Knee replacement 


Knee replacement: an animation

This animation shows how knee replacement surgery is done and explains why it would be needed.

Media last reviewed: 22/11/2013

Next review due: 22/11/2015

Having an operation

If your GP has suggested you may need surgery, this guide is for you

Knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint.

It's a routine operation for knee pain most commonly caused by arthritis.

More than 70,000 knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales each year, and the number is rising. Most people who have a total knee replacement are over 65.

For most people, a replacement knee will last for at least 15 to 20 years, especially if the new knee is cared for properly and not put under too much strain.

Types of surgery

There are two main types of surgery, depending on the condition of the knee:

  • total knee replacement (TKR) – both sides of your knee joint are replaced
  • partial (half) knee replacement (PKR) – only one side of your joint is replaced in a smaller operation with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period

Learn more in how knee replacement surgery is performed.

Why is knee replacement surgery needed?

The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Other conditions that cause knee damage include:

A knee replacement is major surgery, so is normally only recommended if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections, haven't helped reduce pain or improve mobility.

You may be offered knee replacement surgery if:

  • you have severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your knee joint and your mobility is reduced
  • your knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and sleep
  • everyday tasks, such as shopping or getting out of the bath, are difficult or impossible
  • you cannot work or have a normal social life

Learn more in why knee replacement surgery is used.

Can I have knee replacement surgery?

Adults of any age can be considered for a knee replacement, although it's typically recommended for older people as young, physically active people are more likely to wear the joint out.

The earlier you have a knee replacement, the greater the chance you will eventually need further surgery. However, there is some evidence that replacing the knee joint before it becomes very stiff leads to a better outcome.

Most total knee replacements are carried out on people between the ages of 60 and 80. You will need to be well enough to cope with both a major operation and the rehabilitation afterwards. Read more about getting ready for knee replacement surgery and recovering from knee replacement surgery.

Are there any risks?

Knee replacement surgery is a common operation and most people do not experience complications. However, as with any operation, there are risks as well as benefits.

Complications are rare but can include:

  • stiffness of the knee
  • infection of the wound
  • deep infection of the joint replacement, needing further surgery 
  • unexpected bleeding into the knee joint
  • ligament, artery or nerve damage in the area around the knee joint
  • blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

In some cases, the new knee joint may not be completely stable and further surgery may be needed to correct it.

Read more about the risks of knee replacement surgery.

Page last reviewed: 23/04/2012

Next review due: 23/04/2014


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The 78 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

NannieG said on 13 April 2014

I had my pkr on the 10th February and was told recently that realistically it takes 10 weeks for recovery. I have recovered well, but as soon as I start to push myself forward my knee gets hot, feels tight and stiff. I think we under estimate that this is a long gradual recovery, but it is worth all the effort.

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MiaowTea said on 11 April 2014

I am 47 yr old female and had left TKR 18 March 2014. I'm exercising regularly and can reach 90 degrees but afterwards the knee almost completely seizes up and when I try to bend it there is a lot of pain and soreness internally at the top of the scar. Is this normal?

Also, when lying on my back, and my leg is relaxed, my left ankle rotates outwards. Is this putting undue strain on the knee joint and ligaments. I'm experiencing a lot of ligament pain generally at the back of the knee and wonder if it's the ankle rotation causing it.

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DONNAEO said on 07 April 2014

i had a total knee replacement 6 months ago, everything was ok until Friday, i rolled onto my side (knee replacement side) and somehow ended up putting my weight onto the inside of my knee, it felt as though my kneecap moved and ive been in a lot of pain since, now it feels very clonky and i have an odd painful area behind my knee, i had a total plus my kneecap had something done as it was crumbling, my leg is now very stiff and painful and im hobbleing around, has anyone any idea what ive done or whether i should go and see a doctor, i dont want to waste their time x

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vanessa58 said on 28 March 2014

Having recently had a tkr I would just like to warn people it is a major procedure and should not be taken lightly. The operation itself is ok but be prepared for a few very difficult days after. Not so much with pain but complete lack of mobility which at the time can be very depressing and distressing. I only had the operation recently so it is
still early days for me and I am sure the long term benefits will be worth it but prior to my operation I read lots of reviews and thought that I would be fine . I am not a wimp by any means but it was a big shock to me how my mobility was affected I couldn't even get out of bed on my own for 3 days it was like my leg was a ton weight and nobody warned me you had to wear those horrible stockings for 4 weeks day and night. I am 55 and in good health normally and this has made me feel like an invalid. I don't mean to put people off cos it is a very successful operation just don't go into it thinking it's a walk in the park

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25David12 said on 20 March 2014

I had TKR left knee 28/10/13 then right TKR 28/2/14, so far so good. 125deg bend on left, slight swelling but just if I overdo things. Right knee 3 weeks gone and have 85deg but still early days. It'll take time but be beneficial in the long term. Hope to get back to work (construction) by July.

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Melly55 said on 19 March 2014

I had total knee replacement 4 weeks ago and cannot believe how much pain I am still suffering. I have been trying to do the exercises given by my physiotherapist but cannot manage to bend more than 60 degrees without excruciating pain and the pain is so bad when trying to sleep. I feel desperate and am wishing i had never gone through with it. My other knee s also bad and have been told it will need replacing but am scared now. Had one hip done 18 moths ago and have been left with Trendelenburg Gait which means I have very pronounced limp. Am I just unlucky with all this or have others suffered similar?

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MinniHaHa said on 19 March 2014

Re my comment a few mins ago. I cannot praise the services of NHS staff highly enough. All provided first class information to me and were always positive and honest in their expectations of what I might achieve. I am 65 and had polio in the leg when 1 year old. I am so proud to be a contributor, user and supporter of our wonderful NHS long may it survive!

