). The load has increased on the Total Gym with more leg presses.

I am doing wall squats, stretches using bands, and an exercise ball for ankle slides. At least once a week the therapist measures my range of motion.

All of my offsite therapy sessions end in 10 minutes of icing. I continue to ice my knee at home after any activity.

Individualized Workouts at the Fitness Center

When I am not going to the therapist, I go to my Fitness Center on alternate days. It has been easy to take what I have learned from therapy sessions to the gym.

I now ride the stationary bike for up to 30 minutes. I use the leg press machine for leg extensions. I use other machines to push and pull with my leg.

I use the Captains Chair for knee lifts and extended leg lifts (this exercise isn’t essential for knee replacement but one that I like).  I’m sure you have your favorite exercises too.

I use exercise balls for squats and ankle slides and I use the bands for leg extension exercises.

I am also using the machines for upper body workouts while I am at the fitness center. My wife drops me off at the center and then I walk the mile home after my workout and then immediately ice my knee.

Walking 2 Months After Knee Replacement

Walks have been an important part of my recovery and they will help with yours too.  Walk through the tightness and walk when you’re feeling lazy – it helps by stretching and strengthening the leg.

After weeks 8 post surgery I am walking at least 3 miles a day.

It’s important to concentrate on walking correctly, heel first, toe pointed straight ahead and then pushing off with the toe.  Everyone experiences a learning curve when learning how to walk after knee replacement.

It took me extra long because I walked incorrectly for decades.

I have discarded my old tennis shoes as I think they were formed while I was walking incorrectly. I only use new tennis shoes on all of my walks (check out the best shoes and slip ons for knee replacement recovery).

Some people may be able to wear flip-flops but remember they have limited padding.

Swimming 2 Months After TKR

My doctor gave me the okay to swim on the 3rd-week post surgery.

I started swimming and have consistently been swimming 3 to 4 times a week. The first day before swimming I walked in 4-feet of water, marching and flexing my leg before trying to swim.

I started off slow, only swimming 24 total laps. I would swim one breaststroke lap and 3 freestyle laps, rest and then do 5 more cycles (my swim workout in preparation for TKR surgery)

In the beginning, I was afraid to kick hard. When swimming you are looking forward and it is difficult to see what your leg is doing.

I had my wife come in and take a short video with her phone so that I could see what my leg was actually doing. Today, 8 weeks post surgery I’m swimming a half mile, every other day, using the same routine described above with no resting.

After swimming I move to the hot tub and spend 5 to 10 minutes relaxing and bending my knee in the warm water. Afterward, I shower on site and usually walk a mile home where I immediately apply ice. 

Sleeping

After week 4-post surgery I began to sleep better and for longer stretches of time. I am now sleeping very comfortably. I can sleep on my back, either side and also on my stomach (my article on sleeping after knee replacement surgery).

I no longer elevate my knee while sleeping. If I need to get up at night I keep a small flashlight on my nightstand to make sure I don’t trip on anything to and from the bathroom.

Eating

During the first two weeks, I was dependent on my family for meals however now I have a little more independence to prepare my own meals.

Seating while eating was initially very uncomfortable. When my leg was down for extended periods of time it hurt.

During the first few weeks, I propped my knee up on another chair.

Now I can sit easily for a half hour meal without elevating my knee. When I go out to dinner I usually get up and take a short walk while waiting for my meal to be served.

Social Life

During the 4th-week post surgery, my social life returned. I went out to dinner and breakfast for the first times and got a haircut.

If your surgery went well like mine you can plan on getting out and about by the 3-4th week.

I went to a neighbor’s Fourth of July Party week 5 and stayed for about 3 hours. It was challenging to talk and stand in one place for more than 5 minutes. Even now it is better to be moving or sit down.

On week six I spent an afternoon wine tasting with friends. I still wasn’t back to my old self but felt better moving around as well as more comfortable sitting.

Bathing

If you read my prior article you know that bathing after TKR is a challenge. Once my staples were removed I was given the okay to shower.

I was very cautious during my first showers alternately standing and sitting down on a built-in bench. After week 5, I have been standing and it’s much easier to get in and out of the shower.

