Knee flexion after knee replacement

Knee flexion after knee replacement

Posted in the Knee Replacement Forum

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Betty Matthews

Eaton, OH

#1 Jan 6, 2007
I am 4+ months after knee replacement and having a problem straightening my fixed leg. It was slightly flexed befor surgery but now is worse. I wore a Dyna Splint but has not helped. Any ideas as to what now?
Deanna

Beaverton, OR

#2 Jan 4, 2008
Has your surgeon tried manipulating your leg, then sending you back to physical therapy?
Betty

Salem, OR

#3 Feb 21, 2008
I strongly suggest you not let them manipulate your knee to fix this. I had four of them and I can't bend my knee at all now and it has been over a year since my knee replacement revision was done. Yes, I had one replacement and I rejected the foreign metals. Had the revision done the following year.

My thought for you would be to work with a physical therapist. It may take quite some time, but you will get there. Also, a Continuous Passive Motion machine may be helpful too. We rented one for a month, but with my fibromyalgia and major problems with scar growth growing too fast, we were unsuccessful. But, that doesn't mean it won't work for you. Talk to your surgeon about the CPM machine and search out a good therapist. Hope I was able to help you. Deanna
Thelma

UK

#4 Feb 22, 2008
I am shortly to have a manipulation after a TKR which I had on 5th Nov.2007. Could anyone who has had this please e-mail me on thelma_rue@ yahoo.co.uk. I need to know more details about this and what it involves.
Many thanks.
Thelma
Sheryl

Glen Ellyn, IL

#5 Apr 2, 2008
In response to Betty's question about not being able to straighten her leg--I have the same problem, which was the situation that led me to have a partial knee replacement. I had 3 surgeries for a torn meniscus, and finally had the knee replacement, which the doctor said would fix everything. Now I not only can't fully straighten my leg, I also can't fully bend it or kneel. And I have a feeling of tightness around the knee, as if it's in a heavy metal brace. My physical therapist says that she thinks the fascia covering the muscle are "bunched up" instead of lying smoothly. So she's trying deep muscle massage in addition to the exercises. I keep hoping for the best, although I get very discouraged at times because of the restrictions to my activities.
Glenna

Wentzville, MO

#6 Oct 20, 2008
I had a tkr in May, I am 74,and over weight. Has
not been a fun situation, but think the worse is
over. My leg was and is not straight, but I lay on the bed with weights 3 times a day, 15 min at
a time. This is really helping and leg is almost
there. My bend is not the best, but do ride a stationary bike . I have done quite a bit of therapy. Everyone says it gets better.
Viba

Mumbai, India

#7 Apr 2, 2009
i had a knee bone tumor operation 4 months back but neither am i able to straighten it nor bend it. could anyone tell me HOW LONG this might take and will i ever be able to get my movements 100%?
Iwantmykneeback

Wilmington, NC

#8 May 28, 2009
Sheryl, How are you doing now? Did you ever get rid of the heavy medal brace feeling? I am 2 mos post op and it get tighter everyday.
Sheryl wrote:
In response to Betty's question about not being able to straighten her leg--I have the same problem, which was the situation that led me to have a partial knee replacement. I had 3 surgeries for a torn meniscus, and finally had the knee replacement, which the doctor said would fix everything. Now I not only can't fully straighten my leg, I also can't fully bend it or kneel. And I have a feeling of tightness around the knee, as if it's in a heavy metal brace. My physical therapist says that she thinks the fascia covering the muscle are "bunched up" instead of lying smoothly. So she's trying deep muscle massage in addition to the exercises. I keep hoping for the best, although I get very discouraged at times because of the restrictions to my activities.
grammyb from nj

Middlesex, NJ

#9 May 29, 2009
Betty,
My surgeon at the New York Hospital for Special Surgery said manipulation after 6 weeks is a waste of time and does not help. My Physical Therapist had me put 2-3 lb. weights on ankle of affected leg, lie on your stomach on edge of bed with legs hanging off at the knee. Do this for 15 minutes several times a day. It is not a quick fix, but done faithfully you WILL see a difference in no time at all. Bonnie
Carol

