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Old 08-11-2011, 11:50 PM   #1
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Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

My doc has recommended that I have a knee manipulation where he forces the knee to bend and breaks through scar tissue. I am in my 6th week of recovery from total knee replacment (July 1, 2011).

I just hate the thought of this so much. Will it bring me back to the beginning again? Will there be tremendous pain after this? I have been going to thereapy
for the past 3 weeks, 3 x a week, and we are unable to get my knee to bend
past 87 degrees easily. I can go to 90 with much pain (I usually cry during
this process at thereapy).

Maybe I am just a wimp. I have no idea. I just want to be over this and move on with my life. It was so much more tramatic than I thought it would be and I still
have a lot of knee pain.

I would like to know if you had knee manipulation to break up scar tissue and what the result was. Thank you for any advice. I need to make a quick decision\

 
Old 08-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

A quick word (or 2) of advice ... DO IT !!!
Like you, I got 'stuck' at less than 90-degrees flexion on both my knees after bilateral replacement.
The manipulation was scheduled and I was a nervous wreck. Had a major pity-party for myself, complete with many crying sessions.

The manipulation was COMPLETELY worth it!!
It's OK to be a wimp while you're considering this procedure.
They use general anesthesia during the manipulation -- so you won't feel a thing until you're in the recovery room.

Was it painful after the procedure ... uh, YES!! I was in considerable pain for about 2-3 days afterwards.
But, the results in physical therapy were astounding.
The doctor was able to bend both my legs to 130-degrees flexion during the manipulation.
I was able to get to about 120-degrees on both knees during physical therapy.
A HUGE improvement.

Anyway, feel free to message me again if you want more info -- or a shoulder to whine on.

Good luck.
I think you will appreciate the result once you get through those first few days.

Take care,
Lynn

 
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:38 AM   #3
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalapamela View Post
My doc has recommended that I have a knee manipulation where he forces the knee to bend and breaks through scar tissue. I am in my 6th week of recovery from total knee replacment (July 1, 2011).

I just hate the thought of this so much. Will it bring me back to the beginning again? Will there be tremendous pain after this? I have been going to thereapy
for the past 3 weeks, 3 x a week, and we are unable to get my knee to bend
past 87 degrees easily. I can go to 90 with much pain (I usually cry during
this process at thereapy).

Maybe I am just a wimp. I have no idea. I just want to be over this and move on with my life. It was so much more tramatic than I thought it would be and I still
have a lot of knee pain.

I would like to know if you had knee manipulation to break up scar tissue and what the result was. Thank you for any advice. I need to make a quick decision\
I had a knee replacement about 6yrs ago and had 2 manipulations after that . The first one was extremely painfull afterwards and I asked for ice and placed it on the knee - this allieviated the pain and i was able to move it with greater ease. I had the second one done as the knee was almost straightening but had once again locked - I had the second one done which went much better as I could not feel the leg at all. All went well after this, but I reccommend using ice after the manipulation if you have pain. You must also place a lightweight sand bag on the leg for as long as you can endure for hour long sessions at a time to help straighten the knee and to get it to ben - aslo fitness bicyle also helps as well as swimming all this was done after the second manipulation - I wish that I had done it after the first one.

All the best - it will come right !.

bruce

 
Old 08-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

My manipulation is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. tomorrow, August 18, 2011. I then go directly to therapy and repeatedly for the next 2 days (Thurs, Fri). I guess on the weekend I can go tothe Y and use the bike, I don't know. After 6 weeks of painful therapy already I am at my wit's end.

I am scared to death, have cried and had anxiety attacks. I will write in this strand when I have had it and a few days of therapy. Thank you for your advice.

I pray that this will be over and I will be back to my normal happy self in 3 weeks.
I had no idea that this would be such a painful recovery. I was led to believe I would be up and doing well by the 6th week. Not so, my knee actually hurts every single day.

Pam

 
Old 08-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalapamela View Post
My manipulation is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. tomorrow, August 18, 2011. I then go directly to therapy and repeatedly for the next 2 days (Thurs, Fri). I guess on the weekend I can go tothe Y and use the bike, I don't know. After 6 weeks of painful therapy already I am at my wit's end.

I am scared to death, have cried and had anxiety attacks. I will write in this strand when I have had it and a few days of therapy. Thank you for your advice.

I pray that this will be over and I will be back to my normal happy self in 3 weeks.
I had no idea that this would be such a painful recovery. I was led to believe I would be up and doing well by the 6th week. Not so, my knee actually hurts every single day.

Pam

 
Old 08-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Good Morning Pam (at least that what it iws here in SA!) where are you from?