At the fitness center I wear shower shoes and try to use the one shower that has a flip down bench and handrails, but I have no problem using the other traditional showers. It is nice to be clean on a regular basis.

Conclusion

8 weeks of tough recovery doesn’t exactly fly by. The first few weeks were laborious.

As you can see from reading my other articles and this article that a good deal of progress takes place in the first 8 weeks. This was my first TKR and I was not sure what to expect.

I have been pleasantly surprised and I am satisfied with the progress I have made. The only discomfort or pain that I now feel is only during workouts, swimming or long walks.

The pain is nothing like before when I had bone on bone, Now, I feel achiness and soreness as I work at getting my muscles and supporting tendons and ligaments back in shape.

I have come a long way. I have only 3 more sessions of therapy and I am beginning to enjoy some activities that I have described in this article.

Patience is a virtue.

Be patient, work hard at your therapy and if you are like me you will feel much better after 8 weeks post surgery.

Comments

  1. This article is amazing and I’m so grateful I came across it. I’m on day 8 after my TKR and have experienced everything from day 1 as you have described it. I am tired tonight and going to read more tomorrow but just wanted to say thank you.

    My main battle and task which I find is getting me down is my range of motion. I can’t move my operated knee out of the bed without the aid of a strap (or back in again) I feel like I will never be able to do this again without an aid at the moment.Can you help with this?

    Thanks again,

    Kindest regards, Caroline.

    1. Author

      Hi and thanks for reading. I hope you can use my articles as a resource during your recovery. I only have my experience to pull from but I always welcome input from others, like you, who are going through knee replacement recovery. At day 8 your range of motion will still be limited due to swelling (I believe). Don’t let it deter you from your exercises and don’t forget to ice! I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery just as I have.

      1. Greetings from Australia. I am week 8 into my TKR and am progressing well. Not dissimilar to your experience. One thing no one warned me about is lower back pain. I am a relatively active person, swimming and Pilates right up to the day before the surgery. Then no exercise other than the post op rehab until week 4 post op when I’m cleared to get back to the pool. I am now back to swimming, post op rehab, Physio and massage. Slowly improving. Apparently for every week of inactivity it will take 1 month of exercise to get back on even keel. Must manage this better when I do my other knee.

        1. Author

          Great to hear from an Aussie – my son in law is from Perth! I also experienced some soreness in various places of my body after surgery. I think it was due to my body being realigned (no more limp or leaning). I believe stretching needs to accompany the strengthening – all those muscles in the thighs up to the lower back are interconnected and will tighten up when we’re inactive. At 8 weeks I was starting to have a more positive outlook on my recovery and I was becoming more active. It sounds like you’re in the same situation and I bet your active lifestyle has helped. Wish you several more productive months in your recovery and into the next surgery!

          1. After 2 years, I get tingling and needle pain occasionally. My problem was the morphine and codeine made me sick and dizzy. I had only tylenol for pain. I had a longer recovery. Took me at least 3 months before I could think about rehab. and/or exercise.

        2. Hi there, from The Netherlands. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am in my 4th week, I have lesser pain on my wound & knee but I do have problem with numbness on my left foot, especially the heel. I am also taking painkillers to keep the pain down but only before going to bed. I hope the numbness will subside. I just only time will tell.

      2. Ken Stang
        I am beginning week 3 of my post tkr on my left knee. Love all the great information. Just had staples taken out. Surgeon said I was doing real good. Told me I could not get into sauna or hot tub for six weeks because of the risk of infection at the YMCA. Working on cpm at home 6hrs a day. 3 times daily x 2hrs. I change ice every 2 hrs. and elevate also. I am walking without assistance and even driving short distance. Using right leg for gas and brake. I don’t like foot slides on a chair; i have to take pain meds before i do them so I can push myself. I am at 90 degree rom and 0 on extension. Looking forward to getting in hot tub again. Improving daily. Keep posting: love the reading. Frank Powers

    2. Does anyone out there suffers from lower back pain post TKR surgery ? I had my surgery 7 weeks ago and about 4 weeks post surgery my lower back pain came back. I think because of the lack of stretching exercises and swimming both of which I did almost daily pre surgery and was not able to do until 4 weeks post surgery. I’ve since gone back to swimming and very slowly my lower back is improving.

