9 Months After Total Knee Replacement

(I may earn a small commission from the products mentioned in this post.)

Wondering what your knee replacement might feel like after 9 months? I’ll share how I’m feeling.

Overall, my knee feels great.

I can remember feeling pain with every step I took 10 months ago prior to TKR. Now I am beginning to walk and exercise normally again without thinking about pain in my right knee each time I take a step.

I don’ t think about landing on my right foot before taking a step, especially downhill. I can walk alternating steps without favoring or limping on my right leg.

I can participate in activities without favoring my right knee. It is amazing. TKR has allowed me to enjoy my everyday activities without pain.

My knee doesn’t swell up after activity. Whether I am walking around the house, hiking, bicycling, swimming or playing pickleball I am pain-free.

9 Months After Knee Replacement (Month 1 Compared to Month 9)

One month into my TKR recovery I was still spending the majority of my day in my recliner, reading and doing crossword puzzles. I was diligently doing my offsite physical therapy as well as my home exercise routine 3 times a day.

The area around the wound was still very tender and I was working hard on increasing my range of motion. My knee was still swollen and I was treating my knee with ice 3 to 5 times a day.

I was constantly hydrating the wound with Carmex Lotion and applying scar gel to the scar. I was taking Tylenol 2 to 3 times a day, especially before physical therapy sessions.

Now, I seldom take a Tylenol pill.

9 months after TKR my exercise and fitness center routine has become a bit different. At the fitness center, I seldom use the stationary bike because I ride my bike the 1 mile to get there.

The ride gets me warmed up and once I arrive I’m ready to exercise, use the leg machines, the stability ball, and other equipment right away. I have increased the amount of weight I use on the leg machines.

Initially, I only worked my surgical knee on the leg machines.

Now, after one series of repetitions on the surgical knee, I use both legs on all the leg machines. When using both legs I am pressing and lifting one-third of my body weight 20 to 30 times.

I continue to do many of the same exercises I learned from my physical therapist, stressing strength development and range of motion. My right leg has been smaller and weaker than my left (good) knee for the last 40 plus years.

As I have mentioned in earlier articles my goal is to eventually to have two matching legs (in regards to muscle). I feel like I’m making progress.

Challenges (and Tips) Of Staying Active In Rainy Weather

I am still taking my own exercise “ physical therapy “ very serious. I continue to exercise 3 to 4 times a week.

Weather permitting (we are having an unusually wet winter in California) I am riding my bike 6 to 10 miles every other day. I try to swim 3 times a week and I play 4 to 5 games of pickleball 3 or 4 times a week.

I have started a 30-day introductory yoga course. I am doing this at home rain or shine using a free Yoga course on my computer.

As I mentioned above, we are having a wet winter. When wet weather impacts outdoor activities, I go to the fitness center, use the stationary bike and then do my usual exercise routine.

If you have a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine at home, it would be perfect for wet winter/spring days and it would save you a drive to workout.

I am still able to swim as we have a covered pool. I enjoy my time in the hot tub after workouts and swimming so I can stretch a little and use the jets to sooth the area around my surgical knee.

Things I Still Can’t Do

  • I still can’t bend (range of motion) my surgical knee the same as my good knee.
  • I still have soreness and minor swelling after big workout days or long hikes.
  • The Yoga has been an eye-opener. I am not very flexible and I am not able to do a lot of the movements and poses on the beginner’s video yet. The instructor is very patient and says that with time I will become more flexible. It has been pretty frustrating at times but I am hanging in there and will keep you posted. I avoid poses/stretches that put weight on my knees.
  • I can’t run, although I could probably jog for a short distance if needed.
  • As far as activities that I participate in, I am able to do all of the activities that I enjoyed prior to my TKR only now they are pain-free and much more enjoyable.

How Many Doctors Appointments Since Surgery

I have only had two doctor’s appointment since my TKR. One was a regularly scheduled post operation visit and the other visit was the time I had my scar checked when a pimple appeared and oozed a little fluid. The PA pulled part of a stitch out and things were fine.


