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Knee replacement and extreme difficulty walking.

I’m on the waiting list for an urgent knee replacement and I’m finding it more and more difficult to walk any distance, even using a walking stick. It’s not only the pain but the effort of walking that’s getting more and more difficult. I feel out of breath and that I can’t walk any further without sitting down. I’ve also got spinal stenosis. It’s very depressing and I’m not able to get out and exercise. Is this normal with OA and will it only get worse the longer I wait for the operation? I wondered if anyone had any advice please. Thank you.


  • EllenEllen Posts: 352 mod

    Hello @Millie1967 a warm welcome to the Online Community.

    I see you are waiting to have your knee replaced and are really struggling with your mobility.

    I am attaching two links for you to read while you wait for members to come along and give you their experience:

    Look at the section about gentle exercises to help your knee.

    This one is a recent discussion which you might find of interest:

    Do please have a look around the forum and join in wherever you feel comfortable.

    Best wishes


  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 608 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Millie1967 , I'm waiting for hip replacement, but I also find walking exhausting, even though I'm basically fairly fit and mobile, and only slightly overweight (I need to lose around 1.5 stone). I'm not sure why this is, unless we're having to use different muscles to walk to protect the damaged joint. It does mean I can only do very short walks, (about 1-2 miles max) and really slowly, always with a stick. Its a combination of pain and fatigue that stops me going further. It's a right flippin' nuisance.

    Mine has been getting worse since it suddenly came on about 10 months ago, and some days are better than others for no readily obvious reason, but if I've had a heavy day at work on my feet for a long time, I'm flattened for a few days and it takes that long for the pain to subside to "normal" levels.

    Prioritising and pacing (ie rationining how you expend your energy) will help you to manage your energy and pain levels until your op. My sister has had both knees done, her husband one knee, and both are as fit as fiddles now. I gather you do have to really push yourself through the physion to get the best possible outcome from the surgery. Not looking forward to that bit!

  • Thanks @Lilymary, I couldn’t walk for even a mile now. I’m exhausted after about 15 minutes of walking with a stick. I was previously fit and going to the gym 3 times a week. I’ve got progressively worse since lockdown and find it difficult to stand up when I’ve been sitting for 45 minutes or longer. I’m fed up with it and wonder if the pain and lack of mobility will improve after the knee replacement, particularly since the consultant said my other knee is almost as bad and I’ll be back asking to have that done!

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 608 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Millie1967, Not staying mobile during lockdown will probably have had an effect on you. Have you tried the Let’s Move with Leon exercises? It’s not quite going to the gym (I was doing pilates and yoga every week until 10 months ago), and considering how fit I was back then the exercises do seem a bit feeble, but tbh they’re ideally paced for ppl with joint problems, and if you do what you can every day I’m sure you’d start to see some improvement. Unfortunately they tend to aggravate my hip pain so there’s quite a few I can’t do, but I should do the lighter exercises as I can feel my entire body gradually seizing up. Every little helps, and whatever you can build up now will aid your recovery post op.

  • airwaveairwave Posts: 358

    Try a hot wheat bag, the heat encourages the circulation and the warmth gives a pleasant feeling of well-being which at this time of the year is positive. Just keep renewing the heat, all day if necessary.

    it’s a grin, honest!

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