      1. Author

        Hi Mag, it would be interesting to hear from others if they are experiencing the same thing. I haven’t had back pain but some muscle tightness and I’ve found the swimming/stretching routine does help me. I’m going through with a month of yoga, which I’ll be writing about and sharing (stay tuned). It makes sense that your back pain will improve as you become more active. I wish you the best, keep us posted on your progress.

      2. Yes , I have been having lower back pain for about 3 days and it has been on each side of my lower spine, I think it is from the exercised PT gave me to do, also I have been really constipated and think that my be a part of the pain also. 8 Weeks out .

      3. Hi I am just 8 weeks after op! Am doing not so bad but need to strengthen my knee now! After being at physio and had massage done really felt it for days after! Not taking any pain killers unless I really need them! I found the bend was good but then straighten was there ! Now tried and got it straight but bend not as good now! Oh well I was down to one crutch , my decision was getting back ache so went back to two! Trying to be independent and not use any now but don’t know if that’s okay

  2. Great article … The back of my knee really hurts when I get out of bed in the morning, feels like it’s going to burst. I have been doing my exercises religiously, and wonder why this still hurts so much. Any ideas you could share with me? Feels like there’s a lot of fluId back there, as opposed to the swelling. Thoughts? Thank you! Do you think this is normal?

    1. Author

      Thanks for the comment Bob. Like you, I experienced a lot of soreness in the first two months and it took a while to get loose in the morning. Some of the soreness was the back of the knee. Your specific question is one for your doctor or physical therapist (sorry, but I can only share my experience). I will say that elevating my leg and icing it were done 4-5 times per day through the first 8 weeks. I was encouraged to push through the pain and continue exercising, but I also understand that everyone’s situation is different. If you think you’re sore from your exercising, I found the pool was a good low-impact activity that really reduced the amount of pressure on the joint. It’s too bad to hear about your pain, but I think your doctor/PT can provide advice for your situation. Best wishes.

  3. Thank you so much for your articles! I’m 18 days out and my limited range of motion is my biggest “depressor”. Straightening out my knee has been a challenge and I have one week left with my home health physical therapist, and that scares me! But your articles are helpful, especially is knowing that this will pass!

    Thank you again!!

    1. Author

      18 days is still a challenging time. Keeping working hard – it will be worth it in another month or two.

  4. Hi all I am another Aussie from Melbourne. This has been a great read and I am now 7 months post TKR l have a great range of movement and a really straight leg. I do lots of stationary bike but not as much walking as I should, I have a hip problem and shall be having a Hip replacement later in the year. My only problem is the odd buckling sensation, so I am currently really pushing my quads to stop this. Does anyone have any suggestions to help with this issue.

  5. Ken, I keep coming back to your site because I get more from it. It is great to read what others write and to get a sense of my progression. I have questions regarding swelling and tightness after exercise. I passed my 5 week mark yesterday and finally feel there is light at the end. I had a setback with a horrible Sciatica issue and am on my 2nd long term dose of Prednisone. It has calmed down considerably but certain ROM set it off so being very cautious. Anyway as far as exercise I am using a recumbent bike 3 times a day for 15 min. each time. Once warmed up my knee seems to handle it well but its after that is troublesome. My knee get so very stiff, swollen and aches like crazy. I ice immediately and am still resorting to a Tramadol. Anyone else seem worse after exercise? Thanks

  6. Thank you for all your information! I am just on week 3 of TKR. Staples are out, swelling is going down. I am walking around mostly with a cane during the day; keeping my walker nearby at night so I don’t trip.
    My in home PT finishes this week, then off to out- patient PT.
    My husband has been a big help- I always make sure to thank him for anything he does. A thank you makes a big difference at the end of the day!
    That being said, THANK you for your input!

  7. I have read a lot of articles that people have put out there for us knee replacement on lookers. This is the best one I have read. You have been so helpful to me and answered a lot of my concerns and questions. I had total left knee replacement August 26 and in a couple days my staples come out. (Is this very painful? I have never had staples) Everything I am feeling and going through you have told in your article so thank you. Hope you keep this Alabama girl updated with what is a head of me! Thank you so much!

