Newbie tkr having trouble with bend

Dolly Member Posts: 7
edited 7. Aug 2019, 13:48 in Living with arthritis
HI My name is dolly and I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed in 2000.
I have had a wrist infusion and my other wrist has fused itself.I have been on humiara and enbrel and numerous tablet meds.I am know having rituximab infusion . I have just had tkr 3 months ago OP went well . But I am having trouble bending my knee can only get it to 73%and I should have 90% .So have not seen the doc who did OP only his orthopedic nurse practitioner at my 6 and 12 week post op app.He has advised me to have a knee manipulation which requires me to have a general anaesthetic which I'm not to sure I want to have. And at the end of it all it might not work or it could but only give me a bit more bend . Was hoping someone on here could give me some advise I really dont know what to do . Thank you for reading my post.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dolly Welcome to the forum sorry you are going through a lot of pain at the moment through your TKR. It doesn't sound right at all and you should be referred back to the surgeon who performed your op. Everyone on the forum understands about pain as we all have various levels of pain and various forms of Arthritis. We are also friendly and welcoming and understanding and will try and make you feel part of the forum.
    All the best with your journey through the medical system
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dolly :)

    I, too, have RA and OA but for much longer than you. I've had new knees and hips and my wrists and ankles have fused themselves.

    I've always had great results from my implants and I'm so sorry yours is not going to plan. I think 90 degrees is regarded as fairly essential. One of my - now very ancient - .TKRs now only goes to less these days and it is a problem. Just as an example, I couldn't use most disability scooters even if I wanted to as it won't bend far enough to get on :roll:

    I do understand your reluctance for further surgery but I'd be guided by the surgeon. If he thinks manipulation is your best bet then I'm sure he's right. We've had one or two people on here who have had to have it. It must have worked as they no longer post :lol:

    Meanwhile, keep pushing on with those post-op exercises. Who knows, you might get it there yourself.

    P.S. Is there some medical reason why an anaesthetic would not be advisable? If so, make sure the surgeon is aware of it. Even if he knew before he might have forgotten by now.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have not had a TKR but a bigger operation, back in 2002, to remove five years' worth of solidified and fresh inflammation. They were not going to allow me out of hospital until I mastered one exercise: they changed their minds which was just as well as that took eighteen months. It took me around four months to achieve a 90 degree bend but now I cannot go much further with either knee (I have both psoriatic and osteo). I manage OK with what limited movement I have in my knees and eight years ago was refused new knees.

    I think those who have had success with or without manipulation leave here, they are fixed so the forum is no longer relevant to their needs and wants. From what you have said I dont think your heart is fully engaged with having the extra procedure so if you are generally more comfortable and happy with what you have then stick with it. Surgery is never guaranteed, much of its success relies on one's physical fitness before hand, doing the exercises properly and conscientiously after, the rate of healing as well as the surgeon's skill. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dolly,

    I’m sorry you are struggling so much to improve the bend in your knee. I don’t know your general health or how your mobility is with your other leg but I have experienced a tkr, mine was 18 months ago.

    While I was in hospital there was a lady with us who, like you was advised to have her knee bent under anaesthetic. Hers was because of lack of bend. This is because after 3 months it would be too painful for you to make it bend yourself. When she had it done she was uncomfortable, but there was no surgery so no wound to get over like with the tkr. When I left she had a much better bend and was pleased.

    I was told my knee would continue to improve for 2.5 years so there’s loads of time left for you to continue your exercises to keep a good bend. I sat on a chair with my foot on the floor, then instead of bending it I shuffled my bum a bit nearer the front of the seat so my knee was a bit more bent, then a bit more and so on. I found that easier to make my bend increase and it was quite easy to do every time I sat down or stood up. I still do my exercises and notice a difference if I don’t.

    Do keep posting and let us know how you are doing. I know it’s painful now but I promise that does get better. Maybe you need better pain relief? I had a spray and tablets and I made sure to rest with my leg higher than my heart a few times each day to help with swelling.

    Wazz x
  • Dolly
    Dolly Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all thank you so much for your replies.I have been taking some stronger pain killers , they have helped me a bit with the bend .I didn't have much of a bend before the OP and was in a bad flare up prior to the op .So I'm not sure whether that has contributed to me having trouble bending it. I will let you know how I get on . Thank you all again x
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I've had two TKR's.

    First (my right) was a partial knee replacement done in 2009. At my 1 year post-op check I had a bend on that knee of 125 degrees which even stunned the Specialist Nurse Practitioner who I saw. Getting to that stage took the full year and hours of hard work, persistence at the physio and lots of icing.

    In January 2017 I had my left knee fully replaced. This also involved having to have the knee cap sorted due to the condition it was in. I'm now 2 years post-op from that and have a 70 degree bend, if I push it briefly (and it is briefly as it's painful to do this) I can get to about an 80 degree bend. My surgeon said that I had a "functional bend" but it wasn't worth the risk of repeating the surgery. His instructions were that if the bend worsened I was to get my GP to send me back when it would be looked at again.

    When I had my first TKR my late partner was alive so I had help and care in place at home. In 2017 I was sadly on my own for my recovery and it was a huge struggle.

    Had my surgeon in 2017 said he wanted to operate again he'd have had to have convinced me it was going to be worth it. Nothing has changed as far as I'm concerned. If I lose the knee bend that I do have I won't have a choice. For now, I'll continue as I am.

    At the end of the day, you are the patient. I was also told each time that a TKR can take up to 18-24 months to fully reach it's potential so personally I think assessing it at the 3-month stage may be a litle early. However, I'm not a Doctor so I'm not qualified to advise but can only say what I'd do.

    For now whatever you decide, continue with the exercises, pain meds, elevation and icing. It will help believe me! And don't make any decisions before you are in full possession of all of the facts.

    I wish you well.

    Turn a negative into a positive!