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What To Expect 5 Months After Knee Replacement

What Are The Risk Factors For A Failed Knee Replacement

What to expect after total knee replacement | Ohio State Medical Center

Age, activity level, surgical history and a persons weight can contribute to implant failure. Younger, active patients, people who are obese, and those who have had prior knee surgeries all have a higher increased risk of a failed implant.

Younger, more active patients have a higher rate of revision than older, less active patients because they place more stress on their prosthesis over more time. Obese patients have a higher incidence of wear and loosening because of the increased force of their weight, and they are more prone to infections because of their increased risk of wound healing. Patients with previous knee surgeries are at higher risk for infection and implant failure.

Dangers Of Doing Certain Exercises Too Soon

Performing movements or exercises that are too intense can increase the chances of loosening or fracturing the bones around the implant.

Pushing too much can also lead to increased pain and swelling around the knee, slowing down the rehabilitation process and making it more difficult to exercise.

Symptoms of pushing too hard during the recovery program might include:

  • increased pain
  • swelling of the knee or lower leg
  • warmth around your knee

If you experience any of these symptoms, its best to back off of the activity and ice your knee for 15 to 20 minutes.

If the symptom persists, call your healthcare provider.

Knee Extension Stretches And Exercises

Expect to perform a variation of these knee extension exercises:

  • Quad Sets
  • Seated calf stretch with towel/belt
  • Standing TKE
  • Sidelying
  • Prone
  • Some patients will use a continuous passive movement machine that will repeatedly assist bending and straightening your knee slowly for hours each day for a couple weeks until they have reached a desired range of motion.

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    What Is Knee Replacement Surgery

    Knee replacement surgery is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.

    This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knees strength, stability, and range of motion. A variety of surgical techniques and prostheses can be used, depending on your weight, age, knee size and shape, activity level, and overall health.

    Knee Replacement Recovery Time: First 3 Months

    Knee Replacement Surgery  What to Expect During Recovery ...

    For 6-8 weeks after knee replacement surgery you should avoid:

    • Any pivoting on your knee
    • Kneeling
    • Squatting

    You will need to continue with your knee replacement rehab programme for at least 3 months after knee replacement surgery, probably six months to get the best result from your operation.

    You will be able to progress your exercises as your knee gets stronger and more flexible. Visit the rehab section to find out more. The more you stick to your exercise programme, the quicker your knee replacement recovery is likely be.

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    How Much Weight Can Be Put On The New Knee

    Knee replacement patients are given weight-bearing guidelines to follow in the hospital and at home. Exactly how much pressure the new knee can initially support will depend on factors such as:

    • The type of surgery preformed
    • The type of prostheses and how it is fixated to the natural bone
    • The condition of the patients natural bone

    Over time, patients will be asked to put incrementally more weight on the new knee.

    Doctors Visit 3 Months Post

    I had my 3-month check up yesterday. The doctor examined my knee and took X-Rays. He displayed the X-Rays and explained what had taken place since the surgery.

    He then displayed the pre-surgery X-Rays next to the post-surgery X-rays and highlighted the separation in my joint, no more bone-on-bone. Wow! I couldnt believe how good it looked.

    He explained the entire procedure again using the X-Rays to point out how they had straightened my leg and prepared the bones for the implant.

    He told me about my implant and suggested that I go to hospital records and there they would give me all the specifications on my particular implant as well as a serial number.

    He measured my extension and flexion.

    I was able to extend my leg completely and my flexion was at 122 degrees. He said they hope for 115 at this time . He answered all of my questions.

    He told me my knee would be somewhat swollen for the first six months and that the surgical knee would feel warmer for the first year. He surprised me by saying he would see me in a year .

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    My Scar 2 Months Post Knee Replacement

    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 dont 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 Im also surprised at how well it looks. Much better than I expected and I dont feel any scar tissue under the scar.

    Thoughts On 2 Months After Tkr Surgery

    What To Expect After A Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Operation
  • Caroline

    This article is amazing and Im so grateful I came across it. Im 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 cant move my operated knee out of the bed without the aid of a strap 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,

  • 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 . Dont let it deter you from your exercises and dont forget to ice! I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery just as I have.

  • J Frain

    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.

