1. Health

Readers Respond: How Difficult Was It to Go Back to Work After Knee Replacement?

Responses: 114

By

Updated January 09, 2011

Need TKR

I need TKR and my insurance does not pay for any type of rehab - can I do it on my own?
—Guest Marian

Lots of pain after 12 weeks

I had a partial right knee replacement Jan 2009. It did not fix problem lots of pain, limping, finally it loosened up. Just got a total right knee replacement may 2012, it has been extremely painful, no sleeping at night, stiffness, swelling and can barely drive without experiencing pain and swelling. I can not work like this, knee only bends to 114 and sometimes pushing it to 117. I am extremely miserable and do not know what to do. I totally regret it!!!!!I am hoping it gets better soon....good luck to everyone else!!!!
—Guest irs

Bi-Lateral TKR - Working at 6 weeks

I had Bi-lateral TKR on May 30, 2012 and returned to full time office work at just under 6 weeks. I commute an hour to and from work to a traditional office environment. My day consists of a combination of walking, sitting and using stairs. Some discomfort and swelling but certainly better than pre-surgery and getting better each day! My surgery went well. Hospital stay was three days and then transferred to a rehabilitation facilty for 6 days. I used a walker for about 4-5 days and transitioned to a cane on the second day of rehabilitation. I used the cane for approximately two weeks after going home and have been walking unassisted since (at least three weeks). At three weeks following surgery, I was completely off all prescription pain medication and have relied on Aleve, as needed. PT has been key! I attend a one-hour session twice weekly and work at flexibility and strength at home each day using the CPMs, stairs and modified lunges. Maintaining 120 degrees for both knees!
—TKR2Mike

Wound leaking

I'm 5 weeks post op knee replacement, still very stiff and sore can anyone please tell me why a part of my wound is still leaking? Thanx
—Guest Eli

6 months post op, bilateral tkr

I had bi-lateral tkr 6 months ago and I am still in pain. After surgery I was in the hospital three days and then 10 days inpatient rehab. In the hospital I needed 4 blood tranfusions and one in rehab. I had never felt so much pain in my life. I cried myself to sleep for a month! I still have pain, stiffness. I still go to therapy and workout on my own. Pain management medication is over. I am not even up to looking for a job yet. I am only 48 years old, young for this surgery. Had a great surgeon and he just tells me every patient is different. I see other patients at pt that have had the same surgery only a couple of months ago and they seem to be doing so much better than I am. I know, boo hoo, but when is it gonna end?
—Guest Patti

I fell after knee replacement

I had TKR in April 2012, The pain is something else, still have trouble with sleeping at night, I slipped of my porch and hit my knee on the corner of the steps, strained my muscles around my knee, and knee still swollen, I will return to work and will be on my feet 12 hrs, I am walking slight limp, and bending my knee 114 degrees, off the meds, good luck to all of you who have had it, and those of you who have not, be prepared its painful. I will come back and let you know how the first day at work goes.
—Guest tina

TKR-at 6 weeks

I am at 6 weeks out from the surgery. Still have some swelling and that numbing pain in my knee. Is this normal? I am getting better but the pain just seems slow to go away. My PT says all is well and things are improving but wow, this has been a long 6weeks.
—Guest Chick

It's been 8 weeks for me too!

I have faithfully done my pt twice a day since surgery; I ice my leg twice a day; am finally off pain meds, but taking Alieve twice a day to combat the ache (annoying like a toothache). Reading all other posts makes me realize I am "normal" and not facing anything unusual. I am just so tired of the pain/ ache and want to return to my previous active self. I wear out easily and find I must take an afternoon nap, which means I use up the whole day being a "recovering TKR" patient. I was unprepared for the length of time necessary to returning to "living"! Fortunately, I am retired, nearly 70 and can take the time. I will try the leg wrapped in Saran wrap with moisture at night and I will try hydrotherapy in the pool at the Y; surely this can't last forever!!!
—Guest Nancy

TKR 3/27/12

HAD KNEE REPLACEMENT IN MARCH AND I AM DOING VERY WELL...IT WAS TOUGH AT FIRST BUT I WENT TO PT AND WORKED HARD...TROUBLE AT NIGHT THOUGH AND HAVE TO TAKE PAIN MEDS...I AM RETURNING TO WORK THIS WEEK---2 MONTHS POST-OP BUT I AM A LITTLE NERVOUS...HOPEFULLY, I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING...
—Lamcam

Doing Great "I Think?"