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MinniHaHa said on 19 March 2014

I had a total knee replacement last month. I no longer have any pain when walking, the joint is still a bit swollen and stiff but I am confident that it will improve. Not very much pain after the operation, suitable drugs taken for 3 days and discharged on day 6 and continued with paracetamol and ibuprofen for a further 2 weeks. Take nothing now, unless I feel I need something if moving around a lot. I am still using two crutches but with the help of my physio feel confident that things will improve. Yes I do get back ache sometimes but this is due to usage of unfamiliar muscles. Would recommend to anyone.

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Catanna said on 06 March 2014

I am 70 years and live alone. Both knees need doing.
My bed is upstairs but could shift it down.Due to pain I have not been walking over the winter. Did last week while on holiday abroad, but the pain was dreadful.It still is.Had physio 9 months ago. I am 2 or 3 stone overweight.
My grandchildren are visiting in October from Australia.
How can I get my knees done and be fit by then ? Yes I will diet, but without exercise it will be too slow. Can't swim as Osteo-arthritis is also in my neck.
Want advise PLEASE. I will do the work.

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Stott179 said on 03 March 2014

Total Knee Replacement 6th Jan 2014 as I walk now I some clicking in the knee is this normal?

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Lucegal said on 27 February 2014

Hi, I am a student studying Applied & Medical Science. As part of my thesis work, I am investigating post operative pain management from the viewpoint of Clinicians and Patients. If you are available to take part in an email survey please contact me for further details. From a patient viewpoint, I would ideally like to speak to people who are pre-surgery, although post survey reflection would be gratefully appreciated. Many thanks Lucy

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lenafort said on 26 February 2014

I am 53 and had a PTR on Sept 2012 to my left knee. In a couple of weeks I will be having my right knee done as well. I would like to answer a few questions with my personal experience with my first knee replacement. From referral to surgery in 2012, it was 3 months. With the coming surgery it will be 4 months, The pain was horrendous post surgery, but I did all that was required of me within the 4 days hospital stay. Once home, I struggled to control my pain, so didn't do much of the exercises. In the first 2 weeks I was sorry that I had gone through with surgery, but once the pain started to settle, and I started to get more movement I became happier with my decision. Within 6 weeks I had full range of motion, started driving and started swimming to strengthen all the muscles, but not on a daily basis. By January 2013 I was a few stone heavier and was still walking with crutches or a walking stick. I then decided that I needed to get the weight off so started swimming on a daily basis for at least an hour a day, and joined a slimming class. Within 4 weeks I was much lighter and stronger and had no need for the walking stick at all. By September 2013 (12 months later) I had lost 6 stone and joined a gym to walk on the treadmill. I started walking an hour a day, on an incline and my knee feels like new. Now I am looking forward to having my next knee done so that I can have 2 good knees. I will come back in a few weeks time, after my next surgery and let you know how I am coping.

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Luckylisa said on 24 February 2014

What a difference one day makes, I did less today didn't push myself so much but did do all my exercises and I am feeling so much better. When you have this operation don't push yourself on everyday things just focus on the exercises I think that's where I was going wrong. Movement is more, pain is less and I have actually snoozed on my side not restricted to my back.

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Luckylisa said on 22 February 2014

I am 49 and on 14 February 2014 had a partial knee replacement. After referrals for pt was finally referred for surgery and waited just 17 weeks. Had 85 bend but only 15 straight 2 days post op so a lot of work to do, am only 8 days post op now but feel I am getting there. Pain is horrific but with good pain relief medication the exercises are manageable and must be done. If this is the pain of the lesser operation not sure I'll ever have the total done which I am told I probably will need in the future, and as for my left knee that's going to have to be completely non-working before I do this again. It'll be worth it in the end I'm sure I just need a night' sleep!

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Cathy65 said on 21 February 2014

im a 48 year old woman, just been informed yesterday i need a knee replacement operation, i wondered if anyone can tell me how long you had to wait from referral to operation? thanks

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Julie1964 said on 19 February 2014

Hi, I'm 49 and had a partial knee replacement on the 16th December 2014. I have found that the most important thing you need to do is exercising daily, even through pain. I have got 125 degree bend, although was achieved through gritting my teeth. Constantly ice. Have just started sleeping now, and the pain is subsiding, so there s hope, believe me. My only concern is I am still walking with a slight limp and wondered when this disappears? Also do we ever get full bend back? I assume we continue to heal over the next 6 months? At least the original pain is no longer there. I must admit it was harder than I ever thought and I probably would have rather gone through child birth. Lol.

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NannieG said on 14 February 2014

I had a partial knee replacement on Monday, 10th February. The spinal block with light sedation was much easier than I expected, and delayed the pain kicking in until about 12hours after the surgery.

It was painful the next day, but my advice would be take all the pain medication you can, and get moving as soon as you can, after that be kind to yourself and try to relax

Hope this helps

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MikeX said on 06 February 2014

As a 59 year old man I have been suffering with severe arthritis in both knees for the last 10 years or more. The arthritis developed as a result of sporting injuries in my younger years. X-rays showed that the cartilage in both knees was virtually non-existent. I was in extreme pain whenever I walked, particularly going down stairs or even a slight incline.
Last year (2013) I underwent TKR at Addenbrooke's Hospital, on my left knee in September, and on my right knee in December.
All I can say is FANTASTIC!
I was in great pain immediately after the opertaions (not surprising really!) but I was just about able to stand the following day and was discharged from hospital 4 days after the first operation and 3 days after the second.
It is now 2 months since my second operation. Both knees 'click' slightly, but I have excellent flexibility and am able to walk without any aids for the first time in years.
I still get slight pain when standing after a long period of sitting or lying in the same position but this is minor and disappears as soon as I am mobile. Even this irritation is improving, as is my mobility, and I am confident that all problems will disappear completely once I build up more muscle strength.
From my experience I would say it is vital to heed the advice of the surgeon and physios, follow the exercise regimes and force yourself to get walking ASAP. It may hurt a bit but I was motivated by the noticeable daily improvement over the first week or two.
If you are suffering from arthritis and it is affecting your mobility, then go for it!! (After all, the arthritis won’t get better by itself). But be prepared to put in some effort after to improve the speed and extent of your recovery.
Thank you to all involved in my operation and recovery