  • Angela

    I use my other foot to hook up ,at the ankle, the surgical leg to get in and out of bed. I too wish the therapists could have prepared me for this part of the recovery.

  • Ken

    Excellent method. I did the same!

  • Susan

    Thank-you Ken Stang , writing this as it helped me a lot.

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    What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery All Questions Answered

    Knee replacement surgery, whether total or partial, involves a long recovery and rehabilitation process.

    As physiotherapists, we see many clients whove gone through knee replacement surgery and as tough as the recovery can be, its amazing to see them get back on their feet with less pain and more mobility.

    If youre planning to get knee replacement surgery, it makes sense that you might feel a little anxious about all the unknowns. Here, were going over some of what you can expect leading up to your surgery and how the rehabilitation process usually looks.

    As always, please talk to your doctor or surgeon about the specifics of your circumstances as these are generalisations meant to help you ask the right questions.

    So, with that, lets get started!

    Five Months Post Tkr Update

    Hi my favorite readers! Well, something great happened today. It is five months after a total knee replacement. I will consider this improvement as part of my five months post tkr update.

    I was icing my knee after an hour long walk when I noticed something. I could see the outline of my kneecap ! That means that my swelling is starting to go down, and I could actually feel my knee cap for the first time since my tkr surgery.

    To reiterate, even though it is five months after my tkr, I still need to use the RICE procedure. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. I do this regularly.

    My flexibility is around 100 after my joint replacement. This was approximately the extent before my tkr. I was told this prior to my surgery. I have no problem with it at all.

    Back to being able to view my kneecapIts amazing how the small things in life can be so important.

    There is still a ways to go with my total knee replacement recuperation, but.woohoo!! Hope this helps others going through the same thing five months after a total knee replacement.

    Find this five months post tkr blog post interesting? Kindly share my total knee replacement recuperation story with othersThanks!

    Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

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    The First 24 Hours After Knee Replacement Surgery

    After surgery, the patient will wake up from anesthesia and begin to regain feeling in his or her legs. Doctors will pre-emptively treat pain using a combination of pain-relief methods that complement each other and minimize side effects, an approach that is called multimodal analgesia.

    Read more about multi-modal analgesia and Managing the Pain of Joint Replacement.

    Within 24 hours, if pain is under control, the patient may be asked to stand up and take a few steps with the aid of a physical therapist and/or a walker. Patients who get up and bear some weight on their new knees soon after surgery tend to recover more quickly than patients who do not.

    Activities You Should Expect To Do 3 Months After Tkr

    What to Expect In Your First Week After a Total Knee ...
    • Household chores, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, gardening and washing the car.
    • Be careful when standing on a small step-ladder. My balance was a little shaky at first but now it is fine.
    • You can expect to go to church and other places where youll sit. Be careful to sit in a place/pew where you can stretch your leg.
    • Movies should be okay. I sat in the handicap seats in the rear where I could stretch my leg and stand up during the movie.
    • 9 holes of golf? I walked the course with a pull-cart. I was sore afterward but iced my knee and felt fine the rest of the day.
    • Some people might be able to play pickleball in the 3rd month. I did, but only played 3 games, then rode my bicycle and iced my knee. There was some soreness afterward including upper body muscles because I wasnt used to the motion.
    • Wine tasting? Sure.
    • Casino? If you can push and roll, then you can visit a casino.

    As it turns out, I can do everything I could do before surgery with less pain .

    I do get tired after activity. I feel some soreness and ache at times but no sharp pain like I did pre-surgery. I still take extra precautions to elevate and ice after activity you should too.

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    Thoughts On 3 Months After Knee Replacement Surgery

  • Kate Fischer

    Thank you for so much detail. Im at 3 months with my left knee. It was more painful than my right, 6 months ago, and I havent done my pt quite as religiously as I could the pain was pretty severe the second time. Your description of how you feel after exercise helps me understand that im not as far behind as I thought I was, Im just having a different experience from the first time around. TIME TO MOVE MORE!