I know what you are going through been there done that - but am due to go through it again! but at least I am prepared - there is a light at the end of the tunnel (have you heared the saying - due to the current economic recession the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off till further notice!) well they cannot turn off the hope that is in our hearts and there is hope!. I took about 2 months to come out fully recovered but DO NOT push yourself take one day at a time. I tried to push myself and ended up with my left knee bending inwards due to the strain on it - I thought I was becoming deformed! - but the doctor told me that it was only because I was pushing myself to hard and I was too rest and sure enough my foot straightened out again!. So Rest assured if your knee hurts too much rest and put ice on it for a while - and try ice on it while you exercise you will be amazed at the relief. Rest assured it will come right! I have had my artificial knee for about 7 yrs know without any pain or discomfort - and have been on hikes with it without any difficulty.

Thinking and paying for you

Cheers

Bruce

 
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:27 AM   #7
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Adjustment of knee was done on Wed. August 17, 2011. I was scared to death.
I tried to do without strong anethesia after the manipulation, but could not. I was in terrible pain and had to have a morphine based drip. Outpatient surgery. I went directly to therapy (almost threw up) and had 1/2 hour of EXTREMELY PAINFUL manipulation to see how far I could bend my knee. I cried throough the whole thing.
I ended up with 110%, but by the next day it was locked up again. Therapy Friday they started to bend my knee the other way saying my knee was not straight enough. Again horribly painful. I can walk better ad am going to the Ymca to walk on treadmill slowly and try to stretch my knee. Everyday is huge swelling. Every night I've had to medicate in order to sleep and put on ice. I'm really sick of this.
I have decided I willl go to about 5 more therapy sessions and then I'm just going to work on my knee myself by going to the gym.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve. Kind of a little check box in my mind.
a. I wanted to be able to walk with no pain. I think I can do this, although not perfectly.
b. I want to be able to ride a bike. Can't do this yet, but I'm going to work on it.
c. I want to work on my knee at my own pace, not the pace of the therapist. If it takes a year, so be it.
d. I want to be able to dance. I think I can do that right now.

Story over for now. I have doc appt. Sept. 7 and I am going to tell him I am finished with therapy for a while.

I think I am just someone in the 2% who did not have complete success with a total knee replacement, period. I am very small, 5 ft tall and have very small bones, but good muscles. I have met lots of people, since my operation on July 1, 2011 who have had knee replacement of some sort. Some fly though the procedure and have great success, others have not had as good.

Oh well.

Thank you for answering some of my questions when I was freaking out.

Pam

 
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

I am seven weeks out and my rom is not getting better. I am (was) over my pitty party and was determined to work harder to increase my rom, however I have been working harder and I cry at pt, she holds it in the bent position for a long time and asures me that it is helping. It remains to be seen. My knee is locked and will not bend beyond 70 and at one time I could straighten my leg and now I can't even do that. The daily pain has improved some, nights are the worse. I just don't know what to do. I'm tired of the whole thing. I couldn't walk without a walker before the surgery and I'm not much better off now. I have to use a cane and walking weird is causing pain in my back and side. Any sugesstions? Should I go back to the walker or just not walk as much? Maybe I should ask about manipulation but isn't that totally up to the doc? I had bariactric surgery in June so that I could lose enough weight to have the surgery. Forty pounds lighter I had the surgery and since the surgery I have lost another 18. Taking meds makes me sick but I take it before therapy and sometimes at home just to get through the exercises. At home I can Ice a lot more between exercies and take less meds. I just feel very weak and want some kind of releif.

 
Old 11-01-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

I lost about 20 lbs. during the recovery period after knee replacement, too. It did make me very weak. The other thing that seemed to increase my weakness was the amount of pain I was having during therapy. It seems that I (and perhaps you) have a stronger response to pain. At last that is what I was told.

I interpreted this as meaning, " you are not pushing yourself enough and should be able to tolerate the pain". I was told over and over to "just take more pain medication". Well, like you the meds made me sick. So sick that I was sure I would barf during therapy. I cried almost every time I had therapy. My knee locked up at about 82% and I couldn't go forward.

So, I was scheduled for knee manipulation by the surgeon. I didn't bring it up to him because I didn't even know it existed. Anyway, it scared me to death, but I was convinced to do it. It was a brief hosipital outpatient proceudre with quick anesthesia. I was told I wouldn't even need pain meds after. This was a huge lie. I was in so much pain they had to give me some type of morphine (I forget what it was called). Then within an hour I had to go to therapy. Where I proceded to cry for 40 minutes as my knee was bent to 118%. Awful.

Within a week my knee had locked down to about 102%. At least I had more movement then before. I was told that my knee healed "too fast" and developed scar tissue. The purpose of the manipulation is to break through the scar tissue without being awake.