    1. Author

      Removing the staples doesn’t look pretty, but it didn’t hurt much. They use a special instrument so they don’t have to pull or twist the staples. You’ll get to relax your leg while they do it.

  8. I am 6 months out from TKR. My hip started hurting after my knee replacement. I can’t make it dissipate with therapy. My ortho took xrays and it looks ok but is still very painful. It basically hurts all the time. My hip never hurt prior to this TKR. I healed quickly from my surgery, and like others in this thread, have pain when I am hiking or overusing my knee. I read an article that said give the pain 6 – 12 months to completely subside. I am hoping that will be true.

    1. Author

      I’ve heard that many people don’t feel better until 1 year after surgery. Everyone gets TKR for different reasons so be patient. Your hip might need time and strength to adjust to your new knee. I still swim a lot because it doesn’t put much pressure on my joints. Wish you the best!

  9. Ken,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am 10 days post total knee replacement surgery and doing great. I had surgery on Monday, 10/14 and I achieved 90 degrees range of motion at therapy the following Friday, 10/19. I do not have staples, my knee is sewn with dissolvable stitches, which I would think makes bending easier. I do have upper thigh pain which I think if from using muscles I wasn’t using in a long time. I really appreciated all your tips. Hoping to be ready to get my other knee replaced in February.

    Thanks so much.

    Caryn

    1. Author

      Thanks for the comment and great to hear you’re doing well after only 10 days. It’s a long road to recovery, stay positive.

  10. I’m 71/2 weeks out TKR still got some swelling range of motion 132 degrees didn’t come easy I pushed myself thru some pain but it’s paying off lots and lots of ice and lots of therapy it’s all in the home therapy I go twice a week but I do it home home twice a day 5 days a week picked up a stationary bike that helps out a lot the more you do at home seems to me I’m having better out come but still got lots of swelling but i Ive learned to ice it up ice becomes your friend not a lot of pain just discomfort from the swelling taking ibuprofen 600 ml every 6 hrs Tylenol at night in the afternoon if needed don’t give into the pain you must push yourself thru it you will have a better results for a better future don’t think about today think mths down the road how your gonna be

    1. Author

      I like your outlook. I don’t like icing or elevating either, but it greatly helps after a good workout. You’ve got an impressive range of motion – 132 degrees! Congrats and wish you continued improvement. Thanks for the comment.

  11. Hi, I had my worse right knee replaced on March 18 and my left knee Sept. 4, this year. I am amazed at how different recovery has been for the two knees. I had extreme swelling and bruising with the right knee, and recovery was more painful and slow. I truly had to re-learn how to walk. My left knee was no where near as affected by the surgery. However I had used Vicodin for five months with the right and likely built tolerance for it. It took a week after the left surgery to get a higher Vicodin dose to manage the pain. Also, my doc told me to stop exercising, just doing a few small movements, due to pain, for first two weeks. Now, just past 3 months, I am almost comfortable bending the left to 110 degrees. So it took longer. I have pain in both knees, as the right one took a lot on when the left knee became useless. If you are considering the 2nd knee soon after the first, do note that it will be hard on your first knee. But, of course, both knees are so much better than bone on bone! I dedicated 18 months to recovery and am confident I’ll be fully active then. Without the replacements, I would have shortly become an old inactive woman.