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Worthing said on 02 February 2014

I have read all the posts with great interest as my 90 year old mother is considering having her knee replaced. She lives alone and is currently not able to walk far and is very unsteady on her feet using 4 wheeled walker when out and a wheeled trolley indoors. She would not be able to use crutches post op and has a very low pain threshold. Based on what I have read the pain is intense and dedication is needed to do the physio so I am not at all sure that she should go ahead. Any views would be appreciated. Thanks

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Alladon73 said on 31 January 2014

Hello everyone, I'm 10 days post op, had left total knee replacement 21st jan, I'm 40 years old, at the moment I'm in absolute agony, was in hospital for 7 days , could manage only 50 degree bend , still pretty much the same, been doing my exercises with help of my husband and daughter, I manage to get from my bed to toilet on same floor, a distance of about 7 mtrs, with both crutches, how elderly people go through this is beyond me, I was not prepared for how bad this would be, thought id be well up and about by now, I think that is my problem, I'm expecting too much too soon, still on strong pain meds, 4 hourly and two hourly for breakthrough pain, it's the sleeping that I'm struggling with, I just cannot sleep, which is adding to my distress at the whole thing it think, any advice would be great, thankyou.

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s mair said on 31 December 2013

I am so glad to have read other peoples comments. I am 53 and had right TKR in November. I have recovered well from the actual op and the pain has gone from my knee :} . I have been quite concerned about the pain I have in my buttock thigh and calf , especially when sitting or in bed. It is a dull deep ache which has been depressing me. Painkillers dont really help . Should I try heat pads ? Or do I need to ice it? It seems that lots of others have experienced this. I have an outpatients appointment next week and hope to have some physio to get a better bend. I am still nervous about driving tho. Hopefully I will loose this pain soon . Thanks

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Spaniel lover said on 28 December 2013

I am 57 years old and had my knee replaced 6 weeks ago. I have always been very active, walking my dogs every day and going to the gym. My knee was bad for a couple of years, swelling and I was in constant pain with it. My surgeon decided it was the right time for me to have the operation as my lower leg was at a strange angle and I could not straighten my leg.

I had a spinal block and a nerve block with light sedation. The pain afterwards was pretty bad but with medication, bearable. However, I developed a bladder infection and had a very high temperature which made me feel like I had full blown flu for days. Could not eat anything and felt sick constantly. Could not do my exercises while in hospital as I felt so ill. However, since coming home, I have worked hard on my own and with my physiotherapist and I am making slow progress. I have a lot of swelling still and am finding the bend difficult. I am only at 87 degrees now. I can straighten my leg fully though. I find I notice progress not daily but every 5-6 days. Small things but a joy when they happen I walk with one stick now and my knee does not buckle so often ad feels stronger. I can lift it into bed now and things are easier. Sleeping is still a problem though. Just try not to get down and realise most symptoms are normal and pain is too. I am looking forward to the day when I can walk my 2 Spaniels again and they are too!!

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Gill 57 said on 24 December 2013

I had a TKR on the 25th of November 2013 I was in unbearable pain for the three days I was in hospital, on the ninth day I called my family GP out and thankfully he prescribed something stronger and the pain became bearable. Because I was in so much pain I was unable to do exercises and now I can only bend my knee slightly , I am due to go for physio and I am so frightened of the pain starting again, I am desperate for my knee to bend but at the same time terrified. Please can anyone put my mind at rest?

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bevo27 said on 11 December 2013

I am a 53 yr old lady due to have TKR Feb next yr It has taken some time to come to this decision due to my 'young age'. The consultant recommends have more 'sturdy' implant in the nope of more longevity, however the compromise is to only have 90 degree bend. Although not much greater than this at present I am still concerned about the limitations this will cause as I still want to swim and ride a bike etc. Has anyone on here had a similar implant an what are your experience of post op movement. Also, thinking ahead has anyone out there had a second replacement as the consultant has told me this is rarely as successful. Again, anyone with experience comments welcome. Thanks

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leewis1234 said on 09 December 2013

I had a tkr on the 5 june 2013 aged 40 due to osteoarthritis caused by a operation i had when i was 16 on left knee. I realise it is different for everyone but for me i feel i have been extremely lucky. i had no pain at all after the op apart from the mildly annoying swelling which took about 2 months to disapear. I left hospital after 3 days and was suprised that i could climb my stairs holding the banister with one hand and my sticks with the other hand with relative ease putting 70% body weight on my tkr! The annoying ache of the swelling can make it difficult to get comfortable in bed but i prefered to have a bottle of wine rather than pain meds to get to sleep which worked a treat. I was walking round the house after a month without sticks just wishing the swelling would go down. My first physio appointment was 5 weeks after op and i was basically told to go away lol as my knee bend was about 3 inches from my buttock and she also took my sticks off my as she saw me walk in holding them. 2 months in and i was basically back to normailty barring the swelling which would get worse the more i did on it. I went back to work after 3 months and its quite a physical job (loading trailers, climbing in/out of truck and pulling trailer curtains open and shut etc) im now at 6 months and to be honest im completely pain free and can do anything at all, it feels exactly the same as my good knee except from a little bit of puffiness and still cant get my heel to touch my buttock yet grrr. And if im even more honest i didn't even have to do all the post op exercises apart from a couple of times a day do the bending and straightening excersises. Regardless of what you read on the net i feel the best way to get a good result is purely down to your surgeon and feel i got lucky with mine!! hope this helps..

