How Long After TKR Can You Kneel (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least 1 year

A total knee replacement procedure (TKR) is also called knee arthroplasty. This surgery helps those who have severe or abnormal pain in their knees and helps the seriously affected joints function properly again in the knees.

With respect to the patient’s weight, age, knee condition, knee shape and size, and more factors, the doctor decides on which knee surgical technique and prostheses they should use for the procedure.

In order to ensure that you truly require a total knee replacement, an orthopedic surgeon takes a look at your knee’s status, along with the help of x-rays that display the severity of the damage in the knee joints.

How Long After TKR Can You Kneel?

Months after surgeryRecovery
3Pain and swelling may settle down, can return to light activities
6Can regain strength to an extent
12Fully healed, can kneel and return to normal activities

The total knee replacement procedure is recommended for those who have deceased or destroyed knee joints that exhibit pain that grows over time. These affected knee joints may not fully function, and may hinder the patient from performing their daily activities properly.

Another reason for undergoing total knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. In fact, U.S. reports that most people undergo TKR because they suffer from osteoarthritis.

Total knee replacement significantly reduces the intense pain that is caused by osteoarthritis and other knee complications. Simple signs that one may need TKR include difficulty while climbing stairs, walking, sitting onto and up from a chair, and knee ache even while stationary and at rest.

TKR not only relieves the pain for patients but also provides enhanced mobility, thus improving the quality of life by allowing the patients to resume their daily and normal activities.

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Even after total knee replacement surgery, you must refrain from engaging in heavy-duty exercise such as intense sports, tennis, skiing, and jogging. However, you may participate in lighter exercises such as golfing, swimming, walking, and biking.

After the surgery, it is a must to go through physical therapy as a part of your recovery from the procedure. Physical therapy is vital for rehabilitation, and it plays a huge role in resulting in successful outcomes.

In addition, doctors will ask you to continuously do breathing exercises. Moreover, since this is an invasive surgery, it results in a wound, which would need to be taken care of properly. You may take certain painkillers that are prescribed by the doctor, to help with the pain.

Why Does It Take That Long To Kneel After TKR?

During total knee replacement surgery, the doctor replaces the affected knee joint with an artificial material of sorts. In addition, the doctor removes and replaces the ending section of the femur bone with a shell made of metal. Similarly, the doctor removes the ending part of the tibia bone and replaces it with a metal stem that is attached to a channeled plastic device.

A device that resembles a button, that is made out of plastic, is also attached under the kneecap region after the doctor assesses the condition of the kneecap.

The name ‘prosthesis’ is given to the whole set-up of artificial devices that are inserted during the total knee replacement procedure.

In addition, there is a ligament known as the posterior cruciate that prevents the lower leg from sliding backward with respect to the thighbone, by stabilizing both sides of the knee joint.

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During total knee replacement, the doctor can choose to either have the ligament removed, kept in place, or replaced with a polyethylene post.

There are numerous risks associated with a total knee replacement. These include pulmonary embolism, which is a condition that causes blood clots that travel from the legs to the lungs; UTIs, nausea, vomiting, nerve damage, infection, knee joint bleeding, injury to blood vessels, chronic knee pain, stroke, heart attack, and more.

Most patients who have undergone total knee replacement begin to kneel one year after their surgery. This is because the knee joint needs time to recuperate and heal from the invasive surgery. In addition, the wound also prevents the patient from trying to kneel as it also needs a long time to completely heal. Another reason is that patients often face pain, swelling, and stiffness in their knees after the surgery, so kneeling can only occur after this pain, swelling, and stiffness settle down after a year.

Conclusion

Therefore, we can understand that it will take at least 1 year or more to kneel down for patients who have undergone total knee replacement surgery. It takes that amount of time for the knee joints to completely heal from the surgery, and for the swelling to settle down.

Pain takes up to 3 months to die down, and your body needs at least 6 months to a year to regain your strength in the knee. However, it is important to note that the knee will constantly keep recovering for up to two years post-surgery.

Therefore, it is best to keep working with a physiotherapist to continue exercising the right way so your new knee can get back its mobility and strength.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/clinorthop/Fulltext/2005/02000/Does_Total_Knee_Replacement_Restore_Normal_Knee.24.aspx
  2. https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/0301-620X.80B1.0800063
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/books/n/hsertasum/A105616/
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