  12. This website is truly a godsend. I’m three weeks tomorrow and having a horrible experience. I had my right tkr November 19. I started going to PT 4 days after I got out of the hospital and tomorrow will be my fourth PT appointment. I do my PT at home, three times a day. I’m not having a ton of pain. Its extremely difficult to ride in a vehicle, and actually makes me feel very nauseous. Today was the first day I haven’t cried most of the day. I only cried once today, and that was a few minutes ago, because I knew I wasn’t going to sleep again. I haven’t had a pain pill for 24 hours because im sure they make me so nauseous and not sleep. I take Tylenol e dry six hours. I don’t know what my ROM is, nobody has told me that, but I know by looking it’s not 90. It’s so hard to bend and straighten my knee. Am I suppose to elevate and ice still during the night? I feel like I’m not doing anything right. I feel like my medical team did my surgery, sent me home 24 hours later and wished me luck. I’m so confused about elevating and icing through the night and I’m so incredibly exhausted. I haven’t slept much since week one. I’m trying so hard to do what I’m suppose to do, but I’m not really sure what that is. Im scheduled for my left knee on January 7. I will be cancelling, I’m nowhere near ready, physically or mentally. This has mentally wiped me out. Im not sure what’s wrong. Three weeks ago I was a happy woman with terribly painful knees. Now I’m sad all the time with one terribly painful knee and one knee trying desperately to recover from TKR. Ugh. Plus it’s wintee in Montana, not a lot of sunshine, and cold, snowy and icy! I pray day and night that this gets better, and I rarely pray for myself! Thank you for this site, your YouTube videos and everyone’s input. It does help.

    1. Jennifer-Hang in there! My first 4 weeks were similar to yours. I was a blithering, crying mess many times a day. Only later did I find out that not only was it the situation, the pain, the discomfort, lack of sleep, but the anesthesia for the surgery had a lot to do with it. You need to call your doctor with all those questions. It’s their job! No wonder you’re feeling the way you do. They sent you home with no information, expecting you to fly by the seat of your pants. Shame on them. Call and keep calling until they give you your answers. Make a list and let them know you will keep them on the phone until you get your answers. Don’t let them put you off! Today is week 9 for me. I couldn’t do PT for the first month, I was that swollen. But I go to a PT place 3 times a week, and although I am still swollen, I have now passed 90 degrees of flexion and can do a stationary bike. But it’s really 2 steps forward and one step back. This article really helped me mentally; I just wish i had seen it 8 weeks ago!

  13. Thank you all for the help. I thought I was the only one with pain and stiffness after 2 months. I felt like everyone at this point is climbing mountains!
    I went to PT for 7 weeks and when they worked on my knee I cried because it hurt so much. I have had some progress, but it seems so slow.
    The comments from you all help to know I am not alone!!!

  14. Thankfully, i am post 2 mths TKR. This is my 2nd knee done, and glad both surgeries are done. Having the experience from my first knee being done really guided me as to what to do and not to for the 2nd. I must say, for the 2nd TKR, after 3 days in the hospital, I had extra care in a nursing facility, then, had PT in my home for 3 wks, twice a day. This really helped me with extra care, because my husband, who has sacrificed getting his knee done for 5 years between my 2 surgeries (such a Sweetheart), wasnt able to assist me as well as he did with my 1st TKR (soon i will be able to coach him, as he will be getting his TKR done in the near future). So, my recommendation is to get the extra nursing facility rehab after TKR, if possible, it really helps. So, at this point, i am 2 mths post TKR, currently using stationary bike and using Eliptical bike at 24Hr Fitness, then relaxing in the Jacuzzi about 3-4 times a week and feeling good. Most of my swelling is gone and my scar is 95% healed. I still have stiffening of the last knee done and some pain, but i can see light at the end of the tunnel, and so happy that i only take extra strength tylenol at night. So thankful I’m on the road to recovery!

  15. So happy I found this! I am 2 months out from my TNR. Physical therapy has been fabulous and a great way to work out frustrations from stiffness. I have had so much trouble sleeping. Lack of sleep, cannot fall asleep or stay asleep. Have tried melatonin, Advil pm, etc. but, no luck. Will be returning to work on a 6 hour day schedule and will be needing the rest. Stairs going down is still difficult but will work it trough.
    Agreed icing is a huge part of recovery.
    Thank you for all the information.

    1. Author

      Glad it could help! Sounds like you’re doing well at only two months. Stay active and you should feel improvements all the way up to 12 months. Thanks for visiting!