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Tessdeab said on 04 December 2013

I has bilateral TKR five years ago. My knees were ruined by my job, and R/A did not help. This was the best thing I have ever had done. Yes there will be pain, but analgesics, icing and exercises will get you onto the road to recovery. Five years later I am hiking,biking and walking pain free. Before this I was using a cane to walk and was limited to any physical activity. So remember the phrase:No pain, no gain!

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Joodlepip said on 03 December 2013

I am so pleased to have found this forum. I was feeling seriously desperate yesterday night with no sleep, and came on the computer and found the website. Just knowing that others have similar problems with getting comfortable (impossible at this stage for me) and sleeping (seemingly equally impossible) is tremendously reassuring. I also discovered that the level of bruising I'm experiencing is also normal, and that the swelling is nothing to worry about! It has taken such a weight off my mind and I'm so grateful for all your useful comments below. I am continuing to exercise as much as I am able. It does tend to make me feel a little nauseous, but I'm hanging on in there!

Rugged15, nice to know that you are similar age and I'm following your advice and that of everyone else. Thanks so much. Upwards and onwards!

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Joodlepip said on 03 December 2013

I did post a comment which hasn't appeared, but I won't write it again as it may yet appear. I'm a 72 year old who had a TKR on 27th November.

I now have a further comment as follows; I was using paracetamol and Ibuprofen. This didn't seem to help so I dropped the paracetamol in which I have no faith at all and started using Co-codamol. This doesn't seem to do much either. I'm wondering which drugs others find help and how do they take them; e.g strictly 4/6 hourly or as and when pain decrees? Maybe I should take them at certain times?

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rugged15 said on 02 December 2013

72 yr old golfer - had Right Knee TKR done on the NHS. All concerned totally brilliant. Admitted lunchtime 20/11/13 and discharged three days later. Lots and lots of pain but with pain management, ice and such painful excercises am slowly on the mend - one just has to stick at it and it is amazing how one progresses.

Advice to all - do keep on at the exercises daily. My thanks to my exceptional surgeon and his theatre team! I totally agree with what CSAbs says below.


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onion eyes said on 24 November 2013

Hello! I had tkr on 20th August 2013. Had spinal and femoral nerve block. Left hospital after 3 days. Was not able to independently lift my leg in and out of bed. The physio gave me a piece of tubi grip and told me to hook it under my foot to lift my leg. 13 weeks and 5 days and I still cannot lift my leg or bend it. It is permanently straight. The pain is horrific. I am taking Gabapentin Tapentadol and Paracetamol. I have not slept one night since my op. My quality of life is rubbish. I have had 3 sessions of hydrotherapy. I am still waiting for physio and nerve conduction tests. Can anyone help? Thanks.

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User822505 said on 24 November 2013

I need to have a bilateral total knee replacement but my surgeon says that it can not be done as it is too dangerous. I know other hospitals that do this procedure. Can I request to have the operation in a hospital in another PCT trust as I would rather have the operation at the same time as it would be more benefical to my

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CSAbs said on 16 November 2013

I had a TKR done in August - now exactly 3 months old. The hospital and staff,the physio team, and even the catering staff were great! The op, done under general due to problems using a block on me, went smoothly. Firstly I did not anticipate the level of pain would be quite so high in the aftermath. I took the prescribed meds for the initial two weeks and then just at night for a further week - normally I just throw them in a drawer! For a further month I would occasionally take paracetemol to sleep at night, when the activities of the day take their toll. The physio exercises, both at the weekly classes, and for homework, were intense but so very necessary. And it is amazing - 1st week you try one and say "I can't do that" but persevere - next week it'll be old hat and you'll be so proud of yourself. I still have issues with going downstairs using the new knee as the lead leg - but I see from someone above who is a lot further on than me, that this is to be expected. This is why I am doing this review - I have benefited hugely from the experiences of others, and if this can help anyone, then job done! Your motto must be - I shall Conquer! - and you will. Each day it will feel more like it belongs, you'll walk further, faster, you'll lose the drag or the limp, you will, most importantly, do things without thinking about them first! Good luck - I wasn't sure at first, but now |I am so glad I had it done, and look forward to many active years.

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SusieG66 said on 03 November 2013

I am a 66 year old woman and I had my TKR on 29/10/2012 at the Princess Royal Hospital Telford. My Surgeon was fantastic plus all of his team. I went home 3 days later. I did all my exercises and attended physio, yes doing the exercises was a chore, yes it hurt but it hurt less every day and within a week I was off crutches and using a walking stick. I also used an exercise bike which did hurt but helped. After 3 months I moved house and was able to start walking my Labrador again. I have walked every day since and generally walk 30 to 40 miles a week. My knee has just got stronger and stronger, and I'm sure all the exercise and walking has been the key. Two weeks ago I went on a walking holiday for a week in Devon walking over much of Dartmoor, we walked almost 60 miles in 5 days and I have no pain at all. I can also kneel perfectly well, climb over stiles, 5 barred gates etc. with ease. In the earlier days my knee would swell and feel stiff after standing for any length of time e.g. Ironing, but know even that has improved and hardly troubles me. I think I have been very lucky but my advice to anyone is do the exercises no matter how boring or how much it hurts as it does get better, and hurts less with time, keep a positive attitude and if you are lucky enough to have a dog and/or walking friends that will be the very best medicine, it will also help to keep your weight down and you 'll feel better all round. Thank you PRH you have made all the difference to me.

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Rinkujohn said on 20 September 2013

Knee replacement surgery is recommended for older people, although adults or teenagers of any age can be candidates for the procedure, since they are physically active and will more rapidly wear the joint out. The weight, gender, or age of the person is never a factor when considering knee replacement surgery. Whether or not to perform surgery is nearly always based on the severity of pain and degree of disability of the patient.