Pittsburgh, PA

#10 Jul 7, 2009
YOUY!!! I'm a tkr as of the 23rd my knee will be 4 months old! I really have done well...except for tightness almost all the time. I ride a stationary bike and do water aerobics since being released from surgeon. The pt was awful but has to be done...i'd rather have a baby breach birth!!! I've had many sleepless nights,bad days,good days...will the tightness ever go away??? It is really cumbersome. 22
Steve

Lombard, IL

#11 Jul 13, 2009
Sheryl wrote:
In response to Betty's question about not being able to straighten her leg--I have the same problem, which was the situation that led me to have a partial knee replacement. I had 3 surgeries for a torn meniscus, and finally had the knee replacement, which the doctor said would fix everything. Now I not only can't fully straighten my leg, I also can't fully bend it or kneel. And I have a feeling of tightness around the knee, as if it's in a heavy metal brace. My physical therapist says that she thinks the fascia covering the muscle are "bunched up" instead of lying smoothly. So she's trying deep muscle massage in addition to the exercises. I keep hoping for the best, although I get very discouraged at times because of the restrictions to my activities.
I'm in the same situation. 16 months post op. Have the massages and therapy helped. Where are you going for the help? I live nearby so I may try it
Iwantmykneeback

Wilmington, NC

#12 Jul 13, 2009
I had my TKR on April 4th. At 3-4 weeks post op started having the medal brace feeling that continued to get tighter and tighter. I continued with 3X a week PT. I had gotten to 102 flexion and 0 extension so my OT continued to tell me there was nothing wrong, it would go away and that I might have RSD (Regional Sympathy Dystrophy). I continued to study and I KNEW 100% that I had Arthrofibrosis. After much talk my OS finally decided to do an arthroscope to prove to me that I didn't have it. To his surprise I did have it and he debrided the scar tissue and in 10 days I felt GREAT!! Well, 5 days later it started returning (this is very common) and I am ready to have another scope to get rid of it.
My main symptons are: tight band feelings that get tighter every day causing more stiffness and increasing pain almost daily. At this point I am at 125 and 0 and have no complaint that my knee feels frozen or does not bend.(These are normally 2 of the main symptons of arthrofibrosis)I have once again developed the metal brace feeling and find it hard not to want to run back to surgery. My OS wants to wait 8 weeks from last surgery due to the maturing factor of the scar tissue before I have my next. I'm not sure if this helps, but I want to get the word out that arthofibrosis can occur even with good numbers.
SLEEPLESS IN ELK GROVE

Schaumburg, IL

#13 Aug 6, 2009
TO: I WANT MY KNEE BACK - SO DO I. I'M 4 PLUS "WEEKS" AFTER TKR. I WAS PROGRESSING SLOWLY UNTIL I WAS TOLD TO DISCONTINUE WEARING MY ELASTIC STOCKING. THAT VERY DAY MY KNEE FROZE BEYOND BELIEF AND THE PAIN BEGAN TO INTENSIFY. CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT MORE THAN ONE HOUR AT A TIME. HAVE SENSITIVITY IN THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY KNEE SO BAD THAT I'VE WRAPPED MY KNEE LOOSELY IN SARAN WRAP SO I DON'T FLINCH WHEN I MOVE MY LEG AGAINST THE SHEET. I TOO AM 117 AMD 0, AM COMPLIMENTED BY THE P.T. STAFF FOR MY PROGRESS, BUT AM IN PAIN DAY AND NIGHT. MY SYMPTOMS ARE PRECISELY THE SAME AS YOURS. PLEASE UPDATE AFTER YOUR NEXT VISIT TO YOUR O.S. I'LL SEE MY SURGEON NEXT WED.
DID YOUR SURGEON SCOPE YOUR KNEE TO REMOVE THE SCAR TISSUE? ONE OF THE P.T.s SAID SHE FELT I DO HAVE LOTS OF SCAR TISSUE.
Viba

Atlanta, GA

#14 Sep 7, 2009
3 years ago I had a total knee replacement. I have had absolutely no problem. 6 months ago I had to have the other knee replaced. I am having some minor issues but with exercises every single day, I can tell a difference. It is so important for anyone who has had total knee replacements, to exercise every day for at least 10-15 minutes. I go to the gym twice a week and exercise at home by doing knee bends with the help of a sink. Sit down and get up slowly in a chair, stand straight and bring your leg out to the side, walk (with proper shoes), go up one stair and come back down and build up. There are alot of things you can do every single day. Don't get down or discouraged. On some of my uncomfortable days, I take an liquid aleve (not recommending this, this is my routine) and exercise. It will get better with time, exercise and patience. Hang in there!!!! Good luck
cindy

