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Doctor insights on: Is It Normal For My Knee To Get Really Stiff After A Total Knee Replacement

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Dr. John Michalski
404 doctors shared insights

Total Knee Replacement (Definition)

Total knee replacement: a surgical procedure in which damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts. They cap the end of the thigh bone , under surface of the knee cap and the top surface ...Read more


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It is 7 wks since I have total knee replacement. Still swollen knee and ankle. Have stiffness and lots of pain at nite. Is it normal I am active?

It is 7 wks since I have total knee replacement. Still swollen knee and ankle.  Have stiffness and lots of pain at nite.  Is it normal I am active?

Could be normal: If you're concerned about post-op knee and ankle swelling, I'd mention it to your surgeon. Could be routine post-op symptoms. But you also want to make sure you don't have any signs of DVT which could be easily checked if there's any question. ...Read more

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What are the causes of stiffness after a total knee replacement?

What are the causes of stiffness after a total knee replacement?

Depends: Causes of stiffness following knee replacement include scar tissue formation, component size and position among many factors. However, the most important factor is the patient's preoperative motion (i.e. Preoperative stiffness is likely going to lead to less than optimal postoperative motions). ...Read more

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What could cause sudden onset of swelling & stiffness months after a total knee replacement? Tkr was mid-nov 2012. Had full rom, etc until today.

What could cause sudden onset of swelling & stiffness months after a total knee replacement? Tkr was mid-nov 2012. Had full rom, etc until today.

Infection: Any sudden change in a joint replacement represented by new onset of swelling, pain or stiffness could indicate an infection until proven otherwise. You are still very early out from surgery so this could be just muscle but if the joint looks swollen and you've lost motion i would advise a prompt f/u with your surgeon. ...Read more

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What should I do if I had a total knee replacement and now have pain and stiffness?

What should I do if I had a total knee replacement and now have pain and stiffness?

Follow-up: Be sure to follow-up with your surgeon to be sure there are no issues with the surgery or complications. It can take several months to fully recover so be patient. Pt is important both at home and with your therapist. Stiffness may be due to non-compliance with your pt program. Otc meds for the pain and they are not effective then stronger meds may be needed. ...Read more

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Had total knee replacement in December still very painful and have small knots down incision is that normal can't get answer from doctor ?

Had total knee replacement in December still very painful and have small knots down incision is that normal can't get answer from doctor ?

Varies: The recovery from knee replacement varies somewhat from patient to patient and surgeon to surgeon. If you are slowly but surely getting better, than it is likely you will continue to improve. If you are not getting better or are even getting worse, then you need to sit down with your surgeon to discuss this further or seek a second opinion. ...Read more

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After a total knee replacement is it normal to have grinding noise when the knee is moved.

After a total knee replacement is it normal to have grinding noise when the knee is moved.

Yes it can: It depends what type of total knee. It could sound like grinding if parts are rubbing. It is best to ask your physicians or your orthopedic surgeon. ...Read more

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After a total knee replacement is it normal to hear a sound like cracking knuckles when walking or moving the knee sideways?

After a total knee replacement is it normal to hear a sound like cracking knuckles when walking or moving the knee sideways?

Yes: the soft tissues that glide over the implant with movement may make sounds. if there is pain or swelling then evaluation would be reasonable ...Read more

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Do they use lasers in u.S. To get rid of scar tissue I have artho fibrosis of the knee after a total knee replacement

Do they use lasers in u.S. To get rid of scar tissue I have artho fibrosis of the knee after a total knee replacement

Maybe: Arthrofibrosis is a condition that can occur after tka (and other procedures) and results in scarring inside the knee that can cause stiffness and pain. It can be difficult to treat and the cause is not always known. Manipulation, arthroscopic release of adhesions(with a shaver, radiofrequency wand, or laser), and possible revision may be necessary to treat the condition. ...Read more

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When should someone get a total knee replacement?

See details: When there is advanced arthritis, major pain and conservative therapies have failed. ...Read more

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What makes the knee so stiff after total knee replacement?

What makes the knee so stiff after total knee replacement?

Scar tissue: After a knee replacement, achieving maximum knee motion is often a race against your bodies natural healing process. Though your pre-operative range of motion can ofter predict your maximum expected post-op range of motion, aggressive physical therapy is crucial to achieve the best result. ...Read more

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If you get a total knee replacement, is inpatient rehab necessary?

If you get a total knee replacement, is inpatient rehab necessary?

No: after leaving hospital either home PT or outpatient PT should be adequate ...Read more

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Why do people get total knee replacement?

Why do people get total knee replacement?

Total knee: The first reason is for pain relief. Other reasons are to increase mobility or to improve a deformity of the bone. ...Read more

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What's normal recovery like for total knee replacement and what's not normal and should be reported?

What's normal recovery like for total knee replacement and what's not normal and should be reported?

Varies: There is variation in recovery from a knee reacemrbt based upon the person and surgical technique as well. In general, most patients doing well between 4-12 weeks after surgery. Increased swelling in leg, redness or discharge from incision, or pain that is worsening are among the things that should alert a patient to a potential complication. ...Read more

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How to get nursing assistance for total knee replacement?

How to get nursing assistance for total knee replacement?

Doctor: Usually the orthopedic surgeon's office can help set this up. It is very common for people to need assistance or have nursing visits after knee replacement. ...Read more

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Is it normal for the kneecap to be wiggly after total knee replacement? (1 week since surgery)

Is it normal for the kneecap to be wiggly after total knee replacement? (1 week since surgery)

Potentially: I would discuss any concerns with your surgeon, but there certainly is some degree of healing that must occur in the patella after a knee replacement. The patella is actually inverted inside out to expose and replace its undersurface with a polyethylene bearing surface, then the medial aspect of the quadriceps mechanism, which helps in tracking of the patella, must be divided and then repaired. ...Read more

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How long does it take before a total knee replacement feels normal again?

Varies by patient : Everybody recovers differently after a total knee replacement. The definition of "normal" will also vary patient to patient. The more dedicated the patient is to his/her recovery, however, the quicker they will recover and the more successful the surgery will be. Count on at least 3 months for full recovery. ...Read more

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Just had a total knee replacement. Why am i feeling no pain 8 days out? Is this normal?

Can be: I am pleased that you are doing well. I suspect that you are still taking pain medications, which is ok this soon after surgery. Continue to work on flexibility and muscle strengthening. You may develop pain later, which is also normal. Don't hesitate to take pain medications if you need them. ...Read more

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Is pain still normal nine weeks after total knee replacement surgery?

Yes: It varies quite a bit. Some parltients do really well even within a couple weeks of surgery, while others dolly improve over several months. If your surgeon is happy with how your knee and X-rays look, I would not be too concerned. Hopefully you will soon turn the corner and start feeling better. ...Read more

Dr. Frederick Buechel, jr. md
438 doctors shared insights

Knee Replacement (Definition)

It is when a surgeon removes and exchanges some are all of the componets of your knee. The bottom end of the thigh bone(femur), the upper end of the shin bone(tibia) and the undersurface ...Read more