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Shazy45 said on 19 August 2013

Am day 17 after total left knee replacement , went to knee gym this afternoon at hospital and they had me doing squats and lunges !! Am suffering big time tonight, is this normal, also had to balance on my bad leg :/

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jalaw said on 31 May 2013

had a pkr on right leg on 8th may second on list so great they done it with spinal but due to back probs in lower spine took several goes to get drug in but that was easy all done in hour and half on ward in 2 hours next day walking with zimmer afternoon with crutches and physio done stairs on day 2 got 90 degree bend after 4th day home on day 5 . then went down hill due to my own fault tried to do to much to soon knee swelled kept forget to take pain meds started to take it more easy things changed cant get full bend yet as pain in side of knee feels as if locking and knee still swells up but only been just over 3 weeks see doc on june 25 hope all well as the pain I suffered just after was the worst I have ever had and don't envey any one having it done more than once maybe that's just me just cant wait for it to get better and off cruthes and driving in the meen time just enjoy this wonderfull English weather ha ha

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Richard Tedeschi said on 04 May 2013

I had total knee replacement when I just turned 43 on 11/11/2011.

After one week I went home, I went to emergency after a week because my whole leg turned red and painful, I was later told that it can happen but I wasn't told this after surgery so I thought it was a blood clot.

After I got pneumonia probably from general anaesthetic, cured pneumonia.

Now one and half years later I can say I had to wait four months to feel any real benefit and even understand if it was worth it, my knee was damaged by road accident.

Having surgery IS worth it, I was on crutches with constant pain before surgery, my knee was cracking after surgery, I have been told it was the knee cap rubbing against the prothesys, it has gotten better now.

Walking dowstairs/downhill is more difficult than walking upstairs/uphill, The reason is simple: when you're walking uphill you use the calf, when you walk downhill you use the knee which is something I never really noticed or gave importance to before sugery, it will definitely get better and easier with time.

I can do Almost everything now but I have autonomy limitation, if I walk stand too much I end up wit pain in both my legs, maybe it is psycholgical the way I walk as I am still distributing my body weight in the wrong places.

A knee replacement will never be as good as a natural knee but it is definitely better han a painful knee full of arthrytis or damaged or broken.

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June1954 said on 02 May 2013

After having a PKR in October last year am having a TKR at the end of May this year and am really hoping this will be more of an answer than the PKR, as I am having quite a lot of pain on the outside of the knee ~ has anyone else experienced this? I am having a different surgeon this time, who commented that he would have performed a TKR on both knees, had it been his choice. So wish me luck and good to read how positive most of the posts on here are, although I have to say I did find the first week or so, post op, to be very painful, especially the first time you stood up first thing in the morning ..... ouch!! But everyone's pain tolerance is different, although I have had three kids without any real pain relief so didn't think I was a wimp!!

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ginar said on 17 April 2013

Hi i am a 57yr old female i have had two knee replacements my first was in aug 2010 on my left knee and may 2011 on my right knee
before my first opp i was in servere constant pain i had tried every pain killer going i ended up not being able to walk as my knee used to give way i ended up in a wheel chair i was so scared to have the opp but had no choice i was put a sleep for my first opp looking back i find some things comical like i couldent belive how heavy my leg was i couldnt lift it or any thing the physio is tough and very painful and you have to perservere but take it one day at a time and it does get easier it takes a while but its worth it
My second opp i was awake and alls i can say is if i can do it anyone can it was much better recovery than the first i could hear every thing going on like the hammering and drilling and i know that sounds awful but believe me if i had to have the opp again i would opt to stay awake
i didnt do as much exercise with my right knee silly me and allthough its ok my knee bend isnt as good as my left knee so you must keep the exercises up even though they are tough
I thought that i would never beable to walk without a stick but last year sept we went to turkey and i refused to use a stick on holliday so now i walk fine without the use of a aid i still get a little pain and stiffness mostly in cold weather is there anyone else who suffers with this still? and i cant kneel?

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kellyboy said on 01 April 2013

I had myTKR left knee done on 14 March this year at the Northern General Hospital ,Sheffield,The Surgeon,Aneathatist,and everyone else were marvelous.48 hours later I was on my way home.I was supposed to go for Physio last week but due to the snow being 1ft deep I couldnt manage to get ,so i,m doing my own excersises at home,I,m pleased with what i,m doing and flexing my new knee is getting better every day,although i,m struggling with straightening new knee progress is being made.I also had a hip replacement 24 years ago so i,ve some idea what to do.The NHS is a jewel we should be very proud of,and not let it fall into privatisation .so to anyone who is apprehensive about having a TKR dont be its hard work but it will be worth it.Thank you

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June1954 said on 30 March 2013

Hi, I'm 58 and had a right knee PKR Oct 2012 in Runnymede Hosp Chertsey Surrey where the staff and surgeons were fantastic. Six months on, life is a lot better and less painful in new knee but it really is very stiff and painful in this cold weather. I was up walking just over 2 hrs after the op altho my leg was double its size and bruised as you would expect. I had a real problem with sickness after my op tho (does anyone else suffer with this?) and was ill for around 20 hours, even with anti sickness meds (which I promptly saw again!!). I only ever used one crutch and apart from the stiffness, walking is much better. My new knee does not like the cold weather and gets very painful and my surgeon has told me to expect this for up to 2 years. I have found the op very beneficial but realistically it was a very painful procedure, as I was warned by my doctor, but I am hoping the long term benefits outweigh everything. Am up for my next op in July 2013 and this time am having an MRI scan for my left knee to make a mould that fit more to my knee, apparently and this will be a TKR and have been assured by my surgeon that the recovery is a lot less painful than with a PKR so lets hope so. I would say to anyone who needs this that it is worth it but the rewards have to be worked for i.e. dedicated physio and a positive attitude, you will get there but in my experience that first week afterwards is testing, probably not helped because I can only tolerate Ibroprufen and Paracetamol and can't use strong meds like Cocodamol and Tramadol as the side effects are just dreadful. Best wishes June

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June1954 said on 30 March 2013

I have read all the comments with great interest. I am 58 and I had a partial knee replacement last October and although six months on life is much better, sometimes I feel like I have a horseshoe in my knee!! I have very small joints and the stiffness has been the major factor in my recovery. I had a spinal, which was cool although the banging and sawing woke me up lol. I was up and walking two and a half hours after my op and found walking to be the easiest thing to do with my new knee. I worked very hard at my physio and have achieved a 120 degree bend. I am due a TKR in July in my left knee and will be having an MRI scan to "mould" a new knee for me. Have very mixed feelings as was so sick after my op (anyone else suffered this?) I was sick for around 30 hrs after my op! They gave me anti-sickness meds and I promptly threw them up!! I have had a ten pound baby so don't think I'm a wimp but altho I know I need a new left knee boy I am not looking forward to how I know it will all go after the op!! Any encouragement would be appreciated!