Mount Holly, NJ

#15 Sep 21, 2009
I am 39 years old...I had a knee replacement in april of this year and had to have a manipulation in June. The manipulation involves getting a spinal block and a PCA pump...just like after surgery. However, it is an invasive procedure that involves the surgeon taking your knee and carefully flexing your knee to break up scar tissue and gain more mobility in your knee. Alot of times you do not actually make it into the OR but the prep room where the anesthesiologist gets you ready. Usually you will stay for about 24 hours and with your knee locked in the CPM machine. You will have the epidural block and the PCA pump for pain management. After you are released from the hospital, you will start therapy right away...every day for two weeks. This is to prevent losing any mobility. Scar tissue builds up quicker after a manipulation than the initial knee replacement. Good luck. Hope I was helpful.
jean

Norway, ME

#16 Sep 23, 2009
Seven weeks ago I had TKR. I'm still having problems straightening my leg, my therapist says I'm 3 degrees from it, but I seem to stay there. My flexion last week was 124, but this week it stayed at 124. Sleeping is not easy. Advil sometimes helps, or Tylenol P.M. I go to rehab 3 times a week and they all say for 7 weeks I am doing wonderfully. Trouble is, I don't think so. In the beginning I seemed to be improving so fast. Now, I seem to have reached a plateau even though I still do the exercises. I keep thinking, well, this is it, but the people at rehab say no, I will improve.
Sheryl

Naperville, IL

#17 Oct 6, 2009
Iwantmykneeback wrote:
Sheryl, How are you doing now? Did you ever get rid of the heavy medal brace feeling? I am 2 mos post op and it get tighter everyday.
<quoted text>
Thank you so much for asking. It still feels as if it's in a heavy metal brace. Because I can't fully straighten my leg, it affects my gait and gives me lower back pain as well. I used to walk a lot and be quite active, and I have faithfully done my exercises and physical therapy, even though theeffect on my gait and back and well as the discomfort just seem to sap my energy. Since I had an orthopedic surgeon who was recommended as one of the top ones in Chicago, I don't think there's any recourse. I guess I have to live with it, but it's very discouraging and distressing.
Sheryl

Naperville, IL

#18 Oct 6, 2009
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>I'm in the same situation. 16 months post op. Have the massages and therapy helped. Where are you going for the help? I live nearby so I may try it
Steve,
Unfortunately, the massages and therapy haven't helped much. I have gone to the Oasis Center for Health to try both acupuncture and ortho-bionomy. I think the staff there is wonderful, but I still have the same feeling of tightness in my knee and no increase in flexion. Let me know if you find any help. Thank you so much.
jean

Norway, ME

#19 Oct 7, 2009
I wrote awhile ago saying I was discouraged. I had TKR 9 weeks ago, and have been going to PT 3 times a week. Well, I discovered there are plateaus. In the beginning things seems to go fast, first you are in bed, and the next thing you are walking with a walker, then a cane, then alone. But then the progress is not so fast. Although you are making progress. The scar tissue holds you back. But you can massage these away every day. Today I was 0 straightening and 130 flexion. It takes a lot of work. Practice every day. But do not get discouraged....some bodies take longer to heal than others.
Steve

United States

#20 Oct 7, 2009
Sheryl wrote:
<quoted text>
Steve,
Unfortunately, the massages and therapy haven't helped much. I have gone to the Oasis Center for Health to try both acupuncture and ortho-bionomy. I think the staff there is wonderful, but I still have the same feeling of tightness in my knee and no increase in flexion. Let me know if you find any help. Thank you so much.
Cheryl I just started Astym treatment. I'm doing at acceleratedrehab in Villa Park. I have had only two sessions so far. When I went in I had a 90 ROM and when I left I had 113. Painful as hell, but could be worth it. I'm doing my regular excercises plus some new stretching excercises. I'll keep you tuned. Let me know how your doing

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