I finally got so depressed because I thought Iwasn't making adequate progress. People told me by 4 to 6 weeks I should be doing quite well.
I wasn't. Now I better understand that many people take much longer to
heal from this surgery.

I finally stopped going to so much therapy and started to go to the Y and use the elliptical machine and other machines to exercise my knee and work at my own speed to stretch the knee. I have had so much better result by doing this, working at my own pace, under my own tolerance.

I now have movement at least to 110% and I am continuing my own therapy at the 4 months point now.

The doctor says I will most likely feel pain in the knee up to 1 year. Why wasn't I told this before the surgery? Who knows.

Anyway, to conclude, the manipulation was actually helpful. I was scared to death, but I am glad that I did it. I'm surprised your surgeon did not suggest it. It sounds, though, as if you have had additional physical problems not related to your knee.

I, too, had back problems which the surgeon wouldn't deal with. I ended up going to a chiropractor, so I could get massages to help my back. (I never had chiropractic manipulation, just massage). It helped me overcome the horrible back spasms that I was having and the sciatic nerve problem.

Congratulations on decreasing your weight. Overall it will be a good thing for your knee.

Best wishes,
Pam

 
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Thank you for your input I think that I will ask the surgeon about manulipulation. It sounds painful but better in the long run. I thought that after two months if the knee didn't bend then it is too late. Do you know if the rom can improve over time with more therapy or only with manipulation and therapy? I will join a gym if it will help bend my knee. Right now I think it might be a good idea. My insurance only pays for 2 x's a week. I was waiting to feel better.

 
Old 11-03-2011, 10:08 AM   #11
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

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Thank you for your input I think that I will ask the surgeon about manulipulation. It sounds painful but better in the long run. I thought that after two months if the knee didn't bend then it is too late. Do you know if the rom can improve over time with more therapy or only with manipulation and therapy? I will join a gym if it will help bend my knee. Right now I think it might be a good idea. My insurance only pays for 2 x's a week. I was waiting to feel better.
------------------------------------

I can only give you my opinion . . . what has been working for me. YOu will have to have physical therapy directly after the manipulation.

a) I have heard of people who have had more than one manipulation
b) I had mine at about 2 1/2 months, and it worked. I WAS SCARED TO DEATH
c) The problem with me only going to physical therapy 2 x (or 3) a week is that (unless you are being vigorous at home), the knee seemed to be so sore that it revertS to exactly where I was before I had the painful therapy, so I was repeating the same thing time after time, with extreme pain, without making progress. I was ****** off that everyone just kept telling me to take more pain meds before therapy and it woould be okay. It WASN't and IT ISn't the answer FOR ME. Very frustrating and psychologically not healthy .

d) Soooo that is why I decided to take control of my own therapy and use the elliptical, & the nu-step etc. to keep my knee progressing. Now, I was sore every single day that I did this and took some meds either during or after, but I felt that I was at least not reverting to previous % positions. I knew what positions to use because of the official physical therapy techniques. I was in charge, not someone else.

I was already a member of the Y and had been working out for years previous to this, so I knew how to use the machines. I suppose you could do the same thing at home, if you knew what to do. I just found the atmosphere of the Y more conducive to exercise. I did not use the treadmill at all for this. The elliptical and similar machines do not allow you to slap your foot/leg onto the mac hine repeatedly, which I felt was too harsh. All of your weight is being placed down over and over. With the elliptical you do not lift and crash your foot down,. It is HARD, but it works. I started out really really slowly, it took a lot of energy and was very tiring, but I did it anyway. I'm still using the Y, but not every single day. I still do it pretty slowly and I'm trying to use the bike, but it is the limit of my attempt at this point.

This recovery has been AND IS the most frustrating and painful thing I have ever done. Much more than I anticipated and much more than I was lead to believe when I did the research and talked to people. I'm not sure why . . .am I different than others? Apparently there is a group of us that are not out dancing after 8 weeks. As you can tell we are desperate enough to ask for help from fellow sufferers. I am now 4 months into recovery and still have pain and still can only bend 110% at the most. Doctor now says it can take a year or more to heal. Why didn't I know that in the beginning?
I no longer go to any therapy except my own.

Good luck on your journey. Pam

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #12
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Re: Knee manipulation after Knee replacement

Pam ~
This is a MOST helpful reply. Thank you for taking the time to share such a wealth of information.
We've 'spoken' before on this board -- and have had similar frustrations with our TKR recoveries.
Like you, I don't have words to describe just how frightened I was before the manipulation. But it did the trick for me, and pushed me to the next level of therapy.
Take care of YOU,
Lynn

 
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