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cherryden said on 17 March 2013

I,m 59 had knee replacement on sat 9th march was very scared, operation went well pain was too bad medication vital and we are all different if the pain is under control i could manage very well with physio but if not i found it hard i did feel like i was pushing for stronger medication this made me feel a little uncomfortable but i managed but when i came home omg it was so hard i had nothing in place no equipment and i was totally unprepared the hospital refused to give me strong enough pain meds and i felt abandoned, i called my gp and they prescribed me some stronger pain meds which i used for first few days then was able to reduce to paracetamol and ibuprofen and some codine, i have adapted things with the help of my family it would have been better if i was more informed before hand' i am prepared for alot of physio which i am sure will be totally down to me and i know this is going to be hard as for the past 5 years pain has made it hard for me to do too much so i need to really push myself, i am able to walk with crutches, use staires, I take my pain meds half an hour before doing excercise and the after ex i use the ice packs i can bend knee quite well more than 90 degrees feels like i,m pulling a lot but i know i must do this excercises going pretty well, I am really glad i had the op as i can hopefully have a more normal life even though i still have the other leg to be done, I must say that it appears to get a little easier each day but nights are hard. hope this helps smeone.

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Dave c 55 said on 10 March 2013

Hi everyone,
I have found all the comments here really helpful for me to prepare for my TKR in May.
I was wondering if any of you can advise me on how soon you can return to playing golf? What have your experiences been?
Hoping you can help with my question.

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Chippygail said on 09 March 2013

I have just had my right knee replaced on Monday 4th March. Came out of hospital yesterday, Friday. Still very swollen and red and clips feel like they are pulling. I cannot lift the leg by itself or bend much, was just wondering is this normal or am I expecting too much. I am 53, and my left knee is quite painful so finding it hard to use that to lift my right leg with.
I appreciate any comments.

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Lillyan said on 08 March 2013

I am waiting to go into hospital for a knee replacement, I am scared as I have never been in hospital before. I am pleased with the comments I have read on here as most seem to be very successful but is there any advice on how to prepare yourself before you go in hospital.

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Landslide said on 03 March 2013

I had a total knee replacement a month ago. Three days of pain then not so bad.

Just do as you are told. Use ice three times a day and do the exercises regularly and to your pain heroics, it is your knee so take your time.

NHS for ever.....private hospitals never ever again

I do have a click in the knee but lets see how it goes with strengthening the muscles...takes a bit of time but I am on my feet after four weeks with no pain

Get phone numbers from other guys in hospital then call one another for encouragement

Its is like a brotherhood.....keep smiling

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clivek said on 10 February 2013

i had a complete knee repacement 18 months ago atheritis good to be gone now but knee clicks and muscles play around knot up around knee cap area hope it soon goes was told it would take 2 years to go away

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pollyannapink said on 08 February 2013

I am 54 and have agreed to have TKR as soon as I can.......both knees are agony and both need replacing. My surgeon would like to replace both at the same time but I am not the most "patient" patient !... so have opted for right one first.
I have found the comments and mostly very positive results on here very uplifting and reassuring.
At 54 years old, not to be able to sleep more than 3 hours at a time and taking weeks off work is very I am putting my fears aside and going ahead.
Wish me luck!

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Bionic woman said on 21 January 2013

I am a 54 year old who for 10 yrs had severe pain in both knees. I had previous surgeries that consisted of cartilage cell transplantation . Needless to say this did not work for me. I had total knee replacements to both knees (within 6 months of each other) last year . Wow, I feel young again. I go to the gym for my leg muscle tone 3 times a week . The recovery is painful and hard work as you need to do lots of exercises to achieve good results. 3 months down the line I have returned to normal.The results have far exceeded my expectations. I am able to walk without limitation and no pain at all. Iwould highly recommend anybody who is thinking of going through with this to do so, it changes your life.

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Rapperman said on 08 January 2013

Hi Susie52. I had my right knee done 23 Oct 2012 and had exactly the same worries as you. As to the sensitivity, I rub bio oil into the scar and it has helped greatly with the sensitivity although I cannot yet wear jeans. Another help is to rub across the scar tissue to de-sensitise the scar. As for staples coming out worry ye not it was fine with me although I shared your concerns. The muscles are tight at first as you have described but if you work at it they will loosen up. I am now walking well and even tried a bit of golf but my knee said too soon too soon. Keep at it.

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bionic knee said on 06 January 2013

I had a total knee replacement nearly 4 years ago. I understood the importance of the physio so I paid for private physio for 2 and half years. I can now walk my dogs happily for 2 hours and have zero pain in that knee. I have never recovered the full bend in my knee but can straighten it. I found by being brave and stretching the scar, once fully healed, it helped to make the knee more flexable. Also if you are experiencing pain it is probably from the ligaments and tendons being forced to move in the proper way and not the way we all have got used to while walking a limp. Stick at the exercises and go swimming that is great exercise with no weight baring involved. I also went to the gym to strenghten my operated leg. It is well worth it.

