How long does stiffness last after total knee replacement surgery recovery? Hot Conversation

Pain relief is only one side of the coin when you get knee replacement surgery — recovery is the other. Replacement surgery not only provides pain relief, it’s supposed to return full flexibility and functionality to your legs. So what do you do when your knee stiffness just isn’t going away, and how long is too long for you to wait for your recovery period to be over?

5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery

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Knee pain

Relief from knee pain is the goal of any knee replacement surgery, but aching joints also affect your mobility and daily function. Over-the-counter supplements and a wide variety of treatments can be used to provide relief without surgery, however. Knee replacement shouldn’t always be your first option.

Night splints, water therapy, vibration therapy and many other physical therapy treatments are available to those seeking knee pain relief. Many of these methods may be used as an alternative to, or following knee replacement surgery. Recovery time can be shortened through regular physical therapy and pain management. But if you do opt for knee replacement surgery, you have every reason to expect it to feel “like new.” When stiffness persists, you’ll want to address the problem.

5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery

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Knee replacement surgery recovery

Once the initial inflammation and pain of knee replacement surgery fades, your knee joint should function with normal flexibility. In studies of knee replacement surgery, recovery progresses normally the majority of the time. But in 1% of cases, patients feel stiffness in their knee joints following replacement. Stiffness can last through the whole of recovery and rehabilitation, which could last for several months, but in most cases people will regain full use of their joint once this process is complete.

Regular massage and movement can help to reduce stiffness following replacement surgery. Often, this is part of the normal rehabilitation process used for patients who have had their knees replaced even when stiffness isn’t a problem. But sometimes, the calibration of the knee joint may be improperly set, and this can create stiffness too. Patients should inform their physicians at once if they feel stiffness, as the joint may need to be readjusted or replaced.

Consult with your physician if you feel stiffness, and if it persists even with regular therapy and exercise. The whole point of having knee replacement surgery is to regain mobility and function in the joint, and to use it without the pain or stiffness you may have experienced before. Some stiffness is normal for some patients, and it may last for several months, but this stiffness should begin to improve with use and therapy. If it doesn’t, you should definitely seek treatment to learn if there is further work needed on the joint.

5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery

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Learn how to avoid knee replacement in our free special report, 5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery.

Posted in knee replacement.

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One Response

  1. Generic Image Anonymous says

    This caught my eye because I am two weeks post-op with a total knee replacement.
    First off, I totally agree with using everything possible to delay or avoid replacement.   I did so for about seven years.  I have severe arthritis and believe that the meds used to lessen my daily arthritis pain may have masked the pain in my knees.   I had no knee pain unless I really overdid physical activity.  One year ago I even managed going up and down 600+ steps in a gorgeous cave while on a trip and had no pain nor repercussions.  However, a trip this past summer made me realize my time had come for knee replacements.  While I had no daily pain, my knees felt that anything other than walking flat surfaces could very likely result in a trip to the emergency room as happened in 2006.   My doc showed me the issue on the x-rays and said I have extremely unstable knees.  I agreed.
    If replacement can be avoided with shots, acupuncture, etc go for it.  But when the options run out then I say (1) pick your surgeon very, very carefully (2) do everything you are told in rehab, and (3) stay positive.

    15 like

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