I had knee replacement surgery about six months ago. I figured now would be a good time to report in about what I’m experiencing.
One of the things I wanted to emphasize, is that every person’s body is different. My brother, who is 10 years older than I am, had a full knee replacement one month before mine. His experience is different than mine. All I can tell you is what is going on with me.
I figured I would start with the worst things, and end on a high note with the good things.
My knee is still tender to the touch. Particularly along the incision. According to my surgeon, it may take as much as a year before the pain goes away.
My brother, on the other hand, was out of pain after four months. Not that I am envious or anything.
I rub vitamin E oil into the incision every night before I go to bed. The doctor wants me to continue with that, as well rub my fingers gently across the incision on a regular basis in order to try to desensitize the area.
I have a Baker’s cyst on the back of my knee. When I asked the surgeon about it, he said that after the operation, it would no longer bother me. The cyst only fills up in response to inflammation of the knee. And supposedly, my knee was not supposed to get into inflamed anymore.
However, twice now in the last three weeks, the Baker’s cyst has refilled with fluid. I am both angry as well as frustrated by this. I am having an email discussion with my doctor about it currently. We’ll see what the final outcome is.
Immediately following the operation, my leg was numb from the knee down to the ankle. My physical therapist warned me about this. She said it could take as long as a year before all the numbness went away. As well as that it might not all disappear. There might still be an area on the knee itself that would remain numb.
At this point, they numbness has receded. From my angle to about midcalf, I have fulfilling. In addition, there is some level of feeling all the way down my leg. So even if there turns out to be a spot where it is numb, I can still feel there. It’s weird, and hard to describe. It’s like I can feel my fingers pressing on the skin, but the skin is now 15 layers thick.
The new knee clicks. A lot. At first, I am I. Now, it only clicks once or twice. I am not optimistic about clicking going away completely. At least the clicking is no longer audible. It’s just something I feel.
I continue to regain flexibility. I can now do a hurdler’s stretch with both legs. I am squatting better. I cannot bend my knee as far as I would like. It does not bend as far as the other knee. Yet. I anticipate it will take another six months. However, I very optimistic that I will regain all of my flexibility.
In addition, I tracking not just how far I can bend my knee, but also how far I can stretch it. At this time, both knees will straighten fully. I still have muscles in the healing leg that are too tight. They are much recovered from what they had been. But I still have work to do on being able to stretch my legs out.
My physical therapist told the not to worry too much about strength training. She was correct. My strength returned fairly easily without me having to do a lot. Though I am not pushing it, I could walk 10,000 steps a day, every day. I can do Romanian leg lifts without any problem now. Am I as strong currently as I was before I messed up my knees? Almost. Not quite. However that will come in the next month or so.
This remains one of the best features of the new knee. It wasn’t until I was healed enough to really start doing yoga again that I realized just how stable the new knee is, and how wobbly the old one was. In the yoga pose warrior II, you stand with one leg out and bent. I can do that now comfortably. My knee and my leg will support me. Every once in a while I notice how much more stable I when I am walking around on the property. We have no sidewalks out here. So being stable and steady on my feet is very important.
How my attitude has changed regarding my knee is probably the most important thing. Before, my knee was hurt and it was never going to get better. I had just reached that stage where it was only going to decline. Now, though my knee is still healing, it is getting better. Sure it is still stiff sometimes and it still hurts. But it is a lot better.
I have talked with other people who have had knee replacements. All of them said that getting their knee replaced was one of the best things they had ever done. I not to that point yet. I did not understand how long the recovery was before I had the operation. Once my knee stops hurting, I may have the same opinion. I may not. I may always be cautious and hesitant when talking to people about it because I feel as though my recovery has been so long.
Feel free to ping me, email me or DM me if you have any questions or want me to go into any more details about all of this. I am happy to talk about my experience. Just always remember, that your body is going to be different than mine. How your body will react to the surgery will be different.