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Susie52 said on 10 December 2012

I am 59 and had a total knee replacement on 17 Nov 12. It all went well and I have had little pain, although sometimes it feels like I have a big elastic band round my knee. The only problem, which is probably quite minor, is I had my staples out last week and I'm worried about bending my knee in case the healing scar breaks open. I a sort of hopping about trying not to bend it. The scar is also very sensitive, I can't get my jeans on. Has anybody had the same problem or am I just being a wuss.

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Grannyof4 said on 29 November 2012

I had my first knee replacement 8 days ago and never realised how hard it was going to be. I had a hip replacement in August and that was a doddle compared to knees. I have a fairly high pain threshhold but never thought it would be tested this much. I would like to point out that you do not have to be awake during the operation if you have a spinal block. I was terrified at the thought of th block but was persuaded to give it a go and it was fine. I was also sent gently to sleep via a drip. You come round much quicker than a GA. I am hoping that in a few weeks I will have forgotten how I feel at the moment. I have got to go through it all again at the end of February!

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GrannyPat said on 18 October 2012

I had my first total knee replacement in early September 2012. Now at 6 weeks I'm able to walk about in the house without sticks and only one stick outside (a confidence thing) although I find it difficult to walk very far yet. The pain is getting better every day and I do my exercises as instructed by the physios at the hospital. To anyone worried about having a spinal injection - don't worry at all! I was terified but everything went extremely well - I was allowed to take my iPod into the theatre and apparently sang all the way through the operation - Surgeon said he had never heard such bad singing!! So dont be scared there is no bigger coward than me and I coped well. Other knee to be done as soon as I can fully straighten my knee again - no problem with the bending.

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olive77 said on 04 October 2012

Hi. My dad is having a knee replacement next week under an epidural so will be awake. Does the hospital provide ear plugs to drown out the sound or is it worth taking a music player in?
Im very worried - Thank you

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Scroober said on 01 October 2012

I have been diagnosed as needing surgery due to Arthritis. This has been refused by the Warwickshire pct as I am overweight. I was told to exercise to reduce my weight, which I am unable to do due to the Arthritis. My doctor recommended gastric band surgery to reduce my weight this was also refused by the pct as they said I was not overweight enough and that I should exercise instead. I am now condemned to living with the pain, due to the intransigence of an accountant.

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polycarpusT said on 03 July 2012

I had my left knee TKR in December 2004. Back to work after 6weeks and generally all has been good. However, I am currently experiencing incredible pain in the same knee, and I am beginning to suspect that I may have a joint failure. Medical investigations start on Thursday 5th July 2012. Watch this space!

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get physio said on 01 July 2012

I had knee replacement surgery nearly 8 weeks ago on the NHS , out of hospital in 3 days . The physio visits at the hospital is very limited ( not their fault but due to number of patients), I would highly recommend finding a physio who is an expert post knee & hip operations. They really get your knee range moving a lot quicker than the exercises that are in the booklet ,that you are given. My first visit to physio was after 3.5 weeks and after a few visits my knee improved 3 fold. Nearly back to normal , still get pain in the knee , which is expected until it completely settles in , money well spent.

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alicia grace said on 24 April 2012

it is now 6 months since i had my new knee,i made a comment just 4 weeks after having it done, it is now brilliant i can walk really fast,run up stairs and do a really busy shift in the cafe where i work without any pain at all, i did have some muscle pain,especialy in my shin but i found the more i walked the better it got it bends and twists now like a normal knee and i would say it has changed my life 150% people told me it was good but i did not think it was this good ,i have had no problems since day 1 i would say to anyone thinking about it go for it ,it is worth it,

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Fox1 said on 09 April 2012

I am having a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement surgery in two months time. Has anyone had this done I know it will be painful but I am looking forward to the end result

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kbaruin said on 03 April 2012

Hi There,

My mum is 52 now. She is suffering from severe knee pain. I donno what the problem is called i mean the medical name of her problem. she did not had any accidents for this pain. The pain is only on one of her knee joints. Doctors say the knee joint started to get worn off(wearing off) and at initial stage. She is a bit over weight. She started on loosing weight but with the pain, its becoming difficult for her. One of the doctors suggested partial knee replacement, but she is worried if it could worse her present situation as she is ok doing her daily activities. Please if anyone could suggest options, or tips, it will be very helpful to make the decision for her.

Thanks in Anticipation

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decorator said on 27 February 2012

i had a left knee replacement in december 2011. i had a slight infection a few weeks after the op,which i had anti biotics for and that soon cleared up.After 3weeks i was walking a mile aday,after 6weeks i now walk 2miles.and do a few miles on the excercise bike.The excercise stiffens the leg up and the replacement feels tight.But most of the pain seems tobe soft tissue above and to the side of the operation.I have also had pain with my other knee,most people think this is due to putting weight on the other leg.But would recomend you get it done,although it is not a quick process.

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micktek said on 07 February 2012

Had first knee replacement July 19 2010, full recovery took about a year.
Second knee replaced August 2011, on track for the same level of recovery as first knee.
Found that a reasonable recovery took about 3 months, and then almost a year before the knee completely settled down.
I go to the gym (treadmill, cycle, cross trainer and rowing) 2 - 3 times per week and find that this really helps.

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nanny digby said on 27 January 2012

I have had two total knee replacements,1st feb 2010 and 2nd jul 2010,both times although different pain relief used post op am now reaping the benefits.I must say a big Thank you to The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for the excellent care given to me both times.I don't tend to kneel on hard surfaces as it doesn't feel right no actual pain,have had some problems with my feet from now walking properly but am having physio which is helping.I must say you must do your exercises as this will help keep you mobile and strengthen your knees.I won't say it wasn't without pain after the op but my Hospital had dedicated pain nurses who did their upmost to make you comfortable.I do get the odd tenderness from time to time but no arthritic Pain!!! I do have Arthritis elsewhere hips ,back etc so expect I shall be back in Hospital again,but am not worried.By the way my age was just before my 60th when I had the ops.I do hope this has been of help to someone.