  • Ken Stangl

    Hi Kate, at least this time you have your prior experience to learn from. The body is fickle, isnt it? You might recover quickly from one TKR surgery and you might experience a few setbacks with the second. I try to ice even when I dont think I need it and I try not to over-do it with too much exercise. Little by little Im improving and getting stronger. As long as your doctor approves it, keep walking, swimming, stretching, and strengthening! I hope recovery with your second knee continues to improve, even if its a slower process than the first.

  • Karen

    Hi Ken,

    I am scheduled for 1st TKR in June and the 2nd in Oct. Due to my young age 67 I was told it wasnt wise to get both done at the same time. From all you detailed and great info it looks like I will be down for a while. Would you advice waiting longer in between surgeries to gain more strength.

    Thanks

  • Karen May 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Ken,

    I am sure everyone is greatly appreciative for your blog and the time you take to answer comments. I know I am.

    Thanks

  • Walk As Soon As Possible

    Recovery from joint replacement surgery isnt always easy, but getting back on your feet as soon as the doctor says its okay can help you recover. Walking helps prevent complications like blood clots, improves circulation, and keeps your joints limber. You dont have to wait until you return home after surgery. Most patients can start walking while still in the hospital. Walking helps deliver important nutrients to your knee to help you heal and recover. You can expect to use a walker for the first couple of weeks. Most patients can walk on their own roughly four to eight weeks after knee replacement.

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    What Happens In The First Few Days After A Knee Replacement

    After knee replacement surgery, youll remain in the hospital for 1 to 5 days and youll most likely start working with a physiotherapist immediately.

    Its perfectly normal to experience pain, swelling and bruising in the first few days after your knee surgery but its still important to do your best to move your knee as much as possible as soon as possible. But, you shouldnt be putting any weight on your leg at this point.

    Generally, knee replacement patients can leave hospital when theyre able to:

    • Get in and out of bed and walk a short distance with the help of a walker or crutches
    • Walk up and downstairs with a walking aid
    • Bend the affected knee 90 degrees
    • Understand the precautions to avoid potential injuries

    However, different hospitals have discharge criteria. Keep in mind, you might continue to use a walking device once you leave the hospital.

    You might have to stay in hospital longer if:

    • You have had two knees replaced at the same time
    • Uncontrolled pain
    • General weakness
    • Other pre-existing medical conditions

    Some doctors also prescribe whats called a Continuous Passive Motion machine that will move your leg manually without your assistance. Its important for the health of your knee joint that it doesnt stay still for too long.

    While your knee is bandaged, you may not be able to have a full shower for 5 to 7 days and it could be up to 3 or 4 weeks before the wound should be soaked in water at all.

    Remember, youre recovering from major surgery.

    Possible Benefits Of Total Knee Replacement Surgery

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    Regardless of whether a traditional total knee replacement or a minimally-invasive partial knee replacement is performed the goals and possible benefits are the same: relief of pain and restoration of function.

    The large majority of total knee replacement patients experience substantial or complete relief of pain once they have recovered from the procedure. The large majority walk without a limp and most dont require a cane, even if they used one before the surgery. It is quite likely that you know someone with a knee replacement who walks so well that you dont know he even had surgery!

    Frequently the stiffness from arthritis is also relieved by the surgery. Very often the distance one can walk will improve as well because of diminished pain and stiffness. The enjoyment of reasonable recreational activities such as golf, dancing, traveling, and swimming almost always improves following total knee replacement.

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    Range Of Motion 6 Months After Tkr

    Riding a stationary bike or taking 6 to 10-mile rides on my bike helps me to maintain my knees range of motion. You can adjust the seat on both the stationary bike and on a traditional bike to force the knee to bend while pedaling.

    If I dont ride my bike for a few days it takes me a while to make pedal rotations that are comfortable. My range of motion is still increasing but very slowly.

    I also continue to do my range of motion exercises 3 to 4 times a week that my physical therapist recommended.

    While driving, Im still careful to stop and stretch my legs every 45 minutes to an hour. When I have had to sit in the back seat of a friends car for an extended time and unable to get out of the car periodically to stretch, my knee stiffens up.

    It is a bit hard to get out of the car and it takes a few minutes for it to loosen up. I have taken 3 plane flights including a cross-country trip in the US and a 15-hour flight abroad. I get up out of my seat every 45 minutes and take a walk and stretch.

    Thankfully, Ive had no problems to date when flying .

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