  16. Hi from Britain! These comment are a help and comfort. I had left TKR in December, so am now 5 weeks in. I have also cried daily- I put that down to lack of sleep. I take paracetamol and ibuprofen regularly through the day. Sleeping is very difficult as my leg is very uncomfortable over night. In the morning I can barely put any weight on my operated leg, and find it difficult walking to bathroom. However, once up and showered my leg does ease up. I try to do my exercises through the day and walk around the house without an aid as much as possible, and take one crutch and a very caring husband’s arm when I go out. I manage about 1/2 mile – a little further every day. Fortunately, I now can get in and out of a car with no problem and hope to drive again when I have seen my surgeon in another week. It’s a tough journey, but I have to think back 5 weeks to when I couldn’t get down to the loo seat, getting into the car to come home from hospital was agony, I had no sleep at all and realise that healing is slow, but is happening and every one of us is different, heals differently, reacts to pain and discomfort differently. My right knee also needs replacement – it will just have to wait until the left knee is stronger and hopefully pain free. Wish everyone on this site strength and a good, if slow, recovery.

  17. It would be nice to know the age of those commenting. I had a TKR Jan.2016 at age 70 and have to have my other knee done soon at age 74. Not looking forward to it. I did do well with the first surgery. Hoping for the best.

  18. This is a remarkable resource. I wish I’d found it sooner. I’m 8 weeks out, back to work after 4, and walking my dog 1/2 mile a day. I’ve used a cane since week 2, but I can do without if necessary. I had in-home PT for 2 weeks. My range of motion is very good, and I’m still icing for 30 minutes at night. I wish I could do more. I found this site because I’m looking for more exercises to build my quads and surrounding muscles. Like a lot of you, I experienced unexpected problems after surgery. I had chronic hiccups (really!) and acid reflux for a week. It about drove me crazy, and I dropped 12 pounds because I couldn’t eat (I’m not a big guy anyway). A week of omeprazole solved that problem. I also had lower back and hip pain. I did back stretching exercises along with my pt, and things are better. One big complication was that my wife fractured her wrist the day after my surgery. She’s on her own recovery journey. It looks like I’ll be on the stationary bike from now on. Bottom line – I’m feeling impatient, but I know it’s going to take time.
    Incidentally, I had stem cell treatments for my other (better) knee several years ago. It has been effective, but it’s a short-term solution. My left knee was so far gone I had to get the replacement.

    1. Author

      Seems like you’re on the right track with staying active, stretching, and icing. I felt big improvements through month 4 and slow and steady improvement all the way up to the 1 year mark. Hang in there and best wishes to you and your wife. Play the long game! Stem cells were something I looked into but because I lost all my cartilage it wouldn’t have helped much.

      1. Hi my name is Janis and I am from Panama. I loved reading all the comments and yes everyone recovery is different.I just hit the 2 month milestone of my knee replacement surgery. As mentioned In your comment recovery has been slow and with this Coronavirus it will be even slower. My therapist did provide me a home therapy program with bands and 1 lb weights. I also bike on my exercise bike and walk my yard. I was about to go to hit the pool for some therapy when the pool closed due to the virus. All in all my recovery has its ups and downs, my ROM is 123 and I have good extension. I have learned that the main goal of the recovery is to work through the pain and ice, ice, and ice. I still have trouble sleeping at night due to stiffness and when walking I have pain in my calf and thigh., which causes me to have a slight limp, and my knee does swell. I was limping before surgery so I am reteaching myself how to walk. To all out there going through this have faith, you will have good days and bad days. But, after reading and sharing comments we are not alone. Stay safe.

  19. Great info. here. Had my second TKR on my right knee 8 weeks ago. (With my first TKR I had excruciating muscle spasms after 2 weeks. Just awful! Despite that painful setback, I recovered well with only a bit of stiffness remaining even after 1 year. I only notice it going down stairs.) With my second knee, the stiffness is very pronounced, and it feels vulnerable/weak…I do not like to attempt taking the stairs with alternate legs. Ascending is slow, but I can do it. I have 129 degrees and full extension, but just can’t seem to shake this stiffness and weakness in the right knee. I had started back to water walking and water aerobics, but the facility has been closed due to Wuhan Coronavirus. Ugh. I’ll keep on a stationary bike, push myself to walk farther and keep up with PT and icing. Any thoughts on how long it takes to walk down the stairs like an adult again?

    1. Author

      Yeah, it’s a difficult time for TKR with this virus going around. Luckily, I didn’t have stairs at my home. I think your situation is different for everyone. Generally, I’d suggest movement, icing, strengthening, and weight control as the things that helped me the most during recovery. You have great range of motion (129) so congrats on that! I also experienced stiffness for the first year, mainly when I wasn’t active. Best wishes in recovery!

