Did anyone have issues with knee replacement recovery?

I had a knee replacement 4 months ago and recently had a scar tissue removal and manipulation of same knee! Problem was and is extreme knee stiffness and pain despite therapy and following every instruction given. Doctor just says keep it moving and use meds and ice packs. He makes a point to always say the prosthetic was placed correctly and is not really concerned about my ongoing reason I’m getting all this pain. Should I get a second opinion?!


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi QTPie. My wife, Kelly Mack, had both knees and hips replaced as a teenager over twenty years ago. The knee surgeries and recovery where difficult. In this article detailing the recovery, she says “It took many months, but I was finally able to stand and take my first few steps.” However, she also goes on to note that “If I were in those shoes now, I would definitely do it all over again:” https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/call-me-the-bionic-woman/.

    The technology was not as advanced when she had the original replacements, however, a few years ago she needed one of the knees redone and recounts the experience here: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/a-brand-new-knee/.

    Her extensive previous damage certainly complicated her recoveries, but while they did take a while, they were ultimately successful. I would concur with Carla about the need for a frank conversation with your doctor. While what you are experiencing may be normal, without that information you have no idea what to expect. A second opinion is always your right, and could help to clarify things. Wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • QTPie author
    10 months ago

    Thank you so much for your advice. I’m going to seek a second opinion. The X-ray report I recently had showed calcification in 2 areas of my knee and other things. The doctor had stated that it looked fine (got report after appointment). From my research calcification may be causing some of my continued pain.

  • Carla Kienast
    10 months ago

    Hi QTPie: Unfortunately, it can take a long time for full recovery of knee replacement — perhaps a year or more, even though you’re usually mobile and walking long before then. Since you’ve had additional surgery (scar tissue removal and manipulation), there is some recovery from that as well. (I’ve had hip, knee and shoulder replacements so I have some experience.) It’s very frustrating even though we know that everyone heals at a different rate! While I certainly can’t give you medical advice, there are two things I’d suggest you consider. First have an honest discussion with your doctor and ask how long full recovery is. I’ve found that some doctors aren’t up front with this information so our hopes and expectations are more optimistic than they should be. If your doctor is also concerned about your progress, then it certainly wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion. Joint replacement is a tough decision and a major surgery. I hope you find (as I have) that when you’re fully recovered it makes an incredible positive difference in your life.

  • QTPie author
    10 months ago

    Thank you so much for your advice. I’m going to seek a second opinion. The X-ray report I recently had showed calcification in 2 areas of my knee and other things. The doctor had stated that it looked fine (got report after appointment). From my research calcification may be causing some of my continued pain.

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