I feel like a new person nine months after my TKR. I am finally walking and doing activities without constantly thinking about favoring my knee.

I developed some bad habits over the years that eventually caused my knee to bow and for me to limp with every step. I don’t think about every step I take with my right leg like I used to.

When walking down steps or hills I still have the automatic reflex to favor the knee and I have to remind myself that it is okay. I still am taking my recovery very seriously and will continue to do so in the future.

My therapy was a big help but now I am on my own to exercise, strengthen and work on my range of motion. I could easily quit the exercise routine and lead a normal pain-free life. But, my goal of having two matching legs will keep me working hard for some time.

I hope this article encourages you to keep working hard on your recovery even after 9 months. As long as there is room for improvement the hard work is worth the effort.

12 thoughts on “9 Months After Total Knee Replacement”

  1. Ken , I was just curious if when you first tried each of these new activities you noticed some twinges of pain that subsided after a little while ?
    I will give the example of swimming .
    I am experiencing no pain doing all my current exercises , but this past weekend I tried swimming for the first time and of course began my leg movement very slowly gradually increasing the force .
    At about the time I was just shy of kicking with full force I got a sudden pain in the front of my knee .
    Decreased the force and was just fine but a little concerned .
    Got out of the pool for about 15 min. jumped back in and tried it again . As I increased towards using more force in my kicking there was still a twinge of pain but less this time .
    I repeated the process about 3 or 4 times until I was using close to full force with no pain at all.
    Suffered no follow up pain after the swim .
    It is just me thinking but it seems that each time I engage a new movement with this ” new knee ” all of the realigned & still healing tissues & nerves require a break in period almost , were there are some feelings of pain or uncomfortableness that subside in a fairly short period of time .
    Have you experienced anything similar /

    • I still get stiffness 1.5 years after. I’ve found that stretching and movement keeps the joint happy. The stiffness isn’t enjoyable but certainly beats the pain I experienced prior to surgery. I wish you well as you continue recovery. Thanks for the comment.

    • Cheryl I had a right TKR in October 2019 and I still have swelling specially after a workout or riding bike for 12-14 miles. Also my new knee makes noises as I walk. I can’t wear my high heels and have a little difficulty going down stairs or hills. Also, after workouts my lower leg hurts …it’s a real long recovery process. xo

    • I’m have the same issue w/stiffness . Please someone let us know if it,ever goes away even when I’ve been conscientious about stretching /yoga / some Zumba too lately. Almost 9 months into my recovery.


  2. I’m at 9 months. I can do a lot but I still have pain in the quad and other muscles surrounding the knee. I exercise/PT at least 4-5 times per week. However, it doesn’t take much to irritate. Did you have a similar experience?

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Am 9 months out from TKR . I have severe tightness at night. The tightness seems to be above my knee and on the outside of my leg. I have great mobility and no pain. I fell on it and have noticed the tightness has increased. Still feels 100% better and very strong after 10 years of pain.

  4. I’m on my 9 months after tkr on my left knee but lately I’m feeling like sharp pain when I climb the stairs, it’s stiff too! Anyway, after reading your post Im thinking to go back to my physical therapist. Is it advisable? Thank you

    • Mine is still stiff sometimes. I think moving and being active really helps – not just the physical therapist but also some activity everyday and stretching. Best wishes!

      • I am into my ninth month from my Total knee replacement and I still have warmth to my knee and it feels like a vert tight rubber band around it and I still ice due to swelling if I am up on it for more than 4 Hours. I continue Dailey with my exercises. I am very disappointed that I am still experiencing these symptoms but I keep plugging along and praying that it all will get better within the next few months .My range of motion is 130 and you can barely see my scar..Those are postive attributes 😊

  5. I had double knee replacements done…my left knee had a pinched nerve( which gave me drop foot….. the therapist worked it out and I’m normal again).. I also had a knee manipulation done on that knee…my right knee is great still slight pain above knee when standing up….but that left knee….a couple of mornings I’ve woken up with frozen knee and now I have pain in the back of my knee and swells while doing house work…. still better then how they were

Comments are closed.