  20. I’m a 65 year old lady, 8 weeks post TKR. Love reading the comments because now I realize I’m not the only one experiencing the things discussed here! Trouble sleeping? I have slept in my recliner since day 4 post-op, when the numbing concoction in my knee wore off! Trying to push thru exercises every day but a giant knee buckling incident a week ago scared the beegeezus out of me and I’m scared to push it. Spoke with my therapist over the phone (they’re closed due to the virus) ) she reassured me that I most likely strained the medial aspect of my knee as it IS starting to feel better, not getting worse. I feel pretty good in the morning as I can get about 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It is still difficult to lie flat in bed or try to turn over. Sleeping there is my next goal! I am still doing my exercises but stop short if they become too painful. I try to get out & walk a little farther each day. I use a cane everywhere I go but occasionally can move around the house without it. Icing & elevating have become a part of my daily routine. While I haven’t used any narcotics for pain since about 2 weeks post-op, I do use Celebrex 2x/day and the occasional Tylenol X-strength. I think the Tylenol actually is more helpful so I might stop the Celebrex after speaking with my doc. It is encouraging to hear from others going thru the same thing (especially the bouts of crying & depression). I keep telling* myself that by summertime things will be better!! Thanks so much everyone!

  21. I too received some encouragement from reading that I’m not the only one with stiffness and moving slower than I thought I would be at week 7. My total range of motion is at 117. I can’t go to physical therapy anymore either due to the virus so I am very nervous that I won’t advance as well as seeing a therapist. I’m not sure how to challenge myself past what I have been shown already. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to move forward without seeing a therapist?

    1. Author

      I requested an “at home” exercise routine from my physical therapist. She provided a good routine for me to use and I did it everyday. I definitely recommend calling the therapist office and asking for advice from them.

  22. I am a 62 year old woman from the Bay Area (Northern California). I had a serious knee trauma 22 years ago, and as a result I developed arthritis in my knee. Six years ago, I started to have a lot of pain in my knee, so I started doing injections. I tried everything except PRP, and it worked until January of this year (2020). My surgery was postponed 3 times due to the Covid virus. What an emotional roller coaster! I am very active and until things shut down due to the virus, I was practicing yoga for over an hour 6 days a week. I took a 2 1/2 mile walk this morning with my dog. It felt great. I am still doing PT twice a week (we all wear masks, stay 6 ft apart and constantly use hand sanitizer). Swimming is the best activity for me right now, but it’s very hard to get a lane reservation due to Covid. I was able to get 1 swimming session in this week and I only have 1 booked for next week. Thank you for this forum. It feels good to share my experience.

    1. Author

      Thanks for reading and the comment! Glad you’re making a comeback. I felt good a few months after surgery but I had improvements all the way up to 12 months after. Keep at it and play the long game. We usually only hear the negative experiences but most TKR are successful! Swimming and biking put less stress on my knee and I prefer it this way!

  23. Very good information.
    Has anyone experienced a knee manipulation?
    My tkr was November 2020.
    Reached a plateau in march. The rom is 110 and extension is -5.
    PA AND ORTHOPEDIC surgeon agree on a knee manipulation.
    I’ve been in physical therapy from December to March. Then went back to physical in june.
    July 6 is the knee manipulation.
    Hope you are all doing better now.
    Please respond those who have positive thoughts. Thank you!

    1. Author

      No, but I’ve heard of people doing it, often to break up the scar tissue and increase range of motion. If your doctors think it’s best, then great. Good luck tomorrow!

  24. Hello from Brisbane Australia
    I’m now 5 weeks PO on my right knee.
    I had chronic swelling around the knee before and still have after the op. The range is slowly coming and is 103 now. Extension is 0. The scar is good and clean and I’ve been cleared for the pool. My problem is I’ve developed real pain on the scar when I’m doing bending and heel slides. Around the scar is numb but really sore & tingly pain as I stretch. I’m trying self massage. It’s holding me back. Thanks for all your advice.
    Fran

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