Had bi-lareral total knee on April 16th. Only five weeks have passed. Spent 5 days in hospital and 7 in rehab. THe first time standing was very painful and I now know what a 10 is on the pain level. Rehab was the best thing I did even though there were times the pain level was high. Still have swelling and discomfort at night. The right knee gives me the most problems due to the doctor having to take the bow out of the leg and making the foot point to the front intead of pointing to the side. Left leg is doing pretty good but still have some pain in it. Drove to the doctor yesturday and was told I was way ahead of most folks at this time. The key I believe is to have a positive attitude and know that as time passed things will get better versus not getting better before the surgery. I am a pastor of a church and was back preaching in 3 weeks and am now back at work full time. Even got to go fishing yesturday as well. Some pain today and some stiffness.
—Guest Kevin

3WEEKS POST OP

I HAD BOTH MY KNEES REPLACED APRIL 27TH 2012 WAS EXPECTING THE WORST BUT TO BE HONEST ITS NOT THAT BAD. I AM 47YEARS OLD FEMALE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS HANDING THE RUNNING OF THE HOME TO MY FAMILY. DO PHYSIO REGULAR THAT REALLY IS THE SECRET AND FOR NIGHTS I SAW A GUY ON YOU TUBE WITH A WEIRD IDEA THAT ACTUALLY WORKS JUST TRY IT. PROVIDED YOUR WOUND IS CLEAN AND DRY BEFORE YOU DO THIS GET INTO BED LATHER THE AREA OF KNEE WHERE OP WAS IN ANY BODY CREAM AND WRAP WITH CLINGFILM ROUND A COUPLE OF TIMES. CRAZY BUT THE LAST TWO NIGHTS MY KNEES HAVENT KEPT ME AWAKE WITH THROBBING ACHE. I CAN WADDLE ROUND HOUSE AND START HYDROTHERAPHY NEXT WEEK. CAN GET MY KNEES TO 105 DEGREES WHICH IS GOOD FOR ME. PAIN STILL WORSE IN ONE LEG RATHER THAN OTHER BUT STIFFNESS IS YOUR WORST ENEMY KEEP THEM MOVING.
—Guest PORKA1

Post 12 weeks

hi all after reading the post I feel that my experience having a bi-lateral TKR has been a walk in the park. After 4 days in hospital started waking with a frame then to rehabilitation for 8 day with PT and Hydro T walk out with out sticks drove the car after 4 week from the operation. Pain if any was controlled with a couple of paracetamols the only down side is that my boss sacked me! but I can live with that after years of pain caused through the work. Best thing I did
—Guest Garry

Mechanic

I had my knee replaced on January 4th with a Stryker Triathalon due to Medial Collateral Ligament damage. It seems as though it took forever to get beyong the pain. Although physical therapy was delayed until a month after the surgery. I wasn't sent home with a CPM machine therefore stiffness set in my knee. After beginning therapy everything was directed in stretching the knee. After further exam from a Doctor, he encouraged strength work. Since working mainly on strength rather then stretching my knee has greatly improved. I have now been off of work for 5 months because they consider me a liability at work. I will return as soon as they allow.
—Guest John Linaburg

Warehouse worker

Had tkr right knee 4days hosp, 2wks rehab facilty. Best thing I ever did now 3wks walking sore but expected got 105 bend not bad. Sore at night see my knee was bowed and knee cap protruded. Gotta stretch I'm 63 and have a positive outlook. I will return to work as warehouse forklift operator -- just remember think positive. Best of luck.
—Guest Michael

Bilateral Knee Replacement

I had both knees replaced in Feb. 2012. Following my hospital stay I went to an in-patient PT facility - got pneumonia and an infection - went back to the hospital for 5 days and then to a different PT facility. Things were going well - slowly getting better - medication was working. After 2 weeks went home and to outpatient PT. He pushed me hard to get up to 116 degrees and then I pulled a hamstring and we backed off. I couldn't even face PT without a pain killer. I have constant pain day and night - nothing works to stop it since I am off all narcotics (2 weeks). I lost range in motion and now after 10 weeks was only able to get to 110. Went to the Ortho and he said my knee was not healing with all of the stress. He stopped PT and put me on Steriods. But, no pain meds. So, I have swapped not getting hooked on meds to having to live with pain. Went to work at 6 weeks because I had to - not good. Since no PT I have lost range of motion - sad - still painful.
—Guest Scott S
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Osteoarthritis
  4. Work / Disability
  5. Knee Replacement - Working After Knee Replacement

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.