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alicia grace said on 19 November 2011

i had a knee total replacemet on 14th october 2011 and after 4 weeks i am feeling fine.i can walk without a stick now and i can carry out houseold chores as normal without lifting,i am reall y pleased with the whole operation right from coming round from the general anesthetic to now i have felt no pain,only on paracetamol now,i can walk round the shops for at least half an hour and feel fine,my leg bend was 90 degrees the day after my op and it is getting better, i am really pleased i had it done and i am looking foward to getting back to work after christmas without any pain,the pain before the op was really bad,had me in tears,i would recommend it to anyone, dont be scared.i know its easy to say,i was, but i cannot fault the treatment i have all about it and ask people about their experiences and you will fell alot better and tip i have is when having a shower if you cannot climb in your bath,un hook the shower head and stand in a kids paddling pool next to the bath with a bath mat in it,this way you do not have to climb and can hold onto the sink.

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katiecrunch said on 25 October 2011

I am a 53year old woman i had my 1st knee replacement 9 years ago and is having a full revision of that knee in 3 weeks time i would be greatfull if anyone could give me advise and what u expect thankyou xx

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freelander2011 said on 15 October 2011

my son is 24 and very tall and skinny, he has dislocated his knee a few times over the years, he is now having physiotherapy but the excersises are making it worse and he is getting pains at the top of his leg and he has been told he is double jointed,
he is having a lot of time off work which they aint happy about, do you think he will need an operation at his age ?

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sweetlouise said on 12 October 2011

I'm a 38 year old woman looking at knee replacements (one this year, and one next year) due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. There is some concern as to how long they will last for me, but they are currently so bad there is no choice. Any advice from anyone who's been through this procedure would be appreciated.

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sweetlouise said on 12 October 2011

I'm a 38 year old woman looking at knee replacements (one this year, and one next year) due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. There is some concern as to how long they will last for me, but they are currently so bad there is no choice. Any advice from anyone who's been through this procedure would be appreciated.

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jomc20 said on 04 September 2011

It is good to hear that some people have such successful knee replacements but these reports of remarkably quick and relatively pain-free experiences may cause disappointment and worry to those who take longer to recover. Maybe age is a factor, but my mother who had a knee replacement a few years ago, took about a year to recover and suffered a lot of pain as her body seemed not to accept the alien implant. Her second replacement of the other knee about a week ago is causing a lot of pain. She is 80 but slim and very fit (she swims in the sea all summer!) We hope that once she recovers her quality of life will be much improved but this is major surgery and it is quite normal to have swelling and pain initially. The surgeon managed to correct a quick noticeably sideways bend in her leg at the same time as replacing the knee.

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RedRoverOne said on 24 July 2011

I had a total knee replacement in August 2007 at the Northampton General Hospital. As my femur was somewhat bent as the result of a previous accident many yearsago it took a special skill to correct the alignment of my leg.
I had a general anasthetic felt no pain, on day three I passed the physiotherapy tests and was allowed home, the following day with the help of crutches I walked to the shops and back about half a mile, A week later I drove back to North Wales to where I had recenty moved.
I received excellent treatment and I can honestly say that it has transformed my life, after a few weeks I discarded my stick, I can now at the age of 73 lead an active life and walk as far asI want.
I would like to reassure anyone facing a total knee replacement to go ahead and not worry about it, it was one of my better decisions.

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picken said on 20 February 2011

I'm a candidate for TKR but concerned about a repeat of a bad experience a year ago during knee arthroscopy. They used a tourniquet round my thigh. This damaged the long saphenous vein. I had massive internal bleeding. This was unrelieved and took months to disperse. The pain was intense for several weeks. My concern is that a tourniquet would be used for knee replacement, with risk of the same vein damage.

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chrixa said on 14 February 2011

I had my first knee replaced when i was 58, and the second 1 done 2 years later,both have been very successful and great as no more pain after surgery with both i was back driving again after 8 weeks and working as a carer,i would reccommend it to anyone and hope it is as succesful as mine have been,just one thing can anyone who has had them replaced lneel on them?i can but with a little difficulty but glad to say that is only a small problem.

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idewar05 said on 04 February 2011

Further to my comments dated 16 November last year, I can confirm my second knee replacement was also extremely successfull. Twelve weeks on, my only difficulty was getting out of the house due to the heavy snow but now, doing well. Walking a mile a day with no stick and looking forward to summer! Once again, my appreciation to the NHS and the team at Goole!

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sobergirl said on 06 January 2011

I am a 60 year old woman and had total knee replacement done on 22nd October 2010 . I am still in a lot of pain at times and also after exercise pain can be really bad. Haven't been out much due to the weather as frightened in case I fall so don't know if maybe that has slowed my recovery.

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idewar05 said on 16 November 2010

Contrary to the above comment, at age 64 I had my first knee replacement at Goole District Hospital on June 23rd 2010. The operation was a great success and recovery much quicker than I anticipated. Now, pain free in one knee and a 'bend' of 124 degrees, I will be having the second knee replaced tomorrow, a mere 21 weeks later. Yes, there are days when the new knee twinges; but it doesn't feel 'alien' to me and the lack of constant pain is worth the effort. I recommend this surgery, and Goole Hospital, to anyone considering TKR's. Thank you NHS

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micktek said on 24 October 2010

I am a 59 year old fit and healthy male who underwent total knee replacement on July 19th 2010. Made a good recovery from surgery according to surgeon and physio. Still suffering from pain, the pain is not from the knee it is from both sides of the knee, the pain can be quite strong and is worse after exercise, I am being told that this is normal. The new knee feels very mechanical and alien to my body, it also feels very loose and is constantly clicking and cracking, surely this cannot be